Sunday morning Bethel AME Church brought the celebration of their 100th year anniversary to a close with first a proclamation from visiting guest Mayor Ashton Hayward and then a charge from the presiding Prelate, Reverend Adam J. Richardson. “It is a pleasure to be here to worship with you and I hope you invite me again,” said Hayward before reading the proclamation. He also gave compliments to the ladies of the church with their beautiful hats.
After a heart felt selection from the choir, Bishop Richardson brought forth the message to the church. “This is the day the lord has made and we shall be glad and rejoice in it,” he began.
As he brought message from Acts 2:40-47 he spoke about an ancient paradigm for the 21st Century Church. “In these verses you will find categories of theological traits; Theology-All about God; Christology-the study of Jesus Christ; Pneumatology-which is the study of the Holy Spirit; Ecclesiology-which means the church; Kerygma-which is the preaching materials of the apostles. You will also find the word koina which means fellowship; dedicate- which means the Christian teaching of the early fathers. This is the stuff where vertically, God is worshiped and Christ is exalted and horizontally where needs are met through ministry and lives are transformed and churches grow out numerically and go up in spiritual maturity,”
“This generation of Bethelites must understand what church is all about. When we say church we mean people; people who submit to baptism, subscribe to the teaching and accept the bible as a rule of conduct for their lives,” he continued. “Here, prayers have been prayed in the name of Jesus. Songs have been sung in the name of Jesus. Scriptures have been read and taught to lift in the name of Jesus. Sermons have been preached to exalt the wonderful name of Jesus. Souls have been saved in the name of Jesus. Lives have been changed in the name of Jesus. Marriages have been officiated in the name of Jesus. The dead has been memorialized in the name of Jesus. Families have been blessed in the name of Jesus. Somebody will be healed in the name of Jesus. Many have been baptized in the name of Jesus. People have been anointed in the name of Jesus. Children have come to the knowledge in the name of Jesus. The Holy Ghost has shown up often in the witness the name of Jesus. God has been worshiped in thruth in the name of Jesus. Shouts of praise has gone up in the name of Jesus. This is what has been about.
He charged-In the next 100 years Bethel must have a relationship with God. The God of the univererse deserved high praise. We must have a relationship with the lord. Bethel must preach, tell the story. Bethel must fellowship. It cannot be all vertical. It must be horizontal (our relationship with one another and the world around us.) The church must also study. You cannot graduate from Sunday School. To be a Christian, you must continue to learn. God gave promises also. Food for your table, blessed assurance, abundant life, salvation, cleansing, and companionship for your soul- It’s in the book. Read the book. The church must also pray. Do not give up prayer meetings. We must spend time with the Lord in prayer. To have a friend you must be a friend; Talk to the Lord. When we pray, problems get solved, standards get higher, friendships restored, marriages restored, souls converted, Pray. He is still answering prayer.