The 2016 African American Fellowship and Evangelism Conference was held from June 27-July 1 at Friendship Baptist Church in The Colony.
“I saw the African American Fellowship Conference as a great success but also the beginning of our focus to bring unity and strength to the ministry of the nearly 900 churches which comprise the African American Fellowship,” said African American Fellowship of Texas President Dr. Ponce Brown. “The conference was unique in that we began with a prayer vigil on the opening night. We had an awesome time in the very presence of the Lord. The challenges of life in this world were answered as we were encouraged with the hope given in the ministry of the word of God.”
- Election of 2016-2017 African American Fellowship of Texas officers included: Dr. Ponce Brown, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of El Paso, re-elected as president; Rev. Elmo Johnson, pastor of Rose of Sharon Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, as vice president; Rev. Leonard Hornsby, executive pastor Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, as treasurer; and Rev. Michael Joseph, pastor of New Providence Baptist Church in Houston, as secretary.
- 23rd Annual James W. Culp, Sr. Banquet held on June 28, with Dr. Oscar D. Epps, Sr., pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church of DeSoto, serving as the speaker; NuG choir from Community Missionary Baptist Church providing special music; and greetings from Texas Baptists Executive Director David Hardage and Director of African American Ministries Roy Cotton.
- Recognition of Cooperative Program Top Giving churches during the Culp Banquet including: The Fort Bend Church of Sugar Land; Cornerstone Baptist Church Killeen in Harker Heights; Community Missionary Baptist Church of DeSoto; and Bethlehem Baptist Church of Mansfield.
- Dr. Claybon Lea, Jr., pastor of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfield and Suisun City, CA, served as the Keynote Speaker.
- Many attendees participated in mission and evangelistic opportunities around the area during the week including:
- prayer walking and evangelism;
- Pray for Every Home initiative, praying for 800 residents in the surrounding area of Friendship Baptist Church by name, with 19 participants registering to engage in the effort in their local communities;
- Help Thy Neighbor, where participants work on 10 restorative projects including lawn care, mending fences, painting and sheetrocking;
- Packaging a School Supply Drive for Morningside Elementary School
- Leading a Bible study at Evergreen Independent Living Facility
- “It was encouraging to see people respond to the theme “Making Christ Known” by serving in these areas,” said Gerald Davis, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery development specialist and organizer of mission outreach projects. “Not only did participants serve in The Colony, but many were encouraged as they returned home to their own communities to do likewise.”
- Workshops held daily, Worship Services on Wednesday and Thursday evening and a Closing Communion Service on Friday.
“The impact of the conference was great in that its influence could be measured and felt on many levels,” Brown continued. “It certainly served to focus us for the many challenges which we face presently with the many tragic events taking place in our country and around the world. We are encouraged to know and to embrace the fact that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is true: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”