Fifth Episcopal District, CME Church Newsletter
Bishop Teresa E. Snorton
Presiding Bishop
January 2013


Rev. Sarah Williamson, former pastor of Williams Temple in Winter Haven, Florida and former pastor in the North Central Alabama Region, died on December 23rd. Her homegoing services will be Saturday, January 7, 2013 at 11 am at the Mt.Olive CME Church in Orlando. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to: Mitchell Funeral Home, 501 Fairvilla Rd., Orlando, FL 32808, 407-298-0703. Keep her husband, Jerry and daughter, Kenya in prayer.


Rev. James Wilson's mother, Mrs. Mamie S. Wilson, 89 years old, died on December 26th. She had lived a full life enjoying their eleven children and a host of grands and great grands. Her funeral will be held on Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11 am, at Beulah Baptist Church, 3100 25th Street Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401. The family hour will be Thursday, 5:30-7:00pm.  Rev. Wilson is the pastor of the Greater St. Paul CME Church in Akron, Alabama.

Rev. A. Anthony Robinson's father, Mr. Arthur Robinson, Jr., died on December 30, 2012.  Funeral arrangements in Jacksonville, Florida are still pending.  Rev. Robinson is pastor of Porter St. Paul CME Church in Northport, Alabama.


Rev. Margaret Boudreaux's (pastor of Layman Chapel, Birmingham) grandson was killed in early December.


Please continue to pray for the following ministers and/or their family members who have been sick and/or hospitalized:


Rev. Dr. John Walker,( Bethel, Sarasota, FL), recovering from broken ankle.

Rev. Marvin Lue, (Trinity, Miami, FL) recovering from surgery.

Rev. Rose Lynn Brooks, (Garner-Bass, Phenix City, AL) recovering from a broken foot.

Rev. Dr. Vanessee Burns' (Carter Tabernacle, Orlando, FL) brother, Michael is ill.

Rev. Jeffrey Whitmore's (Gray's Temple, West Palm Beach, FL) mother is ill.

Rev. Geraldine Daniels' (Southside, Birmingham, AL) mother. is ill.



Bits and Pieces


Registration for the 2013 Pastor's Conference and Founders' Day Celebration, sponsored by Phillips School of Theology, January 14-17, 2013 is now available at All pastors should register!  Churches who have not yet made their annual contribution to Phillips should contact their presiding elder.


Registration for the Spring semester for the Academy for Public Theology is open.  Classes include New Testament Survey (February), Contemporary Preaching (March) and Church Administration (April). Classes will be in Birmingham, Huntsville, Phenix City and Chatom.

For more information, email Dean Gloria Haynes at or call 205-929-1153.


If you want to invite Bishop Snorton to preach or visit, you will find her schedule on the Fifth District website

to check her availability.


The CME Church has a new website -

Visit for instructions on how to keep the site updated by including adding your local church in the CME Church directory, submitting photos and videos of your local church, Region or Episcopal District special events (with the appropriate permissions), and providing feedback.




Upcoming Events


January 11-14   College of Bishops Meeting 


January 14-17 Pastor's Conference 


January 25-26 Jacksonville/Orlando District Children, Youth and Young Adult Retreat 


February 2   Miami/Tampa Day for Youth and Young Adults


Registration for the 2013 Spring Convocations will be available after January 10th.   Visit for details!


Contact Us:


Mailing Address:

P. O. Box 13383

Birmingham, AL 35202


Office Location:

4901 Lloyd Nolan Parkway

Fairfield, AL 35164






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Resolution?Commitment? Promise?Covenant? 


Happy New Year!  Have you made your resolutions, yet?


New Year's resolutions are a common concept, though I would say most people hardly take them seriously anymore.  The running joke is that we break our resolutions almost as soon as we make them! 


I began to wonder what it is that makes it so difficult for us to take this notion of "resolution" as seriously as we perhaps should.  As I pondered this, it occurred to me that perhaps it is the sheer erosion of the concepts of "commitment" and "promise" that is the cause.


During the last couple of decades we have seen a lot of traditional values go by the wayside, and I would say that even includes the concepts of commitment and promise.  We make promises we do not intend to keep.  We avoid commitment in order to keep our options open.  We are a society and a people on the on the move; no one wants to be pinned down.  


However, for believers, these concepts should remain core values for us.  We should be willing to make commitments - "I have Decided to Follow Jesus".  Our promises should mean something, because we live in the hope that God will keep the promises he has made to us!


Our God is a God of Promise, a God of Commitment, a God of Covenant.  We have just celebrated one of God's promises made real...."For unto us, a Child is born, a son is given...."


The list of God's promises are too numerous to list. But the reality is that the Christian faith is rooted in the new covenant that God made with his people.  God's New Year's resolution was expressed by Jesus in this way "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28).


Jeremiah 31:31 reminds us that God had promised this new covenant long before it came to pass: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah."  


Even God realized that sometimes you just have to make up your mind to do something new or to do something to improve things.  


Hebrews 8:13 invites us to let go of things that no longer serve us, the way God let go of the old covenant.  "In that He says, 'A new covenant' He [God} as made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. 


Perhaps we no longer take ourselves seriously enough to make resolutions, commitments, promises and covenants with ourselves.  


But, I would invite us not to lose this opportunity to invest in your own future.  I've been resisting making my New Year's resolution.  In part, because I'm not sure I want to commit to the change. I'm doubt that I can follow through.  But, if I believe that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", then surely God can be a partner in my resolutions.  


So, here goes..... in 2013, I resolve to exercise regularly and get physically fit!  There, I've said it.  I mean it.  I need to do this.  Be my covenant partner and pray for me. And when you see me, ask me how is it going?  









Phen Women Summit logo  

Registration for the Phenomenal Women's Summit will be available in February.  Save the Date--- August 29-30-31, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Birmingham. Spread the word!! 


Click here for a flyer with details!



for highlights from the 2012 Summit!