Fifth Episcopal District Newsletter
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Bishop Teresa E. Snorton, Presiding Bishop
May-June, 2015




2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"


The months of May and June can be considered "graduation season". We all usually know at least one graduate - be it from Pre-K, elementary school, middle school, high school, college or graduate school. The celebrations that surround these graduations bear witness to the sacrifices and investments that were made to achieve the goal.


The life is faith is similar to the life cycle of graduations.  As believers, we are expected to make the sacrifices and investments necessary to be disciples and servants of Jesus Christ. We are expected to grow in the faith, become wiser with experience, and to mature in our spiritual walk. At each stage of life, we should eventually get to a point when we move/grow/graduate to another level. For example, there may be a time in your early Christian life when you needed the table of contents to find a specific book in the Bible.  But eventually, if you are investing in the study of the bible, you should become able to find the books in both the Old Testament and the New Testament without using the table of contents. In the same manner, your ability to pray, to fast, to meditate and to worship should grow and mature.


I worry when long-time Christians say things like they need certain kind of songs to be sung on Sunday morning in order to feel like they are in worship.  A mature Christian who has graduated from an "elementary school faith" should be able to worship no matter what kind of music is being sung.  The ability to feel God's presence should not be dependent on external props and circumstances. 


How much are you sacrificing to mature in the faith? How much are you investing in your spiritual growth? Like graduates who had to master certain skills, pass tests, and demonstrate competence, the Christian believer should do likewise, always growing, always pressing on towards the mark!



Presiding Elder Richard E. Hassell of the Montgomery/Phenix City/Opelika District of the Southeast Alabama Region, Fifth Episcopal District, passed away from a brief illness on Friday, May 15, 2015.  He was the husband of Carolyn Hassell, father of three sons (Randall, Brent, and Marcus); and grandfather of three children (Kendall, Jelani, and Brynn).  A Celebration of Life Service was held on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at Greenwood CME Church, Memphis, TN  38111 with Bishop Teresa E. Snorton, officiating.


Presiding Elder Hassell came to the Fifth District in 2010 when Bishop W. E. Lockett appointed him as presiding elder. Prior to that he had been on the ministerial staff at the Metropolitan CME Church, Houston, Texas. He also previously pastored in his home state of Tennessee. We are grateful for the time he served in the Fifth as a faithful disciple and leader who always showed love and compassion to all and worked hard even during his illness!


Cards and condolences may be sent to Mrs. Carolyn Hassell, 350 Lee Road 294, Smiths Station, AL  36877.


Please keep Mrs. Hassell, their children and grandchildren in prayer, as well as the Montgomery/Phenix City/Opelika District and the Mount Zion CME Church in Smiths Station, AL where Presiding Elder Hassell also served as pastor.  

Rev. James Q. Smith has been named interim Presiding Elder of the MPCO District until annual conference. 




The joint Annual Conferences for the Birmingham Region, the North Central Alabama Region and the Southeast Alabama Region will be Wednesday-Friday, July 15-17, 2015 on the campus of Troy University, Troy, Alabama.  Please read the details about this conference and how to register on our website at  The DEADLINE to pre-register is JUNE 10th. After that date, you will have to register onsite and campus housing may not be available to you. Please don't forget to pre-register your CHILDREN and YOUTH too! An exciting camp experience is being planned for them!  Annual Conference Department Presidents are asked to come on Tuesday for a 6 pm dinner and a meeting with Bishop Snorton. FOR SECURITY AND INSURANCE PURPOSES, EVERYONE COMING ON CAMPUS HAS TO REGISTER, BUT THERE IS NO FEE FOR NON-DELEGATES AND GUESTS.



The Florida Region Annual Conference will be Wednesday-Friday, July 29-31, 2015 at the Crowne-Plaza Airport Hotel in Jacksonville, FL.  Registration forms and information are on the website at The DEADLINE to pre-register is July 10th.  After that date, you will have to register onsite. The hotel rate ends on July 7th, so make your reservations early. Please don't forget to pre-register your CHILDREN and YOUTH too! An exciting camp experience is being planned for them!  Annual Conference Department Presidents are asked to come on Tuesday for dinner and a meeting with Bishop Snorton at 6 pm.




Communion is the Wednesday night of Annual Conference at 7 pm.  Ordination and APT Graduation is the Thursday night of Annual Conference at 7 pm.  The Departments of Christian Education and our children and youth are in charge of the Friday Commissioning and Closing Worship Service at noon.



Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday greetings, gifts,cards or attended my celebration cookout.  

You made me feel very special and loved! 








Rev. Dr. Geraldine Daniels, pastor of Southside CME Church, Birmingham, AL received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.


Rev. Lloyd Hicks, pastor of Moody Temple CME Church, Fairfield, AL, received his Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center, Phillips School of Theology.


Inita S. Knox, a member of Gray's Temple C. M. E Church in West Palm Beach, FL graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Master of Arts in Applied Learning and Instruction. She has the distinguished honor of being a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar!


Desirae' O. Washington received her B.A. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Computing Technology and Applications on December 13, 2014. She plans to pursue my Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Justice Administration at Troy University starting Fall 2015. Her home church is Oak Grove CME, Athens, AL.


Jasmine French, daughter of Dr. George and Mrs. Joyce French, Miles Chapel CME Church, Fairfield, graduated from Shades Mountain Christian School, Hoover, AL. She has been accepted at Spelman and Tuskegee.


Miranda Moore, a member of Oak Grove CME, Athens, AL graduated from Clements High School. Her future plans are to attend UNA to pursue a degree in Nursing and to pursue a lifelong goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. 


Faith Frith, daughter of Michael & Lenita Frith, and member of Carter Tabernacle CME Church in Orlando, FL graduated from Seminole High School in Sanford, FL. She is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate and a National Achievement Semifinalist. She was accepted Early Decision to Champlain College in Burlington, VT where she plans to major in Professional Writing.


Tariah Reynolds, daughter of Marcus and Tara Marbury and member of Pleasant Valley, Childersburg, AL graduated from Childersburg High School, Summa Cum Laude and other honors. She plans to attend college and major in Sports Medicine and minor in Business Management. 


Jasmine Marie Clay, graduated from FLorence High School, Florence, AL.


Mt Ararat CME Church, Alexandria, AL is proud of its 2015 high school graduates:

  • Ashia Moore, Alexandria High, going to Gadsden State in Radiology Technology
  • Ryah Phillips, Anniston High, going to Lawson State in Nursing
  • Justin Banks, Munford High, going to Butler Community College in Business
  • Kendaryl Banks, Munford High, going to the Army

The Thirgood CME Church, Birmingham is proud of its 2015 high school graduates:

  • Brittany Dancy
  • Teaira Franklin
  • Te'Verius Lindsey
  • Amber Warren
  • Auyun Warren
Congratulations to all the graduates of the Fifth Episcopal District!!!!




Rev. Eddie Richardson, pastor of Acks Chapel (Gordo, AL) and Martin Mission (Moundville, AL) had a 3.92 grade point average for the Spring Semester at the Phillips School of Theology, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA.


Jaleesa Hall, member of Jacobs Chapel, Talladega, AL, has been named one of the 2015 Who's Who Among the Best Academic Students.


Bishop Teresa Snorton received the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina. 






Presiding Elder Richard Hassell, MPCO District and Pastor of Mt. Zion, Smiths Station, AL died on May 15, 2015. See article above.


Rev. William Kelly, retired Miami-Tampa District, Florida Region, died in April.


Mrs. Mary Sanders, member of Jefferson Chapel, Moundville, AL, and the oldest CME in the state, died at the age of 101 in March.


Rev. Hazel Kirksey, pastor of Cooper-Lewis CME Church, Chatom, AL, lost her husband.


Rev. Brenda Davis, pastor of Allman Chapel, Sulligent, AL, lost her sister Sharon Hood, in a bus accident.


Rev. Larry Threatts, pastor of Ebenezer CME, Loachapoka, AL, lost his brother in March and his mother, Pearl, in April.


Rev. Jasmine Agnew, minister at Southside CME, Birmingham, lost her grandmother, Lena Mae Shelly.


Mrs. Thea Sowell, first lady of Wesley Chapel (York) and Fairfield CME (Halsell) lost her brother.


Rev. Cassandra Weakley, pastor of Armstead CME, Florence, AL lost her nephew.


Rev. Hurley Grissom, pastor of Gurley CME, Gurley, AL, lost his nephew.


Rev. Paul Holt, pastor of Buxton Chapel, Morvin, AL lost his step-mother.


Rev. John Hayes, retired, Huntsville District, lost his brother and a brother-in-law.

Mrs. Ethel Monroe, widow of Rev. Wilford Monroe, continues to desire our prayers.




Rev. William Walker, pastor of Macedonia CME, Boligee, AL had a stroke. He is now in rehab in Huntsville.


Rev. Colin Grey, pastor of St. Paul, Sayreton, has had both legs amputated.

Rev. James Morris, pastor of Carter Tabernacle, Orlando, requests prayer for his sister, Lisa Berney, who has been hospitalized.


Rev. Ricky Melson, pastor of Spring Hill, Munford, AL, desires prayer for his wife who recently has surgery.


Rev. Teresa McMillon, pastor of Mount Zion, Quincy, FL, requests prayers for her son's health.


Please pray for all the bereaved, sick, shut-ins 

and persons facing challenges!





Phen Women Summit logo 


September 3-5, 2015  (Thursday-Saturday)

Sheraton Hotel, Birmingham, AL


for registration information and schedule.

Have a safe and joyful summer!
Watch your email for summer episcopal district updates!

The next newsletter will be the September-October issue. 
Article and announcements are due by August 15, 2015. 




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