Event held for Witherspoon campaign to be bishop in African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

SALISBURY — The committee to elect Rev. Dr. Anthony N. Witherspoon for bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 2024 hosted a North Carolina meet-and-greet event, “The Fire Starter,” in Tubman Theatre at Livingstone College on April 22. The red carpet was literally rolled out for guests as they arrived.

Rev. Dr. Kay Gabriel, pastor of Pleasant Ridge AME Zion Church in Gastonia served as the mistress of ceremony and Rev. Warren Nance, pastor of Saint Mark AME Zion Church in Pineville, offered the welcome, following an opening prayer by Rev. Jimmy Griffin of New Jersey AME Zion Church in Lexington.

Others involved were Rev. Dr. Monte Witherspoon-Brown of Steele Creek AME Zion Church in Charlotte, Rev. Dr. Andrew Smoke of the Charlotte District of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, Krista Holmes of Washington Metropolitan member of Saint Louis, Missouri, spoke about Witherspoon’s financial accountability (F). Seven-Hazel Boone, youth member of New Hope AME Zion Church in East Spencer, delved into his intergenerational (I) experiences and said he helped her to become a better student-athlete, and more confident in her spiritual gifts. Jerry McCombs of the lay council president of the Statesville district spoke on Witherspoon’s relational (R) strengths in interacting with individuals and groups within the denomination and communities. And Rev. Dr. Thomas Bannister, a colleague of Witherspoon’s at Livingstone and pastor of Temple Memorial Baptist Church in High Point, shared the years of impactful experience (E) Witherspoon has undergone in his ministry. F – fiscally sound, I – intergenerational, R – relational, E – experienced was preceded with a video presentation of the candidate from the committee Witherspoon’s campaign: F.I.R.E.

Bishop Michael A. Frencher Sr., presiding prelate of the Mid-West Episcopal District, delivered an address to attendees.

Witherspoon thanked those in attendance and welcomed continued support  on his journey. “I am humbled by all of your kindness today, and I want you to know as I know my strength is firmly anchored in God, I too find strength in your fervent love and support of me,” he said.

Ernest Witherspoon, patriarch of the Witherspoon family, spoke and campaign recognition of Karlese Smalls, a Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society (WH&OMS) candidate for Connectional Coordinator of Young Adult Missionary Society (YAMS). Kaiyon Courtney, a  Livingstone freshman, took part and the closing prayer was by Rev. Sheila Herron, pastor of Clement Memorial in Charlotte.

For more information about the Witherspoon for Bishop campaign, go to www.witherspoon4bishop2024.com

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