October 12, 201
MANSFIELD--Councilman At-Large Don Bryant, delivered remarks on Sunday in celebration of Greater Mitchell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church’s 150th anniversary.
Joining Councilman Bryant were national clergy leaders from the African Methodist Episcopal Church: Presiding Prelate of the Third Episcopal District- Bishop McKinley Young, Presiding Elder- Earl Harris and Pastor Louise V. Jackson. Also in attendance were Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker, 6th Ward Councilwoman Garnetta Pender and Mansfield Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance president, Dr. Thomas Hunt.
Mansfielders Winston Green and Giselle Lindsay served as Master’s of Ceremony for the event.
“I have the pleasure to introduce the oldest member of our church, a man who has been here since the day the church was built 150 years ago,” Lindsay joked as she introduced 91 year old Wesley Hood.
Hood, in his role as church historian, shared the history of Greater Mitchell Chapel AME Church.
“Our church was founded in 1865 by a group of individuals. In 1886, Mr. George Carpenter consented to let the group use property off of Glessner Avenue rent free and that’s when they formed what is now known as, the Greater Mitchell Chapel AME Church,” Hood stated.
Councilman Bryant applauded the resilience of the church.
“I learned the AME church was founded as result of being forcibly denied access to the Methodist Church because of skin color and heritage,” Bryant stated.
“By building your own church, you have set forth a model of strength and unity for communities across the world. In Mansfield, as Richland County’s oldest African-American church, you have developed a strong foundation for all of us to stand upon.”
Bryant also shared with the church, the positive things happening throughout the City of Mansfield, as well as making a call for Mansfielders to come together for better jobs and fair hiring practices.
“Can we come together to build new jobs and networks that can be sustained in this new globalized world?” Bryant asked.
“The answer is yes. Yes we can, if we believe we can. There must be an unbreakable sense of optimism and determination. We have to have hope.”
Bishop McKinley Young; leader of the AME Third District (Ohio, Pittsburgh, & West Virginia) and is scheduled to become Senior Bishop of the entire African Episcopal Methodist Church denomination in 2016, shared the anniversary message.
“Remember the past and never forget where you were before today. We must get ready for a better tomorrow by understanding the power to change,” the Bishop stated.
“When Moses died and passed over the leadership to Joshua, Joshua gathered the people together and commanded them: Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
For more information on how to get involved in the AME church, contact Greater Mitchell Chapel Pastor Louise V. Jackson at 419-524-9932.