2023 Literary Reports

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2023 Literary Reports

1 Table of Contents Judicial Committee………...…………………………………..………………………………………3 Triers of Appeals…………………………..…………………………………..…………………………4 Conference Trustees………...……………………………………………..…………………………. 5 Deeds, Abstracts, Abandoned Property…………………………..…..…….……….………… 6-7 Incorporation of Church Property…………………………………...…...………………………….8 Missions, Circuits, and Stations………………………………………...…...…………..……….……9 Presiding Elder’s Salary/Upkeep…………………………………………..……………………..…10 Annuity and Investments…………………………………………………..……………………...…11 Classification of Pastors………………………………………………...…..…………………… 12-14 Social Action……………………………………………………...……...………………………...15-16 Church Growth and Development…………………………..……...………………………...17-18 Church Planting…………………………………………..……….…….…………………………19-20 State of the Church…………….………………………..………………..………………………21-22 State of the Country…………….…………………..……………………..…………………...…23-24 Temperance…………………….….………………………………………..……………………. 25-26 Christian Education……….…….…………………………………………..…………..……….……27 Family Life …………….…………..…………………………………………..………….………... 28-29 Lay Activities…………………..……………………………………………..………….…….……30-31 Women’s Missionary Society…………………..…………………………………………...……32-33 Young People’s and Children’s Division………………………..………………......…………34-36 Sons of Allen………………………………………………….…………………………………..…37-38 Women in Ministry……………………………………….…………………………………………39-40 Young Adult Ministry………………………………….………………..……...…………..………41-42 Church School……………………………….…………………………………………………………43 Prison Ministry……………………………….…………………………………………..………………44 Hospital Ministry……………………………………….…………………………………………..……45 Memorials………………………………………………..……………………………...………………46 Christian Debutante—Master Commission (CDMC) ……………………….........…………… 47 MSWAWO+PKs…………….……………………………………………………………………..…48-49

2 CLASS Leader…………...…...……….....…..……………………………………….…….……..……50 Chaplain Service…………...…...……….....…..…………………………………………....……51-52 Ministerial Efficiency……………………………………...……………………………...……………53

3 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2024 Committee Name: Judicial Committee Chair: Reverend Judy M. Richardson, Presiding Elder Members: The Reverends Lebbie L. Ligon, Arthur Raven, James Louden III, Beatrice O. Coleman, and Julius Johnson

To be reported live during the Piedmont Annual Conference.

4 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Triers of Appeals Chair: Reverend Dr. Derrick Scott, Presiding Elder

Members: The Reverends: Roland E. D. Signam, Sandra Smith, Adam China, and Cornell Richardson, Jr. Report:

To be reported live during the Piedmont Annual Conference.

5 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Conference Trustees Chair: Presiding The Right Reverend Samuel L. Green, Sr. Members: Presiding Elder Judy M. Richardson, Presiding Elder Dr. Derrick Scott; The Reverends: James E. Speed, Sr., Adam L. China, Roland E.D. Sigman,

James Louden, III, Reginald C. Morton, Julius Johnson, Cornell Richardson, Jr., Paul Wharton, Carroll Wells, Jr. Brothers: Roger Richburg, John Merrill, Sr., and Kenneth Brownlee Sisters: Renae Frazier, Yvonne Goodwin, Pauline Thomas, Kimberly Chamberlain, Roberta Gray, Lusylvia Glover, and Roberta Weathers Report:

We, the members of the Piedmont Conference Trustees, present no one appeared before the Board. Respectfully submitted, The Piedmont Conference Trustees

6 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont South Carolina Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Deeds, Abstracts, Abandoned Property Chair: Presiding Elders: Rev. Judy M. Richardson, Rev. Dr. Derrick Scott Members: Reverends: Paul N. Wharton, George Oliver, Carroll Wells, Jr., Clifford Jackson, Barry Leverette Brothers: James Tisdale, Willie M. Fant, James Finley Sisters: Victoria Anderson, Thelma Woods, Tessie Singleton, Thedora Williams The Properties are: 1-8 (We visited each available property this Conference Year!) 1. Mt. Pleasant A.M.E. Church Property Abbeville County (Calhoun Falls, South Carolina) off Island Ford Road 1.37 Acres – Last appraisal December 1987 (Property solidified) 2. Clear Springs A.M.E. Church Property Abbeville County (Highway 20) 3.6 acres –Deeded 1851 and 1990 (Property solidified) 3. Pleasant Grove Property (NO RECORD currently) Abbeville, South Carolina (Mt. Carmel) 4. Mt. Lebanon A.M.E. Church Property Greenwood County (Arabian Road) 3 ½ acres – Deeded 1897 and 1905 (Property solidified) 5. Piedmont Conference (Allen University) Property Greenwood County (Cokesbury, South Carolina) 228 Allen University Rd. 2 acres and a lot – Deeded 1989 (Property solidified) 6. Mt. Zion AME Property (Property solidified) 3.05 Acres Joanna, South Carolina. (Kinard’s, SC 29355) 7. Walnut Grove AME Property Laurens, South Carolina (County) Estimated @ 2Acres (Property solidified) 8. Bethel AME Church (Property solidified) .99Acre Laurens, South Carolina

7 Recommendations: Pastor and the Board of Trustees elected by the local church take actions to ensure all properties are deeded correctly, with the following words “HELD IN TRUST” for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Respectfully submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Deeds, Abstracts, Abandoned Property

8 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Incorporation of Church Property Chair: Reverend George H. Oliver Members: The Reverends Clifford Jackson, Annette Edwards, Billy Cleveland; Brothers: John Merrill, Sr., Bernard Wideman; Sisters: Patricia Yeldell, Barbara Tolbert, Caroline Chiles, and Iris Davis We, the members of the Committee on Incorporation of Church Property of the Piedmont Annual Conference, conferred with the Presiding Elders of the Piedmont Annual Conference (the Reverend Judy M. Richardson and the Reverend Dr. Derrick Scott) concerning the Incorporation of Church Properties within the Annual Conference. We are pleased to present the following report:

All churches in the Piedmont Conference are Incorporated properly.

Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Incorporation of Church Property

9 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Missions, Circuits, and Stations Chair: Reverend Beatrice O. Coleman Members:

The Reverends Arthur Raven, Corey Moss, Cornell Richardson, Jr., James Louden, III, Harold Chapman, Katherine Allen, Betty Martin; Brothers: David Gaskins, Johnnie Carter, Michael Williams; Sisters: Joyce Tinch, Roberta Weathers, Brenda Tolbert, Diedre Moore, and Theodora Williams

Report: As reported by the Reverend Judy M. Richardson, Presiding Elder of the Greenville District, no changes have been made. There are no proposed changes for the Greenville District.

The Reverend Dr. Derrick Scott, Presiding Elder of the Abbeville-Greenwood District, submitted the request for Brown-oh AME Church to become a circuit church, with Mt. Hebron AME Church. Both churches are located in the town of Calhoun Falls, in Abbeville County. Both churches are in agreement with becoming a circuit, with Brown-oh having worship service on the first and third Sundays and Mt. Hebron having worship service on the second and fourth Sundays.

The committee recommends that the request for Brown-oh and Mt. Hebron AME churches to become a circuit be granted and be known as the Brown-oh-Mt. Hebron Circuit.

Respectfully submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Missions, Circuits, and Stations

10 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Presiding Elders Salary and Upkeep Chair: Reverend James E. Speed, Sr., and Reverend Adam China Members: Reverends: Jennifer Brown, Julius M. Johnson, Roland E.D. Sigman, James Louden, III, Sandra M. Smith, Carroll Wells Jr., Clifford Jackson; Brothers: Bro. John Merrill, Sr., Kenneth Brownlee, Roberta Weathers; Sisters: Carmella Powell, Jenell Ryan, Roberta Weathers, Teresa Griffin, and Charlene Louden Report: The Greenville District met on Saturday March 21 th 2023 at 7pm via conference call. The recommendation was no salary or upkeep increase for the 2023/2024 Annual Conference year. The Abbeville/Greenwood District met at Mt Zion Promised Land AME Church March 17th & 18th 2023. The recommendation of the Abbeville Greenwood District was no salary and upkeep increase for the 2023/2024 Annual Conference year. The recommendation of the Piedmont Conference committee on Presiding Elder Salary & Upkeep is no salary and upkeep increase for the Annual Conference year 2023/2024

Respectfully submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Presiding Elders Salary and Upkeep

11 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Annuity and Investments Chair: Reverend James E. Louden, III Members: The Reverends James Louden, III, Michael Young, Andrew Jones, Gregory E. Singleton, Pamela Aiken and Treakevious Lyons; Brothers: Donald Moss, Herbert McAllister; Sisters: Mona Rogers, Ruth McCullough, Margie Olewunne, Victoria Anderson, and Pasty Floyd. Report We, the members of the Committee on Annuity and Investments, conferred with the Presiding Elders of the Piedmont Annual Conference, the Reverend Judy M. Richardson, and the Reverend Dr. Derrick Scott, concerning the Pastors’ participation in the Annuity and Investment program within the Annual Conference. The inquiry revealed that each eligible Pastor of the Greenville District is officially enrolled and contributes at least an equivalent of 12% of their annual salary into the annuity and investment program. The inquiry also revealed that each eligible Pastor in the Abbeville-Greenwood District contributes at least 12% of their annual salary into the annuity and investment program. We conclude that the Piedmont Annual Conference is in compliance with The Doctrine and Discipline of the A.M.E. Church. Recommendations: 1. We recommend that we remain in compliance with the Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 2. We also recommend that participants are encouraged to increase their contributions to their annuity.

Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Annuity and Investments Committee

12 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Classification of Pastors Chair: Reverend Gregory E. Singleton Members: Reverends: Patrick Mellerson, Melton Aiken, Katherine Allen, Reginald Morton, Franklin Pruitt, Jr. We the members of the Committee on the Classification of Pastors (now called “Classification of Itinerant Elders”) request leave to make our report; Pursuant to the Book of Discipline (2021 – pages 152 & 153) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Itinerant Elders of the Piedmont Annual Conference of the 7th District are classified as follows: Definitions: Class A: Full-time pastors having traveled eight (8) consecutive years; and any ordained elder holding a degree from a college or seminary and shall have traveled at least one year as a full-time pastor. Full-time pastors are itinerant elders who wholly and solely give of their time and talents to the pastoral duties without any other work, professional or common, that interferes with or prevents the performance of the regular ministerial duties of a pastor as negotiated between the pastor and the Board of Stewards. Class B: Itinerants elders having traveled for four (4) consecutive years as full-time pastors. Class C: Full-time pastors who are itinerant elders in the AME Church. Class D: Full-time pastors who have not been ordained itinerant elders. Class E: Part-time ministers. Classifications: Class A: 2 Presiding Elders + 19 Pastors = 21 (Greenville = 8, Abbeville-Greenwood = 11) {10 possess the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree} Class E: 12 (Greenville = 6, Abbeville-Greenwood = 6) {11 possess the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree}

13 Recommendations: 1. Full time pastors should make every attempt to maintain regular office hours. In the very least all pastors should inform their members when they are available to be contacted. 2. Full and Part time pastors should make every attempt to engage the respective city and county government councils and officials in our communities with and on behalf of our congregations. 3. It is imperative that every pastor recognize how vital the upcoming election cycles are. We must engage the members of our churches and communities by organizing Registration and Get-Out-Vote events to ensure that persons will be elected that will seek to protect and expand the rights all people deserve. BACKUP DATA

Greenville District 1. P.E. Judy M Richardson – Full Time 2. James E Speed, Sr.- Full Time, Allen Temple 3. Roland E.D Sigman - Full Time, Poplar Spring 4. Melton Aiken - Full Time, Mt. Zion-Hodges 5. Cornell Richardson, Jr - Full Time, Kings Chapel 6. Arthur Raven – Full Time, New Bethel 7. Sandra M. Smith –Full Time, Mt Vernon 8. Carrie Samuel – Full Time, Mt. Olive 9. Pamela Aiken – Full Time, Mt. Horeb 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Clifford Jackson – Part-Time, Bethel Reginald Morton - Part-Time, Mt. Lebanon Carroll Wells Jr. – Part Time, Friendship Barry Leverette – Part Time, Smyrna James Brownlee – Part Time, Bethlehem Gregory E. Singleton – Part-Time, Pine Grove-Hodges

Abbeville-Greenwood District 1. P.E. Derrick Scott –Full Time 2. Adam L. China – Full Time, Flat Rock 3. James Louden III – Full Time, Mt. Zion Promised Land 4. Paul N. Wharton – Full Time, Shiloh 5. Julius M. Johnson – Full Time, Long Cane 6. John W. Paul Sr. - Full Time, Weston Chapel 7. Jennifer G. Brown – Full-Time, Cypress Chapel 8. Lebbie L. Ligon - Full Time, Pine Grove-Plumb Branch 9. Andrew Jones - Full Time, Shady Grove 10. Beatrice O. Coleman – Full Time, Little Zion 11. Katherine B. Allen – Full Time, Jacob Chapel



Anthony Dunlap III – Full Time, Mt. Sinai

13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Patrick B. Mellerson—Part Time, glovers Franklin Pruitt, Jr.—Part-Time, St. James Deidrick L. Smith—Part-Time, St. Peter Mary R. Thomas—Part-Time, St. Paul George H. Oliver—Part-Time, Zion Chapel Leatrice A. Thomas—Part-Time, St. John & Grace Chapel

Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Classification of Pastors

15 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Social Action Chair: Reverend Carroll Wells, Jr. Members: Reverends: Annette Edwards, Reginald C. Morton, JoAnne McIntosh, Efrem Zeigler, Pearly Goodwin, Melody Morton; Sisters: Shirley Jefferson, Vanessa Pressley, Karla Carpenter, Gladys Long, Johnnie Thompson, Rose Sutton, Renae Kinard-Suber Brothers: Emanuel Sellers, John Merrill Sr., Herbert McAlister, Jimmie Hurley Report We, the members of the Committee on Social Action of the Piedmont Annual Conference of South Carolina, desire to make our report. As the Conference Committee, we stand to report now more than ever before, that the work must continue in these United States and the Global Community. The prevailing reality of our society is that we now more than ever as a Church and people, need to speak truth to power. In light of the overwhelming disparities in healthcare in these United States, we are aware these disparities affect racial minorities, especially African Americans. We are aware of the intentional systemic system of structure, policies, practices, and norms which assigns value and determines opportunity based on the way people look or the color of their skin. We deem this blatant display of racism negatively affects the mental and physical health of millions of people, preventing them from attaining their highest level of health, which consequently affects the health of our nation. The data show that racial and ethnic minority groups, throughout the United States, experience higher rates of illness and death across a wide range of health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma, and heart disease, when compared to their White counterparts. Additionally, the life expectancy of non-Hispanic/Black Americans is four years lower than that of White Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic, and its disproportionate impact among racial and ethnic minority populations is another glaring example of these enduring health disparities. Recommendations We strongly recommend each local church activate their local Social Action ministry within their church and surrounding neighborhood. Local churches, along with health care agencies, must sponsor forums, seminars and discussion groups to educate the congregation and community. To build a healthier America for all, we must confront the systems and policies that have resulted in the generational injustice that has given rise to racial and ethnic health inequities.

16 We must insist our local and national CDC lead in the effort, both in the work they do on behalf of the nation’s health and the work they do internally as an organization. Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Committee on Social Action

17 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Church Growth and Development Chair. Reverend Paul N. Wharton Members: Reverends: Barry Leverette, Krystal Bryant, James Brownlee, Beverly Weaver, Ricardo Herriott Brother: Bernard Wideman Sisters: Edna Richardson, Carolyn Simmons, Roberta Weathers Report: Acts 6 opens with tremendous growth in the church and a lack of personnel to handle the growth. The problem was settled. Deacons did what they were supposed to do. Pastors did what they were supposed to do. God did what He was supposed to do. “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7). Church growth requires all hands-on deck. If only the pastor and a few families are dedicated to the process, it is a difficult, uphill climb. No matter how established your church is, if you want to see fast results, you need to develop a spirit that is more like a church plant. Having a mission statement is important. It allows the community to gather around a common goal and vision. It is important that your mission statement makes growth a priority and naturally facilitates the church’s goal and vision. Most growing churches encourage simple, growth-focused visions like “Come see the church—go be the church” or “Love God, love others, serve many.” This makes the mission easy to remember, understand, and rally around. Saying “NO” deserves to be highlighted as its own strategy. Your church has a limited amount of energy. If that energy is wasted on things that are not in line with the church’s ultimate mission, vision, and goals, it cannot be helpful in ways that will help you reach your goals. Church growth is a natural by-product of learning to say yes to the right opportunities and no to the wrong ones. The church’s role in the lives of children is one of its biggest draws. People who have lost touch with the Church in their teens have children and find themselves wanting the church to have an impact on their children. Even people who have never stepped foot in a church often find themselves thinking about making it part of their lives. If you want to appeal to young families who are re-thinking church, you don’t want to appear haphazard and disorganized. You want them to feel confident in your ability to love and minister to their children.


One of the greatest hungers of the human heart is to experience true belonging. This is why Jesus holds up Christian love as the proof that we are His disciples (John 13:35), and why His last priestly prayer is focused on our unity (John 17). When people see true community, they are drawn to it. Recommendations: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Make the decision to grow. Create a simple mission statement that makes church growth a priority. Say “NO” to programs that distract from your overall strategy. Pour energy into your children and youth ministries. Set meaningful priorities for church growth.

Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Church Growth and Development Committee

19 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Church Planting Chair: Roland E. D. Sigman; Presiding Elders: Derrick Scott, Judy M. Richardson Reverends: Deidrick Smith, James E. Speed, Sr., Douglas Belcher, Michael Young, James Brownlee, Joseph Cade; Brothers: Bernard Wideman, Herbert McAlister Sisters: Kimberly Chamberlain, Edna Richardson, Joyce Floyd, Carolyn Simon, Yvonne Goodwin, and Belinda Young Report Church planting is the process of creating new local Christian churches and is a pillar for spiritual outreach and community growth around the globe. While traditional methodologies emphasize interpersonal connections, door-to-door evangelism, and public gatherings, we now stand at a crucial crossroads where digital platforms dramatically reshape the approach to ecclesiastical expansion. Traditional planting methods yield tangible benefits, mainly through nurturing close-knit communities, fostering personal mentorship, and instilling a robust communal identity. Nonetheless, reliance solely on these methods can limit the church's ability to adapt to modern societal shifts. Conversely, digital platforms offer innovative avenues for widespread evangelism. These platforms present opportunities to transcend geographical boundaries, enable 24/7 availability of religious services, and appeal to digitally inclined Millennials and Generation Z groups. Yet, the absence of personal touch can potentially compromise the depth of interpersonal relationships integral to spiritual growth. Embracing both traditional and digital platforms offers a comprehensive approach to church planting. This balanced integration enhances reach while preserving core values promoting a vibrant, inclusive, and growing church community. Recommendations: 1. Incorporate Hybrid Services: Combine in-person services with live-streamed options to extend reach. This dual approach acknowledges traditional values while accommodating digital advancements. 2. Virtual Community Building: Use social media and online forums for meaningful engagement while prioritizing real-world meetups to reinforce relationships.

20 3. Contextualized Digital Evangelism: Utilize digital platforms for outreach, but ensure the messages resonate with the cultural and social contexts of the intended audience. 4. Technological Empowerment: Equip church members with digital literacy. The success of digital initiatives depends mainly on the congregation's adeptness in navigating these platforms. 5. Holistic Pastoral Care: Implement digital solutions such as video calls or messaging for pastoral care that is not limited by physical constraints while maintaining the essence of personal touch. Respectfully Submitted, The Committee on Church Planting

21 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: State of the Church Chairs: Reverend Lebbie Lee Ligon Members: Reverends Corey A. E. Moss, JoAnne McIntosh, Anthony Dunlap, III, Ricardo Herriott; Brothers David Gaskins, Herbert McAlister, Edmond Wright; Sisters Clara Sanders, Shirley Mullings, Iris Davis, Martha Belton, Victoria Anderson, Patricia Yeldell, and Joyce Floyd Report: On May 6, 1936, Bishop Reverdy C. Ransom delivered a sermon at the 30th Session of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church. His theme was "The Church That Shall Survive," referencing Exodus 14:15: "And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." Bishop Ransom stated, "We have splendidly stood the test... We are alive and functioning." He referred to the challenges faced after four years of the Depression. Today, as we navigate a pandemic and an endemic, we can echo this sentiment. Despite recurring challenges, the Church remains resilient, active, and forward-moving. In a September 26, 2023, article titled "COVID-19 Hit Black Churches Harder, but They Weathered It Better," research from the Arbor Research Group and ChurchSalary revealed that Black congregations, although hit harder, demonstrated greater unity in adhering to pandemic health measures and lower closure rates compared to other racial groups. However, like most churches, Black congregations also experienced a decline in in-person attendance and contributions. We reached out to conference congregations to assess their response to recommendations over the past two years.: Here are the results: 1. Class Leader System: Enhanced membership information updates, improved contact, and increased fellowship. Class Leader Assistants were introduced, facilitating better communication and fund collection. 2. Evangelism and Community Outreach: Conducted Evangelism Days, community giveaways, and supported mobile pantries and food distributions. Served as a community resource, aiding seniors, providing information, and distributing health items and new books. Collaboration with other ministries and churches was increased. 3. Technology: Embraced a blend of in-person and virtual worship experiences, upgrading IT equipment and enhancing online presence. Monetary support was given to media workers. Online giving, banking, and electronic record keeping were introduced. Many participated in training sessions on ZOOM usage.

22 We remain a resilient church, committed to the mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Ransom's words still resonate: "God changeth not, but the methods by which His servants meet changing conditions must keep pace." We make the following recommendations: 1. Conduct regular self-assessments, seek help from other congregations, seek resources, and inquire of the community of issues and needs of which the church may assist. 2. Engage youth in technology planning and provide ongoing training. 3. Utilize existing AME Church resources for learning and growth. 4. Find creative ways to share the love of Christ such as key chains and digital options. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference State of the Church Committee

23 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: State of the Country Chairs: Reverend Roland E. D. Sigman Members: Reverends Wesley Pinkett, James E. Speed, Sr., Leatrice Annette Thomas, James Brownlee, Emmanuel Donaldson, James Curenton Brother: DeAutra Lee, Kenneth Brownlee, Robert Byrd; Sisters: Charlene Reeder, Elaine Williams, Kimberly Chamberlain, Taurus Aiken, Yvonne Goodwin, Pasty Floyd, Roberta Weathers, Renae Suber-Kinard, and Tessie Singleton Report: The state of the country is a complex and ever-changing one. In recent years, we have seen several challenges, including rising inequality, political polarization, and climate change. The dignity, respect, and equality for all hard-working citizens have become some of the most critical points of contention in America today. One of the most pressing issues facing our country is educational inequality. There has been a growing divide regarding educational opportunities between the rich and the poor in recent years. This is partly because public schools are funded by local property taxes, meaning children from wealthier families can access better schools than children from poorer families. This disparity is only exacerbated by the fact that many states have cut funding for public education and redirected the funds to charter schools. Furthermore, controversial book bans are plaguing many states across the country. Such bans put the objective exchange of ideas at risk and hinder our youth's analytical skills development. Another major issue facing our country is the need for a living wage. A living wage is defined as the hourly wage that is necessary to cover basic living expenses. In 2023, the living wage in the United States is $ 16.58 per hour for a single adult and $ 27.75 per hour for a family of two adults and two children. However, the federal minimum wage is only $ 7.25 per hour. This means that millions of workers are struggling to make ends meet. The living wage issue is a glaring inequality in our society today. Despite their dedication and commitment to work, millions of hardworking Americans need help to afford basic needs. Women and children's health is another critical issue facing our country. In recent years, we have seen several challenges to women's reproductive health, including the passage of restrictive abortion laws in many states. Additionally, we have seen a decline in the number of women who receive preventive care, such as mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. Policing and mass incarceration have become contentious issues in our country. In recent years, we have seen several high-profile cases of police brutality and misconduct. Additionally, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people of color incarcerated in the United States.

24 Voting rights remain a critical issue facing our country. The right to vote, a fundamental democratic right, has been attacked. In recent years, we have seen several efforts to suppress voter turnout, particularly among minority voters. This is due in part to the passage of restrictive voter ID laws and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

Recommendations 1. Advocate for policies that promote educational equity, such as increased funding for public education, addressing book bans, and support for community-based education programs. 2. Engage policymakers and officials in discussions surrounding wages and advocate for legislation that protects workers' rights and supports a living wage for all workers. 3. Sponsor community, district, or conference health seminars by setting up pop-up clinics. This will raise awareness about children's, women's, and family health issues while providing essential accessible resources. 4. Organize platforms where members of the community and law enforcement agencies can engage in constructive dialogue, work to reform the criminal justice and promote peaceful coexistence. 5. Advocate for policies that protect voting rights while mobilizing congregation and community through voter education, ensuring each person is registered to vote and understands their voting rights. The AME church has a long history of working for social justice. The church has been at the forefront of the fight for all forms of human rights. The church can continue to play a vital role in addressing our country's challenges today. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference State of the Country Committee

25 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Temperance Committee Chair: Rev. Franklin Pruitt, Jr. Reverends: Michael Young, Carroll Wells, Jr., Pearly Goodwin, Barry Leverette Brothers: DeAutra Lee, Johnnie Carter, Jimmie Hurley, Herbert McAllister, Roger Duncan; Sisters: Shirley Jefferson, Mattie Gordon, Janice Siebert, Tessie Singleton, Roberta Gray, Carmella Powell Report: The Greek word “temperance” means self-control, self-restrain and selfdiscipline. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). The virtue of temperance is an acquired habit that regulates, according to reason and faith, the attraction to pleasure by the senses, particularly the attraction toward food and sexual pleasure. God gave us the ability for such things as eating and put pleasure around it because it is necessary. Temperence is an important virtue because food, drink, and sex, if desired improperly, can be sources of disruption, corruption, misery, and ill being both to the intemperate or weak-willed person and to others in his or her social world; but if properly loved and pursed, they can be sources of joy and wellbeing. Paul describes biblical temperance in 1 Corinthians 9:27: “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” Even Paul knew the power of the flesh to topple his ministry, so he refused his flesh what it craved in order to develop strength of character. Today’s news headlines often remind us of the folly of attempting Christian ministry without temperance. When a Christian leader falls, it is almost always due to a lack of self-control and personal discipline. The opposite of temperance is self-indulgence. When we develop lazy attitudes in some areas, that laziness tends to spread to other areas as well. By contrast, when we keep ourselves under control physically, mentally, and spiritually, we are prepared for greater effectiveness in our mission to represent Christ well (Matthew 28:19–20; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Recommendations: Today, with the prevalence of health problems, temperance is part of God’s message to the world. And Christians should live self-controlled, healthy lives, so much so that they should be known to the world by their “moderation” in all things. They are to remember that they are bought by the blood of Christ, and it is their duty to keep their bodies in the best possible condition. For their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. He who knows the pleasure of communion with

26 God will not allow his mental and spiritual faculties to be weakened by indulgence in any activity or thing, Paul wrote, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1-2). Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Temperance

27 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Christian Education Chairs: Rev. James E. Speed, Sr. Members: Reverends: Adam China, Carroll Wells Jr., Marilyn Galbreath, James Brownlee, JoAnne McIntosh; Brothers: John Merrill, Sr., James Finley, Roger Richburg; Sisters: Kathelene Belcher, Renee Suber Kinard, Brenda Tolbert, Mary Tolbert, Charlene Reeder, Carmella Powell, and Charlene Louden Report: Christian Education is the church’s vehicle to foster life-long learning and discipleship. Jesus taught his disciples and commanded them to do likewise. The “present age” demands different methods; however, the objectives are the same-evangelize, educate and equip. Since the onset of the pandemic, the faith of believers have been put to the test and, forced us to develop innovative ways to stay spiritually connected. Changes were required even when they were not welcomed! Church School, time and mode of worship services and other meetings were altered. We embraced the “new normal” with the desire to move forward. Just as worship service has changed, Christian Education can no longer be contained to our four walls and religious affiliations! We must embrace technology to serve the present age our calling to fulfill. We have a charge to keep and a God to glorify! In accordance with words of the hymn, A Charge to Keep and the Great Commission, the Christian Education Committee makes the following recommendations: • That every local church uses social medial platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Zoom to connect with believers that are outside of the local city, state, or even the country. • Develop interactive and engaging Bible Study and church school lessons. • Partner with CED directors from other churches in the district to develop activities focuse on educating, and equipping others for the work of the kingdom. • Develop creative ways to serve the needs of the community outside of the traditional four walls of the local church building. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Christian Education Committee

28 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Family Life Chair: Rev. John W. Paul, Sr. Members: Reverends: Rev. Sandra Smith, Rev. Annette Edwards, Rev. Jacqueline Aiken, Rev. Beverly Weaver, Bro. DeAutra Lee, Sr., Bro. Floyd Nelson, Bro Donald Moss, Sis. Eunice Turman, Sis. Bernadine Sheard, Sis. Ethelene Belcher, Sis. Jenell Ryan, Sis. Mattie D. Jackson, Sis. Kimberly Chamberlain, Sis. Mona Rogers Report During these most faith challenging times of our lifetime, each family inside the body of Christ is experiencing extreme, enigmatical forms of corporate worship. Whether the form of worship is in-person, virtual, or hybrid, families are being Divinely persuaded to spiritually commune with each other in an anomalous fashion and increase in a greater knowledge of the LORD. While most families are in the convenience of their homes hearkening to the Word virtually, confusion in this land is at an all-time high. We colloquially state the passage, “God is not the author of confusion,” yet the irony is, the author needs a publisher, that’s God. Covid-19 is inducing confusion in every element of life from which the family receives instructions. There’s confusion in all denominations, academic systems, political systems, medical systems, media systems, and so on. Yet, without confusion, there will be no revelation of grace. If God is revealing extended grace to you and your family through all the confusion, what are you doing with it? Grace is a gift from God that no one can obtain on their own, (Ephesians 2:8-9). During the flood narrative in chapters 6-9 of Genesis, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8).” Along with Noah was his wife, his three sons, and his three daughters-in-law; they were obviously in position to be recipients of God’s gift, extended grace. When a family member of a household receives a gift from someone, typically the giftee begins to feel the presence of gratitude surfacing within. It is a natural reaction to be grateful for a gift but a supernatural reaction to retain the desire to give back. In the body of Christ, each family member can align themselves to receive more grace and continue to give back. When we hear the phrase, “give back,” it is unfortunate that we immediately presume one is speaking of money. There is something more valuable than money, the name of Jesus. “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold (Proverbs 22:1).” The grace that is upon every family in this pandemic should be used to give back to the Lord, by hearing and spreading the gospel of Jesus and striving to let, “Thy will be done.”

29 Noah was planted in the will of the Lord and followed the Lord’s instructions. Noah and his family socially distanced themselves by staying in the ark, the only place where the Word was given. The Lord’s grace covered and protected Noah and his family, like wearing masks can cover and protect us and others when we are among the crowds. Even though the scriptures provide limited chronicles inside the ark, Noah continued to use his grace by listening to the will of the Lord and direct his family in the God’s will. When the family is in the will of the Lord, the family is giving back to the Lord. Every opportunity we are given to hear the Lord’s voice, that’s grace. Every opportunity we are given to hear the Lord’s voice, we possess the knowledge of the Lord and Jesus, and our grace and peace is multiplied (2 Peter 1:2).” God is not extending His grace to the family during this pandemic, so we can give back mammon (Matthew 6:24); the Lord is extending His grace to the family so we can give back our hearts by hearing the most valuable source in all creation, the Word, Jesus Christ. Suggestions 1. Develop A Family Prayer each Sunday at Family Sunday dinners. 2. Choose one day of the week for a family Bible Study 3. Choose one day from the end of each week Friday or Saturday to have a Family fun Night and Dinner (Bible Trivia Games. Bible Word Puzzles, and Bible Board Games}. 4. Establish traditions, values, and goals together. 5. Work on effective communication skills and connect with distant family members. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Family Life

30 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Lay Activities Chairs: Brother James B. Tisdale, Jr. Members: Brothers: Bruce L. Moore, Sr., Jody Harkness, Amos Wells,Jr., Larry Morris, Donald Moss, Frankie Jones; Sisters: Mary McCier, Jacqueline Goggins, Teresa Griffin, Ella Stroud, Lavonne Holloway, Frances Washington, Olar Barksdale, and Ann Marie Smith Report: The Piedmont Conference Lay Organization and the Districts Lay Organization held bi-monthly business meeting and training sessions this Conference year. The Conference alternating with the Districts Lay Organization. The local church lay organization were asked to meet monthly. We held our Annual Lay Rededication and Combined Lay Day Worship Experiences. These worship experiences were in-person, broadcasted via zoom and tele-conference call. Both were Inspirational and Spirit Filled. We also gave four mission churches $500.00 each. The 2023 Annual Brenda H. Curry Lay Shop was held virtually in March. The theme for the Lay shop was “Refocusing, Trusting God and Being Calm”. The Lay Shop was well attended and informative. We sent representatives to the SED Lay Retreat, SED Lay Convention and the 38 th CLO Biennial Convention. During the Lay Retreat JTW Mims Allen Little Stars parade of Talent Program and the SED Lay Convention Madame Seventh pageant we had Districts representations. The districts gave either scholarships or supported after school programs. Recommendations: 1. We recommend that the Seventh Episcopal District continue developing networks for the purpose of continuing and improving communication between the churches, components, and members in the Episcopal District. 2. Based on the geographical layout of our Conference and the fact that a lot of our component meetings and functions are held at night, with mostly females traveling without male accompaniment, we are also recommending that the Virtual (ZOOM, etc.)/Tele-Conference call platform be used as much as possible for the safety of our church members.

31 3. As COVID-19 continues to be an issue and with an increase in the number of cases lately with new variants, we are recommending that persons who have not been vaccinated especially our younger generation to get vaccinated. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Lay Activities

32 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Women’s Missionary Society Chair: Sister Belinda C. Adams Women’s Missionary Society Conference Committee Report Rev. Cornell Richardson, Jr. Sisters: Belinda C. Adams-Chairperson, Twanna Scott, Veronna Stoddard, Macie Charlene Reeder, Evelyn Wardlaw, Bessie Williams, Brenda Foster, Pecolia Garrett, Adriann Williams, Victoria Anderson, Lilla Ray, Gwendolyn Alexander, Teresa Griffin, Elestine Norman, Sabrina Conner, Roberta Weathers, Chiquita Morris, Betty Dowdy, Mary E. Brown, Janie Aiken, Mary McCier, Margaret Wilson, Elizabeth Ann Hallums, Lusylvia Glover. Report: “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praises shall continually be in my mouth”. Can I tell you why we always bless the Lord? The 13 Life Members, 37 Torchlighters and the over 200 members including the Mighty Men of Missions of the Precious Piedmont Conference WMS recognize He is our El Shaddai, He is our Jehovah Rapha and He is our Jehovah Jireh, just to name a few. His name is sweeter than honey and there is power in His name! As we entered post pandemic, our theme for this 2022-2023 Conference year is: “Missionaries: Maintaining our momentum as we fulfill the mission – Ain’t no stopping us now”, scripture reference Philippians 3:13-14, for we know God has not brought us this far to leave us. As we offer praises and thanksgiving to God, let me share with you a few of our blessings: • We continue caring for the sick, providing for the homeless through our “Share the Warmth project” and assisting others in need by providing meals, transportation to/from medical appointment, running errands, providing housekeeping chores, provided Church School lessons/Bible study. We continue to support our children in Haiti and Brazil through Compassion • We donated over 400 pounds of snacks, t-shirts, children’s clothing and socks to the McCormick County Detention Center and Laurens County Department of Services. • We continue to share Connectional and Episcopal projects and programs through Conference and Area Meetings, phone calls, emails and Zoom meetings. • We had representation at the Seventh Episcopal District Post Conference; representation at the Connectional Quadrennial Convention in Orlando, FL; representation at the 30th Annual SED WMS Retreat held in Myrtle Beach, SC with our own Sister Margaret Jenkins placing first runner up in the SAM Queen Contest, representation at the SED God First Holy Convocation, the Christian Education Leadership and Youth Congress – Aspire 2023 and the Episcopal District YPD Retreat.

33 We donated 75 boxed fans to the Salvation Army, Community Long Term Care, GLEAAMS, and Waterford Apartments for seniors. • We continue to focus on Gun Violence Prevention Awareness through Moms Demand Action. WMS Members bring awareness to this movement for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence through flyers being distributed in the churches and community, posting on social media, and wearing orange. • Moms in Prayer: Through leadership from the Episcopal, Conference and Area, members of the Piedmont Conference WMS have developed 17 prayer groups as we pray for our children’s safety in school, the faculty and administration and we held our first Prayer Breakfast featuring SC Prayer Coordinator. Recommendations: • To continue to communicate and expound on programs, projects, policies from the Connectional and Episcopal levels (Angel Tree Project, Compassion International, Food Banks, Allen University). • To enhance, identify, develop, and expand outreach ministries and programs of service that respond in faith to issues affecting families/communities, e.g., eradicate childhood hunger, improve health and education and inequality. (Connectional Sustainable Development Goals) • To continue to solicit more group memberships for the Moms in Prayer initiative. Prayer changes things. • To continue to promote gun violence awareness through Moms Demand Action. • To provide for membership, to nurture, mentor and strengthen the bonds of Christian sisterhood in the Piedmont Conference WMS and YPD Organizations. •

My Sisters and Brothers in Missions, with God directing our paths, we maintained our momentum, addressing the tasks at hand, ain’t no stopping us now! After all, we are the Piedmont!

Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Women’s Missionary Society

34 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Young People’s and Children’s Division Chair: Veronna G. Stoddard Members: Shirley Jefferson, Cynthia Wideman, Area directors; Elaine Kennedy, Sis Mary Wideman, Kimberly Chamberlain, Sabrina Conner, Chiquitta Morris, Local directors; Sis. Cassie Singleton, Amania Steward, Bro. Jalyn Long, and Tyron Pahn, International, Episcopal, and Conference YPD officers. Report Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Isaiah 43:18 “Moving Forward” Goals and Objectives:

To unleash the potential leadership of our youth. Develop skills in youth’s knowledge in Black History. To help develop youth with a giving heart. To educate and teach the history of the AME Church. Accomplishments: The Piedmont Conference YPDers continue to participate in-person and virtual meetings. To continue their mission outreach, Piedmont Conference YPDers worked food pantries, volunteered in mentoring programs. Piedmont Conference YPD developed exciting spiritual impact moments. Each program opened opportunities in faith readiness. Conference officers conducted games on Know Your Church, Bible Trivia, and Black history. MLK Day of Service The Piedmont Conference YPD Day of Service began with the Allen Stars participating in the Martin Luther King parade. The young adults helped with senior’s yard work, cleaned homes, and shopped for groceries. SOUPER BOWL of CARING The youth of the Piedmont collected over 415 nonperishable items and monetary donations totaling $1,417.00. The donations were distributed to Backpack Ministries, Safe Home, Meals on Wheels, Harvest Food, Bridge the Gap, paid a student's overdue school lunch bill, and helped a family that lost their home to a fire.

35 The SED YPD Retreat The Piedmont youth from 2 to 26 were excited to attend our in-person Seventh Episcopal District Annual YPD Retreat “RENAISSANCE”: The Reawakening on March 3-5, 2023. The in-person retreat gave us a weekend of dynamic speakers, fun activities and our officers worked hard with the executive board on retreat activities. Saturday night’s talent: Sanya Niles, Arnaisyah Gray, Zarikia McCoullough, and Alliyah Marine from St James AME Church, Abbeville with a glorious song and a beautiful praise dance. Mt. Zion, McCormick, St. James, Abbeville and Mt. Zion, Promise Land received awards on retreat attendance. The SED YPD Retreat Graduation Our high school graduates were Bro. Oliver Robinson, Greater Trinity, Spartanburg, SC and OPDer Bro. Jatavius Coleman, Shady Grove, Abbeville, SC. Self Denial The Piedmont Conference Allen Stars artistic expressions and musical expression of “clean hands” accepting the call when it comes.

Bailey Bethel Kaziah J Harrison 7 Aria M. Harrison 9 Achaiah Harrison 11 Aspire 2023 The Long Cane Praise Dance team and fashion show participants from Long Cane AME, Abbeville, SC praised the Lord in dance and fashion. Our Middle school basketball team couldn’t wait to show off their skills. With Piedmont pride and youthful talent, the Piedmont Conference middle school basketball team played hard during the two-day event. International YPD Leadership Quadrennial Convention The Piedmont Conference YPDers attended the Connectional YPD Quadrennial Convention in Orlando, Florida. The youth attending as delegates were Jalyn Long, Cassie Singleton, Faith Miller, Alicia Parks, and Mekhi Young. Our observers Kylie Robinson, Jalen Brown, Micah Mills, and Cohen Long participated in general sessions, Growing Green Globally, Spelling Bee Bible Bowl and the Allen Academy. We celebrate OPDer Jatavius Coleman as he enters a new chapter with faith and the blessings of Christian life. The Piedmont Conference YPD wants

36 to congratulate our new International YPD Financial Secretary Cassie M. Singleton. Annual YPD Meeting The Piedmont Conference YPD annual meeting awards were presented to school and sports Achievers and the Rev. Beatrice Coleman Summer Summer Reading Awards. The election for new officers was held and the Area Directors gave their end of the year reports:

Rev. Beatrice O. Coleman Summer Reading We learn through books we can travel and follow our passions and dreams. Each youth received a gift card for school supplies. Our young adults attending college received a gas card. Summary of Additional Accomplishments/ Participations: ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

PME YPD authors YPD Gazette Academic Achievers and Reading awards Tour of Benjamin Mays Museum Outreach to Women’s Missionary Life Members and Torchlighters Donations to the Viking Early College Donations to the CB Arts Foundation

The Young People's and Children's Division makes the following recommendations: 1. 2. 3.

To continue to grow spiritually. To enjoy our mission work as we serve others. Study the Bible, AME Church, and Black history.

Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Young People's and Children's Division

37 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Sons of Allen Chair: Reverend Melton Aiken Members: Rev. John Booker, Brothers: Kelly Brownlee, James Finley, Charles Hunter, Sammy Drennon, Jody Harkness, and Frankie Jones Report: The Sons of Allen of the Piedmont Annual Conference greet our Presiding Bishop, Bishop Samuel L. Green, Supervisor, Sister Phyllis N. Green, Presiding Elder Judy Richardson, Elder Derrick Scott and all leadership levels of the Sons Of Allen. The Sons Of Allen has continued to do kingdom building work in our conference. Both districts have done outreach ministry to help those in need. We have created programs that has help engage men in fellowship with one another. Our goal is to continue to engage our men and young men in ministry. This year the Greenville District SOA ➢ We sponsor a program to help one of our smaller churches Mt. Olive Donalds to replace their ceiling that had fallen in. We raised about 3,700.00 to help with this project. ➢ We made a Christmas donation to a single parent for two dollars and two donations to two senior citizens for one hundred dollars each. ➢ We had our Back-to-School Supply give away. ➢ We gave a seven hundred dollars scholarship to a young man in our district to further his educational goals. ➢ We supported our Sons of Allen’s brothers who were in hospital. ➢ We had our Annual One Night Revival, which was very successful. The Abbeville/ Greenwood District SOA ➢ In May they had their One Night Revival at Shiloh AME Church. ➢ In July they celebrated their 24th singing anniversary, it was a blessed event with great singing. ➢ They had their Annual Golf Tournament at the Hickory Knob State Park. ➢ They continue to visit the sick and shut-in members of the Sons of Allen and those in their communities. ➢ They visit the Nursing Homes and homes of individuals. We simply asked that you pray for the Piedmont Conference Sons of Allen Ministry, that we may continue the work of kingdom building in this part of God’s vineyard. Recommendation: 1. Continue to engage churches to have ACTIVE Sons Of Allen in their local churches. 2. Develop new project to enhance the Sons of Allen Ministry.

38 3. Continue our community outreach programs. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Sons of Allen

39 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Women In Ministry Chair: Reverend Dr. Aungeto Sigman Members: Presiding Elder Judy Richardson; The Reverends Jacqueline Aiken; Pamela Aiken; Katherine Allen; Jennifer Brown; JoAnn Burton; Krystal Bryant; Natasha Calhoun; Marlene Calloway; Annette Edwards; Mary Elmore-Thomas; Marilynn Galbreath; Pearly Goodwin; Sallie Joe; Lebbie Ligon; Betty Martin; JoAnne McIntosh; Carnetta Morton; Melody Morton; Beulah Reagins; Leatrice Annette Thomas; Eddie Lee Thompson; Helen Washington; Beverly Weaver; and Sarah Williams. Report: By the grace of God, the Piedmont Conference Women in Ministry (WIM) had a productive year fulfilling the mission to serve, to encourage, and to support the work of women in Christian ministry. The Piedmont Conference WIM continued with the theme, “I Am My Sister’s Keeper”. We committed ourselves to being more intentional in our support and encouragement for one another. We are thankful to be able to continue to provide a love offering to both the WIM and Associates who were ill, hospitalized, or had medical procedures. Our Christmas gathering allowed us to celebrate our Jarena Lee recipient, Reverend Carrie Samuel, who has been a trailblazer for decades in the Piedmont Conference. From December to May, we were blessed to celebrate with two members of the Piedmont Conference WIM who earned certificates or degrees. o o

Sister Iguana Goodwin, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Columbia College Rev. Betty Martin, Master of Divinity Degree, Dickerson-Green Theological Seminary

Recognizing the power of prayer, we have remained faithful to our monthly prayer call for the Piedmont Conference WIM. We have gathered in prayer on the first day of each month since February 2020 at 6:00 AM to pray for our ministries, families, churches, leadership, the state, and country. For the third year, we hosted our weekly Lenten services and the 7 Last Sayings on Zoom with participation and support from Presiding Elders Rev. Judy Richardson and Rev. Dr. Derrick Scott, WIM, Associate members, and laity. Our work extended beyond the Piedmont Conference as we supported the ministry of the Seventh Episcopal District WIM, including an offering for Allen University. We ended the year with a Denim, Pearls, and Praise Celebration.

40 Recommendations: 1. Increase opportunities for fellowship, unity, and encouragement for the Women in Ministry. 2. Encourage women who are in ministry to be active participants in the Women in Ministry. 3. Support and aid the Women in Ministry pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. 4. Select Women in Ministry, who have served at least 5 years, to mentor women appointed to their first pastoral assignment. 5. Continually encourage the increase in and the active participation of associate membership. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Women In Ministry

41 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Young Adult Ministry Chair: Members: Reverends Michael Young, Ricardo Herriott, Joann McIntosh, Cory A.E. McIntosh, Beverly Weaver: Brothers: Emmanuel Sellers, Michael Williams, DeAutra Lee, Cory McIntosh; Sisters: Lusylvia Glover, Contessa Tate, Taurus Aiken, Dawn Mills, Dawn Evans, Amy Aiken, and Whitney Nicholson Report: As we survey the landscape of African Methodism throughout the 7 th Episcopal District, it has become increasingly clear that young adults ages 21-39 are looking to establish their place within the church. Though there has been progress in the efforts to engage young adults within the life of the church, these efforts have not been enough to propel meaningful change in the current absence and involvement of young adults. As time advances onward, still yet we hold on to hope that God is opening doors to shift this reality to move our Zion forward. Issues and concerns raised by the young adults across the conference are as follows: -



Lack of opportunity for involvement within organizations and overall church experiences o Young adults have testified of moments when their voices have been silenced, their abilities and ideas disregarded, and their presence unappreciated. Lack of practical teaching and development of life skills o Young adults have expressed the absence of teaching and development that goes beyond the walls of the church and can be helpful in all aspects of life. Organization Gaps & Placement Insecurity o Young adults experience feelings of limbo as the days of the YPDers end amid their search for a place to serve and grow in the church; as well as, in Christ.

Though numerous topics have been discussed, these were the most common suggestions received from young adults. With this information gathered, the Young Adult Ministry of the Piedmont Conference plans to act through the following recommendations: 1. Recruit and organize the young adults of the Piedmont Annual Conference to begin the process of creating a consistent presence in the church at the Local, Area, Conference, Episcopal, and Connectional levels.

42 2. Advocate for the inclusion and election of young adults within church organizations, ministries, and leadership on all levels 3. Create intentional ministries that promote life skill development, intentional and effective evangelism, and effective leadership training. As we end this conference year, the Young Adult Ministry/RAYAC of the Piedmont Conference aims to become more active and intentional in its efforts to support our young adults. In doing so, we call upon all young adults to get up and become engaged with what God is doing in the present age. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Young Adult Ministry

43 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Church School Chair. Ms. Carmella Powell Members: Reverends: James Brownlee, George Oliver, Leatrice A. Thomas, Pamela Aiken, Eunice Turman; Brothers: Kenneth Brownlee, Donald Moss, Robert Duncan, Douglas Robinson; Sisters: Doris Hunter, Johnnie Thompson, and Deidre Moore Report: Church School is one of many vital tools that we use for evangelism in the local church. From our youth class, we were taught the catechism which is, “A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians.” Many of the hymns, Bible verses, and church etiquette were taught in Church School. Dedicated, Spirit-filled, creative, and God-fearing teachers who dearly loved children were those who were recruited to teach the youth classes. As times continue to change, our ways of doing Church School must also evolve and adapt, if we want to effectively reach the younger generation of today and point students of all ages to Christ. Teachers, more than ever, must have a hunger and thirst for knowledge, and use technology when preparing and teaching lessons. Teachers who are not computer literate can seek assistance from their children or grandchildren who have extensive computer skills. A high percentage of churches have resumed holding Church School within the church building, although some are still using platforms like Zoom, Live Streaming, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms, to allow all teachers to keep Church School alive. In accordance with the fact that Church School is a vital tool for church evangelism, the Church School Committee recommends that each local church: Recommendations: 1. Recruit dedicated, spirit-filled teachers with a passion for teaching God’s Word. 2. Pastors and laity continue to vocalize the importance of Church School, as a necessary tool for the spiritual growth of the church. 3. Use conference calls, Zoom, and other technology to engage multigenerations. 4. Enroll Church School teachers in virtual conferences, workshops, etc., to help them feel comfortable using technology. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Church School

44 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Prison Ministry Chair: Rev. Jennifer G. Brown Members: Reverends: Gregory Singleton, Billy Cleveland, Jacqueline Aiken, James Curenton, Jamesetta Smith, Anthony Dunlap, III; Brothers: Robert Byrd, Roger Richburg; Sisters: Gladys Long, Mattie Gordon, Janice Sibert, and Theodora Williams Report: The churches of the Piedmont Annual Conference continue to engage in and develop prison ministries that adhere to the fulfillment of the will of Jesus Christ while performing the mission of our church. This conference year we seized the opportunity to: • • • • •

Provide Christmas lunch to the Leath Correctional Institution for Women, in Greenwood SC. Reading glasses were also provided on another occasion. Partner with other ministries (i.e.) Finding Me, Women of Worth, in an ongoing project of providing and donating gently used clothing and shoes for inmates upon their release from the facility. Send cards, books, and letters to inmates in other SC prison facilities. Provide church services to a local jail every 2 nd Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with 10-15 inmates in attendance. Three of the inmates were baptized during the last 4 months. Several members and pastors were in attendance of a press conference held in Greenwood, SC, for the pardoning of a member of one of our local AME churches.

RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Congregations continue to provide support for our brothers and sisters who are housed in the correctional institutions. 2. Continue to go to the imprisoned to reach our population that is beyond the walls of our churches, by way of Bible study and inspiration. Get necessary paperwork completed to become volunteers to keep this happening. 3. Partner with programs that adhere to the needs of children of incarcerated parents during various times of the year (i.e.) Christmas, back to school. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Prison Ministry

45 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Hospital Ministry Chair: Rev. Clifford Jackson Members: Rev. Marilynn Galbreath, Rev. Barry Leverette, Rev. Beatrice O. Coleman, Rev. Harold Chapman, Bro. David Gaskins, Bro. John Merrill, Sr., Bro. Bernard Wideman, Sis. Roberta Weathers, Sis. Clara Carpenter, Sis. Janell Ryan, Sis. Diane Anderson, Sis. Belinda Young, Sis. Pauline Thomas, and Sis. Teresa Griffin Report: The Hospital Ministry calls for us to go into institutions of healing where we minister to the physical, emotional, and mental needs of our congregants and communities. When we go to the hospital to visit a congregant, we are following in the footsteps of Jesus, who spent much of His time ministering to the sick. Visitors should check with facilities regarding their policies and procedures, before visiting, and follow all of the safety guidelines for the protection of patients, staff, and visitors and at a time agreed upon by the patient and family. Visits should be short; no longer than fifteen minutes Special training should be provided to clergy and congregations to address appropriate ways of interacting with terminally ill patients and their families. It is imperative that the visitor(s) be especially sensitive to the feelings, emotions, and wishes of the patient and family. There are times when clergy will need to assist in potentially volatile situations among family members, as well as circumstances where difficult end-of-life decisions must be made. Prayer is one of our greatest tools. We should not assume that everyone wants prayer. We should politely ask if we could pray with patients and respect their wishes. While we are called to serve, we are also called to listen. Listening allows the patient/member to express his/her fears, concerns, and wishes, and it helps us understand who and where they are, as we seek to provide comfort and encouragement. Often, it is spiritual healing that the patient needs most. When visiting the hospital patient, we must realize that we are one of the most important members of the healing team. Recommendations: 1. Establish relationships between the medical profession, clergy, and congregation. 2. Provide workshops on hospital visitation, as well as other healthcare facilities. 3. Encourage the pursuit of the Chaplaincy Ministry and participation with various healthcare volunteer organizations. Respectfully Submitted The Piedmont Annual Conference Hospital Ministry

46 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Memorials Chair: Reverend Reginald C. Morton Members: Reverends Lebbie L. Ligon, Alicia Smith, Arthur Raven, Julius Crawford, Melody Morton, Wesley Pinkett; Brothers: Herbert McAlister; Sisters: Edna Richardson, Carolyn Chiles, Kimberly Chamberlain, and Diane Anderson

Report: During this past conference year, our Heavenly Father has extended His grace and mercies unto us by allowing the death angel to pass over the pastors and ministers of the Piedmont South Carolina Annual Conference. However, we would like to remember Reverend Thelma Carter, Local Deacon of the Greenville District who have been called from labor to reward. She represented us well in our conference. May we thank God for her many years of dedicated service. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. May we now pause for a moment of silence to thank God for His comfort and peace.

Recommendation: We offer a motion for the adoption of this Memorial Report and that a copy is placed in the official records of the 113 th Session of the Piedmont South Carolina Annual Conference. Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Memorials

47 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Christian Debutante – Master Commission (CDMC) Chair: Whitney Nicolson Members: Rev Reginald Morton, Cheryl Pinckney, Carmella Powell, & Rev. Carnetta Morton Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Report: Bishop Samuel L. Green Sr. and Supervisor Phyllis N. Green, thank you for allowing us to serve as Commissioner and Associate Commissioner for the Piedmont Conference. We praise God each day for His faithfulness, unconditional love, grace, and mercy. We offer a special thanks to our Presiding Elders, Area and Local Commissioners, parents, grandparents, and guardians for your commitment to CDMC. Praise God for what He has done through all of us in meeting all requirements and deadlines. The Piedmont Conference Christian Debutante-Master Commission introduces young people to Christian society and celebrates their transition to adulthood. We present the following highlights for 2023. • • •

Three beautiful young ladies will be presented in the 2023 CDMC Class. Debutantes have shared in community service projects while meeting the needs of others by donating items to the local Food Bank. We shared in a virtual space in seminars of various topics.

Recommendations: • • • • •

Each local church promotes the celebration of youth throughout the conference year. We recommend positive peer pressure modeled while conducting ministries of the church. Encourage all Churches and organizations to support the CDMC ministry. Continue to be intentional in exposing our youth to Christian principles, ideas and values. That our youth host and sponsor an anti-violence campaign within our communities for open dialogue between clergy and law enforcement.

Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference CDMC Commissioner/Associate Commissioner

48 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: MSWAWO+Pks Chair: Reverend Carnette S. Morton Members: Piedmont Conference M-SWAWO+Pks Report: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:18, 35 NASB) Greetings to the Piedmont Annual Conference, another year and Covid isstill around. Glory and honor to Our God, so are w e! With God's help, we have endured and persevered these distressing times. During Covid, we have seen what we can do. Our organization believes Philippians 3:14 KJV that says, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." So even though this virus has lingered, our attitude and actions toward Covid is to ignore and press on. We are determined to mirror the quote of August Wilson that says: ''Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone's disbelief." Our goal is to trust God no matter what! The Clergy Families of the Precious Piedmont continue to support our Spouses. Advances in technology has allowed us to be creative, communicate, and stay connected in ways we could not have imagined in prior years. We have utilized conference calls, Zoom, texts, emails, and Google Duo, just to name a few. After Annual Conference in October 2022, many of the spouses headed to Florence,SC for our Post-Planning Meeting in November.Our members haveembraced their new President, and wearealternating our monthly Zoom meetings between business and spiritual meetings. During our spiritual meetings, we are fortunate to discuss the bookentitled: Life Behind the Veil (Meditation Guide for ClergySpouses) authored by our own dynamic Supervisor Dr. Phyllis N. Green. We are happy to announce new pastors, spouses, and families are being added to our organization. Congratulations to the two summer newlyweds: Revs. Mary and Jesse Thomas and Rev. and Mrs. Efrem Zeigler. We welcomed and embraced the two spouses with open and loving arms. Both laughter and fun were shared by all whoattended theAnnual SED M-SWAWO + PKs Retreat in Black Mountain, NC. We were afforded the privilege of meeting and taking photos with actress and great storyteller Mrs. Karen Abercrombie. In July, during the YPD-WMSQuadrennial Convention in Orlando, Florida, one of our PKs, Miss Cassie Singleton, was elected as the Connectional/International YPD Financial Secretary. She is the daughter of proud parents, Rev. Gregory and Mary Singleton. What a mighty God weserve! Our Spouses and PKs are continuing to attend various meetings and activities on all levels.

49 While in Greenville, SC, at Aspire 2023, the Spouses had an opportunity toshare a fellowship meal with fellow M-SWAWO members at S & S Cafeteria. Our year ended with fun and fellowship at our "Annual Gathering." Our spouses really amazed themselves with our four-day Double Good Popcorn Fundraiser. We had 277 supporters and were able to generate some funds for our treasury, which will allow us to encourage and support our clergy families. Our chain was broken with two spouses transitioning.Our dearly beloved Sister Pauline P. Wilson, who served as Gap Coordinator forSED and Piedmont Conference, as well as newmember and newly elected Financial Secretary of the Piedmont Conference, Sister Patrice Bryant China. Both will truly be missed by all who knew and loved them. Thank you, Bishop Sam and Supervisor Dr. Phyllis for your leadership and encouragement as we continue to support and uplift each other, we pray for God's strength when we get tired, His patience, when we need it, and His guidance to do ministry that is pleasing in His sight. The Piedmont Conference MSWAWO+PKs will continue to support our Spouses in building and uplifting the work of God's Kingdom and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. RECOMMENDATIONS • Encourage and engage in new ideas for virtual and in-person participation. • Increase membership and malespouse participation. • More inclusive events with our retired and widowed spouses. • Workshops addressing stress and other relevant subjects (mental, physical, psychological, etc.). • New Spouses/Seasoned Spouses discussions and outings. • Implement more Community and Outreach Activities. • Continue to pray for strength, peace, and endurance as we love, respect, teach, and learn from eachotheron this Christian journey. Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference M-SWAWO+Pks

50 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont (SC) Annual Conference Date: November 2-4 2023 Committee Name: Class Leaders Chair: Sister Victoria Anderson Members: Reverends: Michael Young, Paul N. Wharton Sisters: Victoria Anderson, and Jackie Rapp Report: With the staggering emergence of “cash apps”, one may be led to believe that Class leaders are no longer necessary in the church. Cash apps have become prominent fixtures and play a major role in the church today. They provide a method to send, spend, save and invest money. They can be downloaded at the touch of a screen. These are just “money managers” and are not to be used to replace Class Leaders who are “people assets”. These are great enhancements to assist in the ministry of the class leaders. Ephesians 4:12 defines class leader responsibilities as : For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Class leaders are responsible for many roles all within one play. Among the laity, the class leader ministry is one of the most important areas of service in the AME church. Class leaders serve as liaison between the laity and clergy. Duties include but are not limited to; meeting with members of the class on a regular basis, inquire how each soul prospers, visit with members from time to time, accept support for the Gospel and watch and train probationers for a 90 day period. Leaders are expected to report to the pastor/official board those who are sick and those who walk disorderly. Class leaders should keep the pastor informed of hospitalizations, sickness and deaths. Technology and advanced methods of communications continues to evolve daily. While we must embrace and keep pace with technology, we must not allow texts and emails to replace the personal relationship of the class leader, but must be used in conjunction with it. The class leader should exhibit commitment and concern for all members of the class. This can only be achieved by preparation for the task, passion for the cause and PRAYER for guidance. The class leader must be willing to be taught and willing to teach others as they strive to serve man and God. Recommendations 1. Continue to strengthen the Class leader system with regular training sessions 2. Increase visibility of the class leaders 3. Class leaders show a genuine concern and care for the members Respectfully Submitted, The Piedmont Annual Conference Class Leaders

51 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Chaplain Service Chaplain: Rev. Sarah E. Williams Philippians 1:6—"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." I began my employment with the Southern Nevada Healthcare System on February 13, 2023, in North Las Vegas, NV, as a Chaplain. I minister to Veterans in the Northeast, serving the homeless population. I also served Veterans at the Northwest Primary Care Clinic. I conduct an Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse group for Veterans at the VA Medical Center once a month, teaching whole health and Spirituality. I have received the THRIVE training to become a Spirituality Whole Health Instructor. Other ministries I participated in include the Annual Veteran Memorial Service, Blessing of the Hands, and Blessing of the Clinics. I participated in special services, including Advent Services, Worship Services, Spirituality Group, and Worship Services for Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit, and other services recognizing religious holidays. I continue to serve Veterans, their families, and staff members through individual counseling by providing emotional/spiritual support and bereavement counseling. I have conducted memorial services for Veterans and staff members. As a chaplain, I continue to provide bereavement support to families during on-call rotation. I conducted New Employee Orientation bi-monthly in the Chief of Chaplains' absence. In addition, I was the Chaplain representative during various Executive Leadership Team and administrative meetings in the Chief of Chaplains' absence, i.e., Morning Devotional, Morning Mess Meeting, and High-Reliability Organization Meeting. Recently, I assisted with coordinating and participating in Spiritual Care Week, October 22-28, 2023. I was instrumental in finalizing the setup of the Chaplain Display Case in the Hospital Atrium to educate Veterans, families, and staff about Chaplain Services and the service we provide. I remain faithful in contributing to my local church, Fairview AME Church, Clinton, South Carolina, by attending worship online when possible and financially. Through worship and finances, I supported the AME and Baptist Churches in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have contributed through online attendance and financial support for the Seventh Episcopal District. I maintained contact with my Presiding Elder, Reverend Judy M. Richardson, and attended at least one Quarterly Conference at my local church. I maintain good and regular standing with the Piedmont Conference Women in Ministry. I remain an active member of the Henry McNeil Turner Chaplains Association, The South Carolina Society of Chaplains, the National Association of Certified Chaplains (Lifetime Membership), and the Spiritual Care Association. I completed an additional Clinical

52 Pastoral Education Residency. I achieved my goal of becoming a Board-Certified Chaplain specializing in Hospice and Palliative Care. I maintain my educational hours for board certification and Social Work license. I retained my Ecclesiastical Endorsement from Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath, Endorsing Agent. I continue to stay abreast of the racial injustice in my community and surrounding communities and educate persons individually and collectively about the importance of exercising our voting rights, especially in light of the threat of our history being removed from the schools. In addition, I served on the Library Committee to develop plans for a new library in the Clinton community. Thank you, Bishop Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr., for your continued leadership, guidance, training, and support provided to me during my ministry in the Seventh Episcopal District. In addition, thank you, Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath, Endorsing Agent, for your continued leadership, guidance, and endorsement as chaplain in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Humbly submitted, Reverend Sarah E. Williams Reverend Sarah E. Williams, MDiv, APBCC-HPC, LMSW Chaplain, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Piedmont South Carolina Annual Conference, Greenville District Cc: Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath, Endorsing Agent Ms. Renae Frazier, Conference Secretary

53 Name of Annual Conference: Piedmont Annual Conference Date: November 2-4, 2023 Committee Name: Ministerial Efficiency Chair: Rev. James E. Speed, Sr. Members: Rev. Jennifer G. Brown, Rev. Gregory E. Singleton, Paul Wharton, Pamela Aiken Report:

To be reported live during the Piedmont Annual Conference.

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