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God’s Got It! Turning a Hindrance into a Testimony 4PAGE 24

One80 Teen Ministry: Back in Stride Again �PAGE 34

1000 Served by Mt. Zion’s MLK Day of Service Projects

Keeping Spring in Your Love Thing

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From the Pastor’s Pen ............................... 3 An Evening of Elegance at the Vinoy ...... 4 First Annual Family Conference ............. 8 Pastor, Louis Murphy, Sr., Senior Pastor

Administrative Team

K. Bernard Parrot, Valerie Ellis, Dea. William Fitts, Brenda Williams, Thelma McCloud, Tracy Darity, Christina Brown


Advertising Sales: Donza Drummond Cover Photography: Tameka Hubbard Designers: Faith Armstrong, P. Evans Writers: Tracy L. Darity, Patti Paganelli, Ortaega Rutledge, Gwen Maloy, Kim Hickman, Rachel Moore Special thanks to the Renaissance Vinoy

Mount Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church 955 20th Street S., St. Petersburg, FL

(727) 894-4311


1000 Served by Mt. Zions MLK Day of Service Projects . ............... 12 Blessed Trinity . ......................................... 16 MPAC Names New Music Director .......................................... 21 Mt Zion Christian Academy’s Elizabeth Brown Honored with Govenor’s Shine Award ......................................................... 22


God’s Got It: Turning a Hindrance into a Testimony . ................................................. 24 Keeping Spring in Your Love Thing .......................................................... 29 Couples Use Social Media to Connect ...................................................................... 31 Generation Restored ................................ 32 One80 Teen Ministry: Back in Stride Again ...................................................................... 34 Reaching Across the Bay Mt. Zion Answers Call From a Community in Crisis ......... 36 Professional Spotlight - Kentaya Beeler ...................................................................... 38 Employee Spotlight - Christina Brown ...................................................................... 39 Take Action to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes ...................................................................... 41 Just Us Three...Jesus, the Kids & Me ........................................................... 42 Ministries at a Glance .............................. 46

Greetings Mt. Zionites; Spring is here and 2014 has gotten off to an amazing start. We opened the new year with the series God’s New Thing, and followed up in February with The Life of a Dreamer. I believe that God placed these series in my heart because he is preparing to do a new thing in all of our lives as we press forward in manifesting the vision he has already shown us here at Mt. Zion. I am even more excited about the messages for March and April when we will study the Miracles of the Messiah, as we move towards the observance of Resurrection Sunday. This year we will host a Sunrise Service at Lassing Park and I hope you and your family will come out and lift our Savior up in praise & worship. During the season of Lent, it is my prayer that each of you make a conscious decision to become more active in ministry and attend Bible Study on a regular basis. I cannot stress enough how important it is to the life of this ministry for each and everyone to become active participants in what God is doing through us. As we move forward in 2014 plan to join us in various ministry related activities. Our Youth Ministry will host Springfest in April, and in May we will celebrate my 15th year as your shepherd. We have a line-up of dynamic speakers for the month of May, and we will also have our annual church picnic on May 17th. Mt. Zion my enthusiasm for what God is doing, is vast. I look back and think of where He has brought us and I am so excited about the possibilities of where he is going to take us. On the horizon, we will reignite the vision, with the Vision 300 Series. He is working in our favor, but we must first plant the seed that will produce the great harvest. God will do a new and awesome thing at Mt. Zion if we all get involved and stay committed. May the blessings and favor of God continue to rest upon you and your family.

Your Servant,

Rev. Louis M. Murphy Sr. Senior Pastor P rogressive I mpact • 3 • Spring 2014

Pastor Louis M. Murphy, Sr. and his daughter Chiriga

Behind The Scenes: The 85th Anniversary Banquet A Message from Thelma McCloud…

The Vinoy was an elegant back drop to celebrate our rich and dynamic history in our city of St. Petersburg. It was beautiful to see our membership and friends ‘decked to the nines’ in formal, festive attire while enjoying the jazz band. The evening was filled with celebrations of what Mt. Zion and its dynamic leadership accomplished through GOD’s grace and mercy. Although we recognized and honored our past during

most of the month of October, the church banquet was a look into the future and how we can bring our church vision to fruition. It was an evening filled with laughter, good food, and memorable moments like a dance floor with members doing the Wobble! Banquet Committee Rita Wesley Frechette Bradley Deacon Will Johnson Thelma McCloud

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n evening at the historic Renaissance Vinoy, located in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, provided the perfect setting for the grand finale of the 85th church anniversary celebrations in October. Members and friends, dressed in some of their finest attire, mingled in the reception area while enjoying appetizers, engaging in conversation, and taking time to pause for photo ops at the Photo Spot. Following the reception, the Honorable Representative Darryl Rouson opened the banquet by offering words of gratitude to the church family for being a vibrant part of this community for 85 years.

one ‘parrot joke’ to the next, during her routine. No one was off limits including Pastor Murphy.

Musical entertainment was provided by the jazz band, CG2. Their featured saxophonist made his way throughout the crowd serenading guests as he

About three hundred Mt. Zion family and friends joined the festivities that included personal reflections, comedy, musical entertainment and dancing. Yes, church folks know how to enjoy themselves! Rhonda Carter was one of those in attendance and shared that she really enjoyed the evening and thought the Vinoy was a nice place to host the banquet. On program was Carolyn Cloud, who presented her personal Church History Reflections that spanned over three generations at Mt. Zion Progressive. Carolyn shared memories of growing up in the church from her childhood, watching her parents in church leadership, and now watching her own children in the church.

Christian Comedian Lynette Hardy, a local comedian, caused the room to roar with laughter as she moved from P rogressive I mpact • 5 • Spring 2014

performed popular tunes. “It was great. The music and fellowship was enjoyable,” said member Chiquita Jackson.

The Evening of Elegance at the Vinoy concluded with dancing to the sounds of CG2.

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By Gwen Maloy


t. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church held its first Annual Family Conference September 4, 5 & 6, 2013. The “Picking Up the Pieces” conference attendees were blessed with messages from powerful, spirit-filled speakers and workshop leaders. Blessings continued to flow through music, song, dance and mime presentations provided by Mt. Zion’s MPAC ministry. Keynote speaker, Dr. Brenda Caldwell, who refers to herself as “Dr. B.”, kickedoff the Family Conference with her very

own powerful brand of teaching! Dr. B. engaged the congregation in “interactive audience participation” sessions in order to lead the audience into a deeper knowledge of underlying hindrances within the African American culture. In other words, conferees needed to experience deliverance from hindrances - known or unknown baggage - at the very outset of this conference in order to be free to move towards a deeper level of knowledge & understanding of who we are and who God is! Dr. B. gave us ‘advance notice’ that further explanation was on the way by affectionately saying “Now, break it down Dr. B!” P rogressive I mpact • 8 • Spring 2014

A major source of hindrance identified by Dr. B. is from our past history, slavery. She provided tremendous insight into how the Willie Lynch letter of 1712, written on how to control a slave, negatively impacted the lives of African slaves in America as well as their descendants over the past 300 years. Many slave masters enacted these guidelines and therefore the ‘slavery’ mindset has been passed on from generation to generation. Moving forward… African Americans can overcome the obstacles passed down from slavery by ending hatred within the community, by


the men becoming stronger spiritual leaders in their homes, by families breaking the ‘hold’ on their bloodlines by repentance, and by parents beginning to bless their own children from generation to generation. In addition, believe in your own neighborhoods as other nations do – the Jewish nation is a model for unity and a sound local economy. “God is ready to do a new thing in the African American community”, says Dr. B.

Youth Chapel where Rev. Shawn Thomas engaged them in dialog on how brokenness plays a pivotal role in their family lives, and ultimately impacts their interactions when they venture out to school and in social outings. He learned so much from the youth during their sessions that he hopes to bring Dr. B. in for a youth conference later this year.

Mt. Zion member, Timeka Walker, graced the audience in spoken word, by delivering a powerful piece she wrote, entitled Broken. The congregation was inspired as she spoke life into insightful words on the topics of brokenness and encouragement. The piece served as a reminder that Jesus died to make us whole again. In keeping with the conference theme, “Picking Up the Pieces”, the evening was jam-packed with inspiring messages from the workshop leaders during break-out sessions. Separate sessions were held for the Men, Women, and the Youth.

Dr. B. closed out the Thursday night session by introducing the audience to the Wall of Forgiveness. Attendees were asked to leave their seats to face the church walls inside the sanctuary and to cry out to the Lord to release any unforgiveness they may have been harboring against someone else – whether the person who caused the feelings of Unforgiveness was alive or not. Unforgiveness is a stronghold that creates bondage in our lives. Dr. B. challenged the audience to become “magnanimous” (pronounced mag-nan-i-mous) in terms of forgiving others which means to become extremely generous in forgiving others in order to free up yourselves from the bondage of carrying that weight in your own lives.

On the women’s side Judge Patrice Moore spoke on anger and Pastor Ayakao Watkins talked about unforgiveness. The men were blessed to have two commanding speakers in Pastor C. Williams and Rev. Joseph Chaney who delivered messages on broken relationships, and bitterness and anger, respectively.

Keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Manuel L. Sykes, closed out the final evening of the conference with a dynamic sermon entitled A Divine Do Over. Through personal testimony, Pastor Sykes reminded attendees that no matter what they have gone through, God can reset the clock with a divine do over! Pastor Sykes recounted staggering statistics of how people are willing to

The youth convened to the Mt. Zion P rogressive I mpact • 9 • Spring 2014

FAMILY CONFERENCE CON’T spend money trying to look good on the outside by undergoing cosmetic surgery or trying to feel good temporarily by using medicine or alcoholic drinks – yet, they still need to be fixed on the inside. Only God can fix the inside of a person and His gift of salvation will make him or her feel better internally.

God take you into the future to do a new thing in your life. When God changes us, the new thing changes our environment. God has planted a new DNA in your spirit to show you a highway and not just a road way.”

To illustrate a divine do over, Pastor Sykes painted this picture for the audience: “A person’s soul is a two-seater and you are the passenger. And, some of us can say that I’ve changed drivers! In other words, you have to let go of your past driver and let

In a Divine Do Over, everything that God promises you may not feel good, but the outcome will be good. God is breaking you up, so He can plant a seed to spring up into a new thing!

Truly the conference was a blessing and want to thank everyone that participated in putting this conference together. I pray that we can bring Dr.B back to do another conference with the Mt.Zion family! I believe what we witnessed was that there is “Power in the name of Jesus!” - Minister Audwin L.Scott, Associate Minister Mt.Zion Progressive. My comments: “From Prison to Palace” Genesis 40: 1-23 “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal.” Philippians 3:13-14 I’m grateful for my broken family. Thanks - Sis. Lucy Williams HE LIVES, HE LIVES, HE LIVES. WHOEVER GETS THIS EMAIL. JEREMIAH 29:11 - D..Jordan

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By Tracy L. Darity

any have heard the slogan, “A Day On, Not a Day Off.” However, it wasn’t until late 2012 that some in the St. Petersburg area learned its origin and true meaning.


until State Representative Darryl Rouson introduced legislation to fund service projects in his district, leading to the State allocating half a million dollars in funding.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was honored in 1983 when the third Monday of January was designated a federal holiday, in observance of the slain civil rights leader’s birthday (January 15th). A little over ten years later, Congress established the holiday as a national day of service.

St. Petersburg reaped the benefits of one-hundred thousand dollars in 2013, funding about fifty-five projects on King’s holiday. In 2014 overall funding for Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties reached one million dollars, with two-hundred thousand going to fund approximately seventy projects here in St. Pete.

The Corporation for National and Community Service was assigned the task of promoting the ideals of Dr. King through community activism that promotes unity in building a better world.

Although there is plenty to do on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, from our city’s famed national parade to several banquets, thousands of volunteers chose to spend the day giving back to the community. At Mt. Zion, we were blessed to have a total of four projects receive grants from the Day of Service funding. Combined, these ministries brought about effective change by impacting the lives of hundreds of individuals throughout the community.

Cities, mostly large metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, PA, have long observed the holiday as a day of service. Even in St, Petersburg several projects produced little recognition. That is,

“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964) P rogressive I mpact • 12 • Spring 2014

Mt. Zion Christian Academy, for the second consecutive year, received the Michelle Obama “Let’s Move” grant. Funding was provided to feed three hundred children a healthy breakfast. Afterwards participants engaged in group exercises. Energized and ready to keep moving, students of the academy boarded one of Mt. Zion’s three parade floats. Along the route the children demonstrated how easy it is to stay active with the use of hula-hoops and synchronized dance moves.

hygiene. Almost two hundred individuals who stopped by were treated to care bags containing toiletries, personal hygiene products and health literature. There was also face-painting, snacks and a DJ providing musical entertainment. This project would not have been such a huge success without the assistance of the Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network, Wellness Project of Tampa Bay, Susan G. Komen Florida Suncoast Affiliate, Luis Macias of State Farm Insurance and countless volunteers.

Our Christian Academy students were not the only ones on double duty. Mt. Zion’s Girl Scouts troop represented in the parade and afterwards headed over to All Children’s Hospital’s (ACH), Ronald McDonald House. Over four hundred family members of ACH patients were impacted by the service project. The twenty-five volunteers spent a total of seventy-five hours putting together gift bags that included educational toys, books and games, which were distributed to the families. They were given a tour and spent the remainder of their day playing with the siblings of ACH patients. No doubt, this service project is an experience the girls will remember for a lifetime.

If you are interested in doing a 2015 Day of Service project, the application process begins in September and is administered by St. Petersburg College, Hillsborough Community College and State College of Florida.

Mt. Zion’s College Prep 101 presented the “Preparing for Success Workshop.” The workshop was an extension of the regular college prep program that takes place on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Participants in grades sixth through twelfth attended three break-out sessions that dealt with public speaking, writing a high school resume’ and selling yourself in an interview. Volunteers ranged from college professors, an attorney and regular college prep support team leaders. The youth were pleasantly surprised when New York Giant and son of Mt. Zion, Louis Murphy, Jr., stopped in for an impromptu chat. Another big surprise for the participants came from nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Tom Joyner. His foundation gifted the project 100 copies of How to Prepare for College by Thomas LaVeist and Will LaVeist. Sistahs Surviving Breast Cancer (SSBC), an arm of Mt. Zion Human Services hosted “It’s a Family Affair: Wellness Festival.” SSBC partnered with several service organizations to provide breast and lung cancer awareness, and lessons on the importance of dental P rogressive I mpact • 13 • Spring 2014



After King’s death, United States Representative John Conyers (D) and United States Senator Edward Brooke (R) introduced a bill in Congress to make King’s birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition. Only two other people have national holidays in the United States honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus. At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill. It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994.

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By Ortaega Rutledge

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit: “one God in three persons.”

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Blessed Trinity Additionally, baptism is a form of purification and rebirth symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Candidates are fully immersed in water and “die” to an old way of life and emerge from the water to symbolize a new life unified with our Lord and Savior.


ell, meet three God-fearing women of Mt. Zion, Angel, Jewel and Ronnett. The story of these women and their rededication to Christ at the 2013 Seven x7 Revival leaves no doubt that God resides in each of them. Though these ladies were all baptized as children, they admit they didn’t understand its significance back then. Having recommitted in their adult years, they now share their accounts of this life-changing experience through spiritually, mature eyes. Angel Brown, is a two-year member of Mt. Zion and serves on the Family Touch Team and Single Moms Ministry. She attended the entire week of revival and was moved to sign up for baptism after recalling how the Lord had been dealing with her in the months prior to the revival. In February 2013, Brown suffered a multitude of unfortunate, back-to-back trials. A combination of job-related and family issues, financial burdens and hospitalization turned her world upside down. At one time, only believing in what she could see, Brown admitted to losing faith in God. Attempting to straighten out her life by living better, she began to pray. She prayed not only for the Lord to save her by filling her

with His Holy Spirit, but also for deliverance so that His spirit could manifest through her. Finding herself in a financial crisis and in need of $1100 during a crunch, God stepped in on time, giving Brown what she needed — and then some. “I even had $400 left over!” she shouted. In surrendering her burdens to the Lord, He resolved her problems. That experience was her BUT GOD moment. Brown describes her baptism as the most riveting and spirit-filled experience. It prompted a tremendous change in her life. By cutting out a lot of things, including some friends, she’s grown closer to God and her faith has been restored. “I love what I do now. I worship God totally and enjoy serving Him,” she said.

Deaconess Jewel Murphy, a member of Mt. Zion for over two decades, said that as a child she didn’t know the true meaning of baptism. But at age 49, she felt that going down into the water and coming up was symbolic of Jesus going to His grave and rising again. “Everything happens at God’s appointed time and He called me to do this last September,” Murphy said. Five years prior, she contemplated going to The Holy Land Experience, in Orlando for baptism but deviation took over and that plan never came to fruition. Looking back, she believes if she had gone then, the experience would not have had the same effect. As she made her way into the water, Murphy vividly remembers hearing Tamela Mann’s, “Take Me to the King” (a favorite song of hers and her grandson Elijah) playing in the background. She recalls the experience being very humbling and giving her such peace. P rogressive I mpact • 17 • Spring 2014

“I could not stop crying. I felt as if God had placed me in a bubble,” she explained. As she was submerged and then emerged from the water, she heard the voice of God telling her that He was about to elevate her in her ministry, marriage and everything she manages. “God manifested himself in my life not for me to blow up, but for Jesus to blow up in me for the ministries I serve (C.A.R.E. and Single Mothers),” she said. On a recent January morning, after leading the prayer call for Mt. Zion’s 21 Days of Prayer, Murphy’s husband, Rev. Keith Murphy, received a call the couple had been waiting on for some time. A kidney was available. The couple dropped everything and left for Pennsylvania, where he would undergo a successful transplant surgery. But God!

Blessed Trinity, cont’d Deaconess Ronnett Roberts, age 47, is a 25-year member who stays busy for Christ. Serving in the church choir, bookstore and an outreach ministry, there isn’t much she hasn’t seen.

business. We go through it in order to help someone else, and as Christians, our job is to share our testimony,” she said. Having put baptism off for two years, Roberts said this past revival came at just the right time. Almost straying from God’s love in the past when life got too tough, she vows never to let anything separate her from Him again.

“These church grounds have gone through a lot, and God is going to do a new thing in 2014. I feel it in my bones!” she laughed. Roberts said her “new thing” started when she was dipped in the water. That day was the first day of the rest of her life.

As she was led through the water, she kept looking back to make sure this was real. She recalls the water sparkling like diamonds, her body trembling and God telling her to hold on to His unchanging hand.

As a child, Roberts suffered from an incurable condition, Lymphedema (a blockage in the lymphatic system). She said doctors didn’t even expect her to live past 12, the age she was first baptized. But God had the last word. “I’ve turned 12 almost three times now,” she rejoiced.

“I stepped in and got chills. There was anointing in that water. I cried all the way in and all the way out,” Roberts said.

Roberts proudly professes God’s goodness and made a profound statement. “What we go through is not our business, it is God’s

After emerging, she couldn’t say anything but, “Thank you Jesus!”

By Tracy L. Darity

According to Jackson, the men banned together after experiencing blatant racism by the police force. “We were not allowed to arrest white people, instead we had to call a white officer, often placing our lives in danger” said Jackson.


n 1965, a time in history most noted for the Civil Rights Movement, twelve black police officers filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Petersburg. The federal suit claimed racial discrimination by the black officers. Although they would lose their initial lawsuit in a federal courtroom in Tampa, their perseverance would pay off three years later when a Florida appellate court reviewed their appeal. On Sunday, February 16th, as part of its Black History Month celebrations, Mt. Zion honored one of the three surviving “Courageous 12.” Leon Jackson was presented the Living Legend award by Reverend Louis Murphy, Sr., and Minister of Music, Dr. K. Bernard Parrott. The Mt. Zion congregation was in awe by the history lesson told by Jackson. Many of the invited family members and survivors of the men, who stood beside him almost fifty years ago, in their fight for equality, were also in attendance.

He went on to describe how black officers were only allowed to patrol black neighborhoods, were not taken serious when it came to promotions; and the cars the officers were given to drive were coded with a C followed by the car number. The C was an acronym for colored car. The Courageous 12 were Nathaniel Wooten, Horace Nero, Raymond DeLoach, Primus Killen, Jerry Styles, Johnnie Lewis, Robert Keys, Charles Holland, and James King. Surviving members are Adam Baker, Freddie Crawford and honoree, Leon Jackson. In 2007, the city awarded keys to the city to the Courageous 12 or surviving family members.

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By Tracy L. Darity

Thirty-four year-old Donald Brunson, like many musicians, got his start as a youngster playing for his childhood church. The married father of two daughters, first started out by trying to play the drums, but the piano would ultimately become his gift.


runson, who majored in music at the University of West Florida, in Pensacola, was hired as a musician at Mt. Zion a little over a year ago. It did not take long for Minister of Music, Dr. K. Bernard Parrott, to realize his leadership abilities. In November 2013, Brunson was named Director of Music, placing him second in command and director of the Mt. Zion’s Generation Restored Young Adult Choir. He considers it an honor to learn from someone of Dr. Parrott’s caliber. In 2013, the Generation Restored choir was formed to provide an up-tempo contemporary sound which is geared towards those eighteen to thirty-five years of age. However, Brunson does not want to restrict anyone who has the desire to serve and the talent to add to the group’s dynamics. He says he enjoys working with the choir because not only is it a fun group of people, but it also gives him

room to be diverse and grow an awesome ministry. His enthusiasm to work with others is evident. According to Brunson, “At Mt. Zion I see a broader aspect of music. We have dance arts, mime, choirs and the band. There is just so much more to learn (for myself) and to teach others.” As Pastor Murphy closes out the series, Life of a Dreamer, Brunson shares that in ten years he hopes to be a Minister of Music of a church…still leading people in worship freely and without pressure. When asked about his talent and love of music, Brunson likens himself to the character Devon Miles, played by actor Nick Cannon, in the movie Drumline. “I believe my passion (for music) comes from God…It’s just a God given talent,” he says, adding that he has been in church since he was a baby, growing up admiring church musicians. He cites

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successful gospel artist like John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton and Jason Nelson as sources of inspiration. He has had the privilege of working with gospel recording artists such as James Bignon, and Detrick Haddon of Preachers of LA. With Haddon, he was a member of the choir performing on the live recording of Together in Worship, featuring the Voices of Unity. Brunson and his wife Lateresa, have two daughters, Jamiia (15) and Amari (9). Outside of music, he enjoys rollerblading and supporting the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is a graduate of Gibbs High School, where he played baritone in the band and also ran track. Generation Restored Young Adult Choir is recruiting new members. If interested in joining, rehearsals are Tuesday evenings at 8:00 p.m. in the main sanctuary.

By Patty Paganelli

On September 24, 2013, the governor of Florida honored fifteen educators during a ceremony that recognized their success in cultivating strong parent-child partnerships that inspire classroom participation. Mt. Zion Christian Academy’s, Elizabeth Brown, was one of the recipients of the Governor’s Shine Award.


rown is a kindergarten teacher and coordinator of the parent-school partnership program. Her ability to relate to parents and students allows the school to foster rich learning experiences that prepare their students for a competitive and global society. P rogressive I mpact • 22 • Spring 2014

According to Governor Scott, “The foundation for any great state and thriving workforce begins in the classroom with educators and students. These educators help their students realize their dreams and develop pathways to success, which benefits families throughout the Sunshine State.”

“Oftentimes parents are not truly informed and have little to say about how their child learns,” she said. “This can be a gross detriment to the child, especially with African American families.” within her plan allows parents to be a deciding factor in the students learning strategy. She brings them to the decisionmaking table before there are any incorrect assessments, which can label a child as not having learning capabilities.

Brown’s innovative plan of collaborating with parents to solidify the success of their children’s education is noticeable in her tireless dedication to going above and beyond in making herself available to those she serves. She refers to it as “feeling the pulse” of her students and their families. By having a correlation of background history for each student, enhanced by insight in her teaching skillsets, she helps pave the pathway to success for each student.

“Oftentimes parents are not truly informed and have little to say about how their child learns,” she said. “This can be a gross detriment to the child, especially with African American families.”

Brown credits her grandmother, who is also her mentor, for spending extra time with her during her childhood to establish and cultivate a solid foundation. Brown is now ingraining those same lessons into her students. She lives by a simple philosophy, “All children have the potential to excel.”

Brown’s goals for the near future include becoming a reading specialist. She plans to continue to shine by building effective, meaningful relationships within the community and with parents in order to ensure the success of their children.

According to Brown, “It’s a delight to educate the children and parents so that both minds are in sync”. One of the points

This award is certain to be the first of many accolades to come to a woman and teacher who is operating in excellence.

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By Tracy L. Darity

“God’s Got This!” is a well-known mantra of Rev. Willie “Tub” Whiting. He has made the declaration from the pulpit of Mt. Zion Progressive on numerous occasions. He also uses it to encourage others in private conversations. But on a spring day in 2013 he would learn first-hand that God really does have it. In March of last year, Whiting thought he was struggling with a bad cold. However, the symptoms he was experiencing were actually warning signs of infection growing in his body. If not caught, he could have died. P rogressive I mpact • 24 • Spring 2014



hiting, a retired Marine and veteran of the Vietnam War, was diagnosed with diabetes twenty years ago. He believes that exposure to Agent Orange—herbicide used to kill foliage that enemy fighters used for cover—during his eighteen months of service in Vietnam, contributed to a form of the illness termed diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly causes pain, burning, tingling, and numbness of the feet and lower legs. Pain surging up Whiting’s left leg prompted him to go to the doctor. His podiatrist took x-rays, which highlighted a foreign object in his foot. Several attempts to remove the item were unsuccessful, and the doctor decided to send Whiting to the hospital. Before he gave his staff the final okay, the doctor decided to give it one more try. This time he was able to get the object out. A one and one-half inch piece of glass, which Whiting now keeps as a reminder, was lodged in his foot. Due to the peripheral neuropathy he has no idea how or when the glass got there. Whiting was prescribed antibiotics and told to stay off his foot so it could heal. A week later he wasn’t feeling better and a friend forced him to go to the emergency room. There, more xrays were taken, blood work was done, and stronger medicine prescribed. When the physician came in to give him the prognosis, it wasn’t good. They would need to amputate his foot. Believing that God would never leave nor forsake him, Whiting says a peaceful calm came over him, and his

“He was in bad shape emotionally and physically, he couldn’t even walk. He called his daughter, Monet, I just let him know he had to give it to and told her to get all of her siblings God,” says Whiting. together and let them know that, Upon his release, Whiting jumped “God’s got this!” After he hung-up the phone with her, he settled in for a right back into his day-to-day activities. He credits always being active, as good night’s sleep. a huge asset to his full recovery. “I Two days later, after the surgery was played offensive guard at Gibbs High completed, the surgeon acknowledged School and later at Lakewood High; that he had never seen a case so severe, followed by four and a half years in have such a positive outcome. Due to the military,” he begins. “After that I the amount of damage, the initial plan worked in jobs that required me to be to remove only the foot was changed, physically fit.” and the left leg was amputated below Two physical therapy sessions the knee. every day and his unwavering faith got him out of a wheelchair and fitted “I asked God for a prostatic in a matter of weeks. “I never to invite me asked God never to invite me to a pity party,” says Whiting. “So all I know to a pity party,” how to do is keep it moving.” only thought was, “Let’s do it.”

says Whiting. “So all I know how to do is keep it moving.”

This experience has only come to make him stronger. He does not see this as a hindrance, but as a testimony. Whiting has been asked to speak to those who are going through similar experiences and will require prostatic limbs. “Anything I can do to help Whiting reflects over several someone, I am willing to do,” he instances that occurred following his said. surgery that he sees as confirmation “This is a journey that has turned that God was and continues to be in full control. He was assigned to one into an adventure,” proclaims Whiting of the better rooms at the VA Hospital, with a smile. His courage and positive which he calls the “penthouse.” outlook in the face of adversity is His private nurse turned out to be definitely living proof to others of Shanequa Johnson, a member of Mt. what God can and will do. Zion. But the one thing that meant the Whiting is the father of five most to him was through his own trial, God used him to minister to someone (two boys and three girls), and ten grandchildren. He is a lifelong else. resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, and His roommate was a man who has been in ministry for over eighteen was going through his own test, and years. He recently retired from the his faith was virtually non-existent. Department of Juvenile Justice after Whiting prayed with the man and thirty-five years of service, as well as assured him that if he just put his trust the City of St. Petersburg Recreation in God, everything would work in his Department for 33 years. favor.

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By Patty Paganelli


he holidays were a blast. Now that all of the halls have been decked, blessings for a bright new year have been rung in and your favorite team has won the Super Bowl…well part of the dream was true for some. So what’s next? As your feet hit the floor there is a sense of warmth, plus sunshine appears through the window instead of the usual overcast grey of winter. When the window is opened, a cold gust of air no longer hits your face, just freshness in the air. The smell of spring has finally arrived! Old man winter has rolled up his white fur coat known as snow and nature has uncoiled the green carpet of grass and colorful flowers. How do we keep Spring in our Relationships? Ever wonder how some people who are dating, transition into married couples who are able to keep longevity in their relationships? It’s a question that many are baffled by and pay counselors high fees to assist in finding answers. The

“best of couples” will share that working through the logistics of their relationship can be a tug-of-war at one point or another. However, the rough seas become smoother - minus a ripple here and there - once God’s plan has been applied to their marriage. As with most anything in our daily lives, we struggle against the simplicity of doing things God’s way, relationships included. Taking a passage from His word, God promises and is always doing new things (Isa. 43:18-19). That’s the freshness that can also be applied to relationships. Just as the cycle of spring rolls out an abundance of new life, practice rolling out new mercies with your mate! Leave transgressions at the altar. Choose new things to do as a couple. In talking with couples, it seems that those who share recreational activities in common enjoy the benefits of longevity in their relationships. The bible has a plethora of examples on how to love and treat your mate as well as instructions on how to handle other relationships including family and professional relationships. In upcoming

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editions of this magazine, we will be relating that wealth of information to you. In the meantime spring is here! Keep spring in your love thing by taking off the old cloak of winter and putting on freshness to renew your heart and mind.


Deacon and Deaconess William (Bernice) Fitts recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

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By Tracy L. Darity

“Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:9 NIV


t started as a simple on-line invite and blossomed into something extraordinary. The Best Man Holiday, the much anticipated sequel to the 1999 hit movie The Best Man was due in theaters November 14th. Linda Gidron, using mega social media platform Facebook, decided to send out an invite to see if anyone was interested in joining her and her husband Troy in seeing the movie.

approached, messages began to circulate. “Are there plans for a couple’s night…can we do the group thing again?” Recognizing the need to do something quickly, Gidron went into planning mode. Bascom’s Chop House provided the romantic setting for over ten couples. The restaurant provided each woman with a red rose. And, Gidron created valentine themed place settings that included memorable trinkets that each guest could take home.

Within days the invite had garnered the attention of several Mt. Zion members. Many were excited that an outing was being planned for couples. A date night seemed to be what everyone needed.

The evening progressed with activities that encouraged the couples to share what drew them to their mates. The couples married the longest, shared advice on what it takes to have a lasting relationship.

Questions were being sent to Gidron…what do we wear, will we have dinner afterwards, and can we buy tickets in advance. Energized by the overwhelming response, it was suggested that women wear red scarves like the actors and actresses in the promos. Dinner would follow at Cheddars restaurant for an indepth discussion of the movie.

Riding off the success of these two events, the Gidron’s say they will continue to use social media to provide couples with meaningful opportunities to come together and grow spiritually in their relationships. The husband and wife duo is willing to plan outings as long as couples want to take part in them. “We believe marriage works, and it takes work to keep a marriage alive,” said Troy Gidron.

Twenty couples arrived at the Movies at Parkside for date night. The night capped off with dinner and insightful discussion on friendship and marriage. As



Psst, you didn’t get it from me, but I hear that a cruise to the Bahamas may be planned for December. So couples get ready!

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By Patty Paganelli

Visualize yourself walking into a classroom. There are desks arranged either vertically or horizontally to accommodate seating. You choose a seat facing a clean blackboard while waiting for classmates to file in and choose their own seats. The last person to enter the room is the instructor. He proceeds to the board and begins to write computations that your brain doesn’t recognize. You vaguely remember what day it is, let alone how to calculate statistics, mathematical, or algebraic expressions. At any rate, the blank expression on your face seems to be concrete until the writing on the board stops and at the end it says solve for “X”. You begin to dust off your powers of thought and ask what is -or in this case- who is the missing variable?


ased on statistical data collected, a targeted group of church members that seems to fall through the cracks of ministry is by chronological age betwixt or between the blurred lines of the young adult and middle age members.

Under the leadership of youth pastor Reverend Shawn Thomas, this group is electric! They are restoring their place with visibility and a strong voice regarding working in the vineyard. Sharing Christ and winning souls is their ultimate goal.

How can that be? It’s easy these days. Society has revamped the rules of age groups making 50 the new 40 and 30 the new 20. Wait! you say to yourself while scratching your head. There seems to be a generation lost.

Who says that process has to be boring, stuffy, or conventional? NO ONE!! Their mission is to spiritually and socially impact the community. Their strategy for success is to attain a positive impact within the church and community. First, break the clutches of tradition by meeting the needs of this generation. Secondly, provide small intimate contact groups as growth occurs to disperse the “left behind complex” within our church culture. Finally, maintain a progressive attitude.

Forget the hoopla of “the new” whatever number you’ve revised this aging process to be.

Get ready for the excitement and recommitment that our newest ministry, generation RESTORED, brings to A kick off mixer launched on November 15, 2013 Mt. Zion! with attendance of approximately sixty young adults. P rogressive I mpact • 32 • Spring 2014

Attendees were surprised at the logistics and room church on a Friday night).” Musician Jabazz Mitchem ambience. Instead of a traditional service like some may added, “It went really well. It was good to see a lot of have anticipated, guests were surprised to find the second people out.” floor multi-purpose room converted into a lounge setting. Soft lighting provided the ambience and guest mingled Since the kick-off social, the ministry has enacted biand got to know each other while enjoying monthly small group sessions, a young adult an array of hors d’ oeuvres. The evening Sunday school class, and monthly outings was filled with Christian jazz arrangements, including kickball, bowling and rollerspoken word artists, trivia and more. skating. Recently, the ministry partnered with Crave, the young adult ministry at First Reverend Thomas was asked how this Baptist of St. Petersburg, in a community setting was different from a secular event. outreach project at the Salvation Army. He replied “Our event venue is at the church as opposed to the club scene. We’ve applied This variable “X” has been solved and a wholesome atmosphere as an alternative generation RESTORED has a mark on way for people to enjoy being themselves the map as a ministry with vigor and new with others.” In the end, the mission is to direction for young adults to be equipped draw people closer to Christ and spread His with the gospel of Jesus Christ. message. generation RESTORED small groups are held the The response from attendees was overwhelming. first and third Tuesday of the month, at 7:00 PM, in the Chiriga Murphy said, “It was good! It’s the Christian First Youth Chapel. GRYA choir rehearses every Tuesday at Friday.” Tionti Thomas, agreed, “It was a really good 8:00 pm in the main sanctuary. You may also connect at turn out and it was great to see people our generation (at Facebook.com/gRYoungAdults.

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By Rachel Moore

It’s 2014 and Mt. Zion’s One80 Teen Ministry has taken on a new look. Rev. Shawn Thomas stepped in to fill out-going youth minister, Eric Ford’s shoes. While leadership searched for his replacement, the teen ministry wasn’t as active. With Thomas now in place, the entire ministry has been reenergized and infused with a new focus.


homas came in with great plans for the youth of Mt. Zion, but recognized that he couldn’t do it alone. The first order of business was to name a new leadership team. The newly elected One80 Teen Ministry Leadership provides him with ideas and feedback that is realistic and progressive. The fifteen member panel made up of high school aged students, focus is on making decisions that not only keep the youth engaged in learning about Christ, but is also fun and for everyone to enjoy. Sunday services, which are held for the teens on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sunday’s, have been

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totally realigned. Service begins at 10:15 a.m., beginning with praise and worship. Next up is the welcome, offering and then the word presented on a level that teens can relate. One favorable addition is the opening of the “Snak Shak.” After receiving the message from Thomas, the youth are given fifteen minutes to make purchases before moving into small groups where they dialog about the morning’s topic and enjoy their snacks. At the end of their break-out sessions, the teens all meet back in the youth sanctuary where Thomas closes out the service.

In 2013 the youth chapel underwent a total makeover. The sanctuary received a fresh coat of paint and new carpet. Later in the year a mural was added as a backdrop to the choir area, and oversized banners depicting the new Children & Youth Ministry motto were installed.

his shooter, George Zimmerman, claimed self-defense after stopping the teen and provoking an altercation. He was later found not guilty of the senseless death of Martin.

The One80 Teen Ministry has a lot in store for its members, like a lock-in during spring break, The teens also have a new Springfest at Wildwood Park the relaxing lounge area to call their Saturday before Easter, movie own. The youth chapel fellowship outings, bowling and skating, hall now has both pool and hockey as well as future college tours. tables, electronic gaming devices In addition to Sunday services, and more. there’s also bible study at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday. Keeping in line with their call to be socially conscious, in February So, if you know a teen who teens in grades six through twelfth wants to be Spiritually Connected! journeyed to Miami, Florida for Socially Conscious! Smart & the Trayvon Martin Peace Walk. Cultured! Mt. Zion’s One80 Teen The murder of 17 year-old Martin Ministry is the place to be! gained worldwide attention when


arents typically have a lot on their plates. In addition to juggling life’s daily events, parents also must keep their eyes on the future, which typically involves planning for retirement and saving money for their kids’ college educations. Though both rank high on many parents’ priority lists, parents should approach college savings much differently than they do retirement savings. * Prioritize retirement savings over saving for college. Some parents might feel a degree of guilt if they deposit more money into their retirement accounts each month than they do into their kids’

One80 Teen Ministry Leadership Team Jessica Gamble, Jacara Edwards, Brie Ferguson, Saijon Ford, Shania Green, Diamond Jenkins, Patrice Jenkins, Kennedy Jones, Sydney Jones, Montana Moore, Rachel Moore, Sarah Moore, Asjanae Stephens, Chaz Wallace, Dalon Wilson, Aaliyah Wright, Allysa Wright

college funds. But such a strategy is nothing to feel guilty about. College students who take out loans have a lifetime ahead of them to repay those loans, while their parents have far less time to grow their retirement savings. No parent wants their child to be saddled with debt after they earn their degree, but that does not mean parents should sacrifice security in their golden years just so their child can have minimal or no debt when they graduate from college. Studies show that the average college graduate still earns roughly a million dollars more over his or her lifetime than someone with just a high school diploma, so a

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college diploma still offers financial incentives that can soften the blow of repaying college loans. * Look into college savings plans. Simply socking money away in a savings account is no longer enough to finance a college education. That’s because interest rates on standard savings accounts are very low, and as The College Board(R) notes, the college tuition rate of increase is substantially higher than the general inflation rate. In addition, according to The College Board, the average 201314 tuition increase was 3.8 percent at private colleges and 2.9 percent at public universities.

By Tracy L. Darity


Following the service, Carnegie stressed the importance of everyone doing their part, noting that there had been twenty recent shootings, but Coleman’s death caught the attention of the media because it happened in front of so many children.

On a warm August evening in Bradenton, Florida, Brenton Coleman Sr. was gunned down while holding his five year-old child. Two of his other children were practicing with the Manatee Mustangs youth football league. Coleman was shot by multiple gunmen in front of 400 men, women and children, at the 13th Avenue Dream Center.

“It’s a complex problem (violence). You know you have to change the mindset of people, you have to provide opportunity, you have to provide hope, there’s economic development and there’s advocacy teams,” said Carnegie. “There are a lot of different things that need to take place in the community to curb this problem.”

t. Zion’s vision statement is to bring about effective change within a two mile radius of the church. In 2013, that twomile radius was extended an additional twenty-five miles.

This horrific murder caused substantial outrage throughout the Bradenton area and prompted Patrick Carnegie, the Dream Center’s director, to put out a call to action. First on his list was a spiritual uplifting. According to Carnegie, he felt it was what the community needed to regroup after the incident. A spiritual SOS went out to our very own Pastor, Louis M. Murphy, Sr. Always willing to help where he can, Murphy rallied the Mt. Zion family, and on the fourth Sunday in August, over 200 members traveled to Bradenton for a community service at the center. The service opened with the Mt. Zion Marching Band. The audience of about 350 was led in praise & worship by Mt. Zion’s combined choirs, adult mime group and Pure Expressions dancers. Murphy preached a powerful sermon, Savior of Souls. He connected the shooting to poverty, telling the crowd, “When we don’t understand economics, we don’t understand the cost of poverty.” Driving home the point, Murphy added, “No one grows up wanting to be a drug dealer or murderer.” The Dream Center is also home to a community based school. Since the opening of the center, they have been able to bring in some 300 youth who had previously dropped out of high school. The schools staff and several students were in attendance to hear Murphy’s message. Lynette Edwards, a long-time educator from the area thought it was a great idea to host the service. “I think the community really needed this,” she said.

Also attending the August service were several community leaders, including Reverend Jerry Parrish. He made a plea to the men to join an upcoming “100 Men March,” planned for September. The call for men to take action was the second step in Carnegie’s plan. Lt. John Murrell of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and one of the 100 men participating in the march, thought it a necessity to take to the streets. “They aren’t attending church, so we’ve got to go to them,” said Murrell. Going into another community to lend assistance was a tricky proposition, but Murphy was up to the challenge, noting that our desire to help had to outweigh the hopelessness plaguing many of the young men in the Bradenton area. “We have to do what God has commanded us to do, no matter how difficult the task.” The fourth Sunday of each month through November, Mt. Zion journeyed to the center to conduct afternoon services. Participation in the healing process of the Bradenton community also included monthly evangelism partnerships, and a weekly music and arts after-school program conducted by Minister K. Parrott. The mission concluded with a community festival and basket give-away in time for Thanksgiving. Mt. Zion’s contribution to the healing of an embattled community was only the first step in a long process. Carnegie and the outreach teams he has assembled will continue the work that has begun. “We’re here, if they need us,” promised Murphy.

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Kentaya Beeler is not only fulfilling her dreams and topping the list of up-and-coming professionals in the bay area, she is also a beautiful vibrant woman and a force to be reckoned with in the financial industry.


n January 2014, Beeler’s entrepreneurial spirit helped spearhead the opening of a new business in St. Petersburg, the Strategic Thinking Accounting & Tax Services Firm (STATS) firm. A partner in the firm, Beeler is joined by a team of qualified professionals.

of FAMU, Secretary of The National Association of Black Accountants and an active member of the Florida American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,” she shares. Her affiliations opened new doors and granted her the opportunity to become a college professor. Her resume includes Professor of Accounting at Valencia College, DeVry University and Strayer University.

A graduate of St. Petersburg High School, Beeler says it was a class in corporate auditing that sparked her interest in accounting. In 1999, she graduated from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s (FAMU) School of Business & Industry, with a bachelor of science in Accounting. After earning her degree, she relocated to New York and then Orlando, before returning to the Tampa Bay area.

The more she learned about the accounting industry, she began to experience a deep desire to start her own accounting firm. “In each of these capacities, I grew more eager to help individuals understand the simple tools to navigate and survive the complex financial environment that we all live in,” says Beeler. The development of the STATS firm encompasses Beeler’s years of experience with strategic alliances and aligns her with financial professionals that have similar proven successful business ventures in their own niche of the financial market.

Beeler’s extensive track record in the accounting field includes her first business venture, KB Financial Services. Her resume includes cash accountant as well as internal and external auditing positions. Understanding the need for higher education, she returned to school and earned a master’s degree in Taxation. According to her, “The master’s degree afforded me an opportunity to transition to the public accounting industry.” It was a smart move on her part, because soon after earning her degree, she landed a tax accountant position with a CPA firm. Over time, Beeler began to network and engage in various social activities. “I joined social networking organizations and became the Treasurer of the Greater Orlando Alumni Association

“The overall mission of STATS is to help our clients reach their financial goals by increasing their Financial STATS!” Beeler states, as she speaks about fulfilling her dream of owning her own Accounting Firm. “It’s designed to help individuals and families develop strategies to conquer financial freedom and understand how the 90% that God has given us is MORE than enough to live the life he desires for us!” To learn more about STATS, please visit www.statsfirm.com.

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rogressive Impact shines the employee spotlight on one of the newest additions to the Mt. Zion staff, Mrs. Christina Brown.

A wife of seventeen years, Brown and her husband Bryant, are the proud parents of three sons, Nyquel (17), D’Quez (15), Marques (12) and goddaughter Journei (1). She is a member of Holy Temple Cathedral and serves in several roles including National Church Secretary, Local Church Secretary, Women’s Department Chairman and Youth Department Co-Chair. Brown is also a Missionary and will soon be elevated to Evangelist.

Brown was hired in April 2013 as a Finance Assistant in the Business Affairs division, reporting to Brenda Williams. She comes to Mt. Zion from the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce where she was employed for fourteen years. Her tenure ended during restructuring by the Chamber’s new management team.

If she were to change professions, Brown says she would love to become a teacher. One of her goals is to return to school and pursue a degree in education. “I love the little ones and believe you have to start at a young age (teaching them),” adding that her sons would one day love to see her in the role of Mom-ager.

In her position as Senior Program and Finance Coordinator, Brown worked closely with the Chamber’s Sr. VP of Membership and Communication, Leadership St. Pete (LSP) Asst. Director and the Sr. VP of Finance and Operations. She also served in the capacity of event coordinator.

Her boys are very active in sports, “Their goal is to go all the way (professionally), and want their mom to manage their money,” says Brown. “My eldest will be leaving for college this year.”

When asked how she will be a great asset to the administration team at Mt. Zion, Brown points to her impressive résumé’. “I strive to provide excellent customer service, first and foremost,” says Brown. Her list of skills also includes proficiency in various technological programs, time management, quality assessment of processes and improvements, and certification in various financial applications. In her new role she is looking forward to utilizing her vast array of business skills and being a pivotal player in the growth of Mt. Zion.

Brown admits her true passion is in planning and coordinating events, big and small. Now that the secret is out, she may be getting calls from various Mt. Zion ministies. In her spare time, Brown says she loves to cook and have company over for visits. “We love game night with the family.”

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�Healthy Eating

Prep Time: 5 minutes or less Total Time: 20 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients 1/2 cup green onion, sliced 1/4 cup light soy sauce 8-ounces can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup 6 chicken breast halves Preparation: • Combine first 3 ingredients in medium-sized baking dish. Add chicken breast halves, coating well in sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake, at least 1 hour. • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake chicken until no longer pink in center, about 20 minutes; spoon glaze over the top a few times during cooking and at the end to serve.


ried chicken is a favorite food for people across the globe. It’s unknown who was the first person to coat chicken in breading or flour and submerge it in boiling oil, but it is well known that the resulting dish is beloved by many. Perhaps the lone pitfall to fried chicken is it is not very healthy. Fried foods in general are primary contributors to obesity problems in many countries. The average serving size of fried chicken (roughly 4 ounces) weighs in at 294 calories, with 14.9 grams of fat, 96 grams of cholesterol and 311 milligrams of sodium. Considering it’s difficult to eat just one piece, a person may be consuming nearly half of their recommended daily fat intake in one meal. But despite being fried and caloriedense, fried chicken is still a nutrientrich dish that can be acceptable when eaten in moderation. There are even ways to make fried chicken healthy without compromising taste.

Marinating the chicken in a brine or buttermilk can help keep the meat tender and juicy. That’s because the marinating solution will start breaking down the proteins in the meat, increasing its tenderness. Just do not marinate too long or your chicken will turn mushy. Next, lightly coat the chicken in cooking spray so that the coating will have something to stick to without adding a lot of extra fat and calories. Coat the chicken in whole-wheat flour to add flavor and make it even more healthy. Herbs and garlic can be added to the flour to impart flavor. For more crunch, think about adding sesame seeds to the flour or a small amount of cornmeal.

Oven-baked chicken can be just as crispy, juicy and tasty as traditionally deep-fried chicken.

The crunchy coating and juicy interior of fried chicken can be created without the need for frying, while removing the skin cuts down on the meal’s calories and fat.

When it’s just about ready to go into the oven, preheat the oven to 425o F. A hot oven will give the chicken a crispy crust and make the food cook more quickly. Place the chicken on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan so that heat can distribute all around the chicken. Otherwise you will be left with a crispy top and a soggy bottom.

Oven-baking chicken can still produce a crispy and delicious meal and presents a healthy alternative to deepfried chicken.

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By Kim Hickman, Hosea 4:6 (KJV)


iabetes is a serious chronic health condition. Learning about diabetes is one way to glorify God in our bodies; knowledge is the key to controlling diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as a diabetes. Type 2 diabetes means your body does not produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level, or your body does not properly use the insulin it does produce. Many people with pre-diabetes often develop type 2 diabetes within 10 yrs. The 2011 CDC statistical report estimates 25.6 million people or 8.3 % of the population has diabetes in the United States. OF those 25.6 million Americans, 18 million have been diagnosed with diabetes. The other 7million or 1/3 of those people does not know they have diabetes. 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. Almost 5 million or 18.7 % of African Americans have diabetes, 1 in 4 African American women over the age of 55 have diabetes. Current estimates project as many as 1 n 3 American will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2050. This is not a future we should be willing to accept. Healthy eating habits can delay and may even prevent diabetes. • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing 5-10 percent of your weight will lower your risk for getting diabetes.

• Be active. Start slowly. Build up to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. • Plan for healthy eating at home and away from home.

Blood Glucose Numbers: A fasting blood sugar test helps diagnose diabetes Blood Glucose


• 99 mg/dl and below


• 100-125 mg/dl


• 126 mg/dl and above Diabetes • Eat fewer calories and smaller portions. Focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. • Choose fat-free and low-fat food.

• Choose kidney and other beans, lean meats, poultry, and fish over meats that are high in fat and sodium, such as bacon and sausage.

• Limit high calorie snack foods and deserts, such as chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream. • Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants and buffets.

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When you lower your risk of diabetes, you also lower your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

Healthy Living Goals to help prevent diabetes • At your next clinic visit, I will ask my health care provider about my risk factors for diabetes and find out what I can do to lower those risks. I will work with my healthcare provider to develop a diabetes prevention or management plan (Romans 12:1). • Starting tomorrow, I will drink water and unsweetened tea instead of soda and other sugary drinks (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). • Starting today. I will create one specific goal to help me prevent diabetes. I will make it something I can DO! I will set a start date and mean it (Habakkuk 2:2). For more information about diabetes please contact: The National Diabetes Prevention Program; www.cdc.gov/ diabetes /prevention The American Diabetes Association; www.diabetes.org


f the over one thousand families with children here at Mt Zion, over half are lead by single parents. This statistic is symbolic of churches across the country. There was once a time when an unwed mother was shunned and frowned upon. In today’s society, churches are opening their arms and embracing single parents, instead of ostracizing them. Reverend, Louis Murphy, Sr., after a discussion with a member regarding parenting classes as part of the C.A.R.E. ministry’s drug and alcohol program, thought it would be a good idea to start a ministry for single mothers. In November 2010, under the leadership of Deaconess Jewel Murphy (sister-in-law of the pastor), Just Us

By Tracy L. Darity negative thinking, hidden hurts, and those things that trip us up and sabotage our progress.”

Three…Jesus, the Kids & Me, was formed. Its main focus is to provide a support group where moms can voice their needs and concerns. The second goal is for them to learn from the word of God how to deal with life’s disappointments. According to Murphy, the group’s leader, “It is important that we expose

Murphy, who once was a single mom, knows first-hand how negative thought processes can be a hindrance to the everyday existence of single moms. “We want them to be the best moms they can be to their children. When mom is stuck, the kids are stuck,” she said. “Children need both parents,” she continues, pointing out that there is no scripture to support being a single parent. Murphy recognizes that everyone’s situation is different and there are many reasons why someone, male or female, is a single parent. But she also sees the reality of it all, adding, “Just because it was out of order how the kids came,

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Murphy rejoices as she speaks about stronghold’s being broken, and the testimonies being shared, nightly.

don’t be out of order in raising them.” In 2014, Murphy hopes to take the ministry to a new level. She readily admits that her focus has been concentrated on the women who have been faithful members of the group since it started. However, the number of women sitting in the pews each Sunday, and who live within a two mile radius of the church that can benefit from the ministry, is staggering. “We will be promoting the ministry more and planning community outings to get more moms involved. Maybe add quarterly outings for single parents and their kids,” she said.

Her next exercise will be the “Mirror Experience.” Every morning, for thirty days, the ladies will be asked to start their day off by standing in front of the mirror and saying positive affirmations. “She has to look into her own eyes and see herself as Christ sees her,” explains Murphy. It is Murphy’s desire that each mother will reach a point where she can apologize to her child for things she has done, and even things she may not know has hurt him or her. Children bare the burdens of so many things and it is time to heal the brokenness and rebuild the relationships. The parentchild relationship needs to be whole in order to be healthy.

The motto for 2014 is Uncovering the naked truth…Whatever your truth is. Murphy believes that secrets keep us from succeeding, particularly for single mothers because they believe that revealing their truths can be seen as a sign of weakness in their parenting. “They need to be strengthened and encouraged by God to raise their children in the ways of Christ,” says Murphy. She points to Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Murphy is committed to having scripturally based instructions when addressing life experiences with participants. A book she strongly recommends is Commanding Your Morning by Cyndy Trimm. The book helps readers achieve victory over their circumstances through spoken declarations that activate God’s power. Going into the season of Lent, the moms participated in a “Casting” ceremony. They were each given a white stone and instructed to write (using a permanent marker) whatever

Murphy admits she is sometimes overwhelmed by the totality of what it takes to run such a vital ministry, but feels blessed that God trusted her enough to do such an important job. burdens or secrets they were carrying. Next, the stones were tossed into the water symbolizing God’s ability to wash all their burdens away. No matter how deep or permanent they believe the hurt to be. Next up was a 30 day prayer call. Each evening the moms joined in on a prayer call, in which they each were asked to participate as a leader at least once. In this role they would lead the opening and closing prayer. Each person on the call was asked to give personal testimonies on how the nightly prayer was changing their lives.

Her ultimate success will be to buildup women who will be positive examples for the child’s father, and maybe he will want to also be a better parent. “Perhaps the next phase is to create a ministry for single dads, and eventually merge into a single parent’s ministry,” said Murphy If you are interested in joining the single mom’s ministry, they meet the first and third Thursday of the month, at 6:00 PM, in the CARE Building, located at 1906 9th Avenue South. For more information call Jewel Murphy at 727-894-4311.

God’s Child Photography

Mary Kay Cosmetics

Tameka Hubbard, Owner | (727) 686-1065 MSTHUBB1727@yahoo.com

Rhonda E. Carter | (727) 320-5786 RECarter561@gmail.com

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Skyway Barbershop (727) 768-2875 Bruce

1204 28th St. S., Petersburg, FL 33712

CareBears Daycare Latosha Williams, Owner/Provider (727) 623-0721 or (727) 520-6949

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P rogressive I mpact • 45 • Spring 2014

Mt.Zion Year in Review...

� Pastor Murphy in Haiti

� Kathy Castor Black History Luncheon

� TSM Kickoff Basketball Game

� Youth Black History Presentation

� Youth Anchors for Christ

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� Boy Scouts Car Wash

� Hospitality Ministry

� Love & Respect Conference

� Seasoned Saints Luncheon

� Ushers at Visit to Gethsemane

� Pastor Murphy and Rev and Mrs R. Gipson Gethsemane

� One80 Team ministry at Trayvon Martin peace walk

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� Deacon & Deaconess Allen

� Watch Night 2013

� Red Pump Sunday - Be Empowered

M inistries at a


By Patti Paganelli

Counseling Ministry


t’s quite amazing how much our Lord cares about us. We praise Him when he has defeated enemies individually and collectively, and we view Him as a great warrior who defends us against the evil of Satan by thwarting his demonic force. Even though he is our protector and defender, our Savior wears many titles inclusive of “Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and Wonderful Counsellor.” ISA 9:6. Most of us have heard of God’s title of “Counselor”; however, we seldom think

to access the gift of counsel that has been given to the body of Christ. Under the leadership of Reverend Charles Ray, Mt Zion has a counseling ministry with a team of counselors who have extensive biblical training to serve our church body. Counseling is available to provide guidance for all types of relationships and age groups, including pre-marital, marital, parent-child, individual and adolescent concerns. God is thoughtful to protect our minds from our worst enemy which could even be ourselves. No longer does

your mind have to be an epic battlefield of war with life’s issues. HELP is offered through this ministry. Please contact the church for referral appointments.

Food Service Ministry


estaurants come highly recommended if they have been awarded a 5-star rating. They become iconic as the in place to be seen, and events are considered to be legendary if hosted within their walls. If such ratings existed for church kitchens, then MZPBC would be the industry leader. Our kitchen ministry has provided world-class service as they carry out their mission to provide excellent service for various occasions. Our dynamic food service is available for special church events, weddings, repasts, and community affairs. In 2013,

food services were provided for occasions such as the 2013 Mayor’s Forum, and the Kathy Castor Black History Luncheon. On a spiritual note, ministry has occurred amongst the volunteers during

food preparation. The bible says “Where two or three are gathered …” even if peeling potatoes, Christ is in the midst. There is something about the warmth of a kitchen that can bring out the best in folk. The camaraderie that is experienced by workers in the kitchen is carried over into the dining room as guests are being served. Finally, the cleanup detail “brings up the rear” by leaving a spotless kitchen for reuse. Somehow mopping or busting suds in solitude seems to be the perfect time to have a little talk with Jesus.

Reading Enhancement and Math Tutorial Programs Mt. Zion’s Reading Enhancement and Math Acceleration Tutorial Programs have been serving the youth of Mt. Zion and the surrounding communities for many years. Children get one-on-one assistance throughout the school year, and help with preparing for the FCAT. If your student is not eligible for the Title I Supplemental Education Services

(SES) program, let us help. Our trained and highly-skilled team of volunteers is here to serve students in grades K – 9. We offer homework assistance, and tutoring for math, reading, vocabulary skills and much more in a fun safe environment. Applications are available at Mt. Zion Human Services, or for additional information, contact Mrs. Doris Newton at 727-822-0443, ext. 301. P rogressive I mpact • 48 • Spring 2014

P rogressive I mpact • 49 • Spring 2014

Profile for Tracy L. Darity

Progressive Impact Magazine | Spring 2014  

Semi-annual magazine.

Progressive Impact Magazine | Spring 2014  

Semi-annual magazine.