The 137th session of the Chicago Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church will convene Tuesday, September 24 – 28, 2019 in Aurora, Illinois at St. John AME Church (2950 Bilter Road, Aurora, IL). Join us for a spirit-filled time of transforming and liberating worship services. The conference theme is “With God We Can Transform the World. All Things Are Possible with God!” (Matthew 19:26.) Bishop John Franklin White, Presiding Prelate of the 4th Episcopal District, will lead the conference along with his wife, Mrs. Penny Hartsfield White, Episcopal Supervisor. The Annual Conference is a gathering called by the Bishop of Presiding Elders, pastors, clergy, church leaders, and members to share and celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the various churches in the conference. On Monday, September 23, the Women In Ministry organization and Women’s Missionary Society will convene their annual meetings.
The Reverend Thomas M. Hughes, Presiding Elder of the South District, will host the Annual Conference. He will be joined by the following Presiding Elders: Reverend Walter Bauldrick, Sr., Milwaukee District; Reverend Stacey Smith, St. Paul, Minneapolis District; and in memoriam, the late Reverend Albert D. Tyson, III, North District. One of the primary purposes of the Annual Conference is pastoral appointments, which are recommended by the Presiding Elders and approved and assigned by the Bishop.
In addition to pastoral appointments and other business, there will be power-packed day-and night-time worship services consisting of dynamic preaching, prayer and praise. All worship services are open to the public. The Opening Worship Service is Tuesday, September 24 at 6:55 p.m.
Daytime Worship Services:
-Evangelism Worship Service: Wednesday, September 25 at 11:30 a.m.
-Ordination and Communion Service: Thursday, September 26 at 11:00 a.m.
-Memorial and Retirement Services: Friday, September 27 at 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon.
Evening Worship Services begin at 7:00 p.m.:
-Men’s Worship Service: Wednesday, September 25.
-Lay Organization Worship Service: Thursday, September 26.
-Friday Night Youth Worship Service: Friday, September 27.
Saturday, September 28 is the culmination of the conference. It will begin with Bible Study at 8:00 a.m., followed by the Closing Worship Service at 9:30 a.m., consisting of pastoral appointments and commissioning.
Bishop White shared the following about the history of the AME Church:
The Black churches, specifically the AME Church, gave spiritual, religious and material sustenance to African-American communities during and after slavery. The Black church’s radical humanism harbored a fierce resistance to slavery, a love of freedom, and a thirst for citizenship and equality that made it a hotbed of internal debates, discussions and controversies over the best course for Black liberation in America.
In the words of Bishop White, “The best is yet to come!”
About the African Methodist Episcopal Church
The AME Church is a Christian organization that was founded by Blacks in 1816 in protest against slavery and the dehumanization of African people. The global membership of the AME Church is more than 3 million, and it remains one of the largest Methodist denominations in the world. It is open and welcoming to people of all ethnic groups, origins, nationalities, and colors.
Submitted by Rev. Sheila Wilson Freelon, Esq., Mdiv, Senior Pastor of Turner Memorial AME Church, Chicago, IL.