Five hundred plus people gathered recently at Morgan State University to honor female legends in ministry who have pioneered a presence, protocol, and power for women in ministry in the Maryland area. The event was held at the Calvin & Tina Tyler Ballroom on the campus of Morgan University. The event was sponsored by the Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland founded by Dr. Karen Bethea with assistance from the Sisters In Ministry founded by Dr Leah White. Honorees included Lady Weptanomah Carter and Dr Marie Antoinette PhillIps (mother of honoree Dr Leah White) posthumously. Other honorees in attendance were Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Bishop Bertha Greene, Dr Ann Lightner Fuller, Dr Leslie Barnett Davis, Dr Patricia Pender, Dr Minnie Washington, Dr Leah White, Dr Goldia Wright, and Apostle Joan Saunders. The final honoree, Rev. Cecilia Bryant, was in India and unable to attend but was well represented by Minister Keasha Brown of the Empowerment Temple AME Church.
Each honoree had achievements and distinctions that marked their ministries. They were awarded with the FCSG trophy and highlighted by video interview. Each acceptance speech confirmed why they were being honored as each honoree lifted the spirit, shared wisdom and insight, and made it clear that they had come this far by faith. Throughout the night praise arose from the guests which included local male and female clergy, family members, congregants, and well wishes of the honorees.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake opened the evening with greetings. The evening was filled with worship, humor, the anointed singing of Sherry Hunt of the New Shiloh Baptist Church, the liturgical dance ministry from Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, an awesome band and team of vocalists under the direction of Patrick Alston, great food, vendors, photographers, and fellowship.
The room was decorated with black, pink, gray, and white and was meticulous. The sold out event was just the first of its kind in the area. There are plans to honor others in the future and also award scholarships to up and coming female ministers.
The gala magazine, available on the website along with the DVD of the evening, contained congratulations from Governor Martin O'Malley, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, and Senator Barbara Mikulski. Ads came from near and far including congratulations from Dr Cynthia Hale of Decatur, Ga.
The Female Clergy Support Group was founded in order to create a platform to bring together women in ministry for iron sharpening experiences. It is for women in ministry to include senior pastors, First Ladies, deacons, missionaries, teachers, and any woman involved in ministry. More edifying experiences are forthcoming with the next one scheduled for Saturday July 20th at the Morning Star Baptist Church of Catonsville. The FCSG calendar can be found on their website. All are welcome to these edifying and uplifting events. To order the DVD of the entire evening click here