The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Fights the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
in the Black Community as a Social Justice Issue

The CME Church's College of Bishops has wholeheartedly voted to endorse the NAACP's initiative to fight the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Black Community. The Resolution is available to download here and listed below.

Here is a brief history of the initiative from the NAACP from Rev. Keron R. Sadler, NAACP National Health Manager. Additional information is

The NAACP Health Department is and has been doing around HIV as a social justice issue. The initiative is called The Black Church & HIV: the Social Justice Imperative {BCHSJI} ( which enlists faith leaders as change agents in the fight against HIV in Black America. The NAACP national health department and Gilead Sciences pledged to scale up The Black Church and HIV initiative over a five-year period to reach 30 cities that make up nearly two-thirds of the nation's HIV epidemic. With the goal of changing the way HIV is viewed and approached in the Black community, the initiative will continue to establish a national network of Black faith leaders, religious institutions and community members committed to making systemic cultural and behavioral change in the communities hit hardest by HIV.

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Fights the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

in the Black Community as a Social Justice Issue

WHEREAS, there are over 21,000 Black Churches across the United States of America; and 

WHEREAS, of the 39,000,000 Blacks living in the U.S. 53% attend church weekly, which leverages the power of 20,000,000 to end new HIV infections; and 

WHEREAS, if Black America were its own country, it would rank 16th in the world for people living with HIV; and 

WHEREAS, African Americans represent 12% of the population but account for 44% of the new HIV infections in the United States; and 

WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 32 Black women and 1 in 16 Black men will be infected with HIV during their lifetime; and 

WHEREAS, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among Black women 25-34 years of age and the second leading cause of death of Black men 35-44 years of age; and 

WHEREAS, Black women are disproportionately affected, representing over 50% of new infections nationally because the female’s anatomy makes them more susceptible to HIV infection; and 

WHEREAS, the HIV/AIDS crisis is rising among youth and seniors over the age of 50; and 

WHEREAS, for definitive change, interventions must occur at the societal, community and individual levels for the greatest impact; 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church will endorse the Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative as a core priority at Annual Sessions to reduce stigma, discrimination, myths, and shame around HIV/AIDS; and 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church will partner with the NAACP national health department staff to provide technical assistance to pastors in support of strategic programs that promote regular HIV testing and prevention education in their respective communities in order to raise awareness about HIV as a social justice issue; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, beginning 2018, increase pastoral engagement by 10% each year to partner with the NAACP to intentionally communicate HIV as a social justice issue or the disproportionate way it is impacting the Black community during the Day of Unity; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the local churches of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church will engage in the fight to prevent new HIV infections by hosting HIV faith leader trainings and partnering on the annual Day of Unity. 

On behalf of the College of Bishops, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, this 21st day of May, 2018.

Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Secretary

Bishop Lawrence Reddick, Senior Bishop

View the Episcopal Address by Bishop Bobby R. Best

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Liturgical Calendar

(Prepared by Rev. Dr. Ore Spragin, the Editor of the Christian Index)


Departmental Chairs

Ministry to Men

Bishop C. James King, Jr.

Lay Ministry

Bishop Marvin Frank Thomas, Sr.

Evangelism & Missions

Bishop Bobby R. Best

Ministers' Spouses, Widows and Widowers

Bishop Godwin T. Umoette

Patron Bishop of the Women's Missionary Council and Communication and Information Technology (CIT)
Bishop James B. Walker

Chair: Bishop Kenneth W. Carter
Vice Chair: Bishop Sylvester Williams, Sr.

Ecumenical Officer and Endorsing Officer
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton

Christian Education
Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr.

Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.

Personnel Services
Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick

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Episcopal Assignments

8th Episcopal District: Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick

1st Episcopal District: Bishop Henry Williamson

6th Episcopal District: Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr.

11th Episcopal District: Bishop Kenneth Carter

7th Episcopal District: Bishop James B. Walker

3rd Episcopal District:  Bishop Sylvester WIlliams, Sr.

5th Episcopal District; Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton

10th Episcopal District; Bishop Godwin T. Umoette

9th Episcopal District: Bishop Bobby R. Best

2nd Episcopal District: Bishop Marvin F. Thomas

4th Episcopal District; Bishop C. James King, Jr.

The Episcopal Assignments and the Departmental Chairs for the 2018-2022 Quadrennium

After a General Conference

By Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick

Dear C.M.E. Family, 

           For seven days, CMEs met in Birmingham, Alabama, for the 39th General Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. We labelled it “the 38th Quadrennial Session and the 39th General Conference” because (1) we count the first General Conference in 1870 as the first quadrennial session, and because (2) we count a special “called” General Conference of 1873 as one in the number of total General Conferences. In almost 148 years of existence, the CME Church has only had 39 General Conferences! 

           Persons elected delegates and alternate delegates to the General Conference are among the privileged. One must be elected by persons in the Annual Conference to represent that Annual Conference in the General Conference. (The East Texas Annual Conference, for example, has 68 ministers in full connection and 69 churches, but with that number, only qualifies for 8 clergy and 8 lay delegates to the General Conference.) 

           General Conferences do many things. General Conferences elect bishops; elect Judicial Council members and general officers; set policies for the denomination that result in position statements and also in regulations printed in The Book of Discipline; General Conferences hear and approve reports of bishops and general officers and, in some cases, other connectional leaders. 

           The following paragraphs present – in a very limited way – a summary of some of the things done in Birmingham. It is not intended to be “full” but, in this medium, brief. 

           The 2018 General Conference heard several sermons during worship, heard the message from the College of Bishops to the denomination (the “College of Bishops” is the official gathering of the bishops as the church’s general superintendents), elected general officers and Judicial Council members, passed new rules and regulations for The Book of Discipline. The General Conference did not elect any bishops (the last General Conference which did not elect bishops was in 1990). 

           Two new general officers were elected: Dr. Pené G. Woods was elected to the office of Executive Secretary; and the Rev. Leon C. Moore, Jr., was elected to the office of General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions. Dr. Woods replaced Dr. Jeanette Bouknight as Executive Secretary; and Rev. Moore replaced the Rev. Dr. Faith Allen as General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions. 

           Several Judicial Council members were elected to an 8-year term (some of whom were re-elected): Atty. Shirley C. Byers, Atty. Bernard Snell (re-elected), Rev. Jerry D. Woodfork (re-elected), Rev. Lawson Adjei (re-elected), Justice Bertina E. Lampkin (re-elected), Dr. Lynda Brown-Wright (re-elected), Mrs. Barbara Nichols (re-elected), and Rev. Russell O. Fuller, Sr. They join the Rev. Roland Johnson, Jr., who is at the mid-point of his 8-year term, having been re-elected in 2014. (Justice Juanita Bryant retired from the Court at this General Conference.) 

           The focus of the Episcopal Address, prepared and delivered by Bishop Bobby R. Best for the College of Bishops, was on moving forward by concentrating on the basics – basics in areas such as evangelism, church planting, and Christian education. We will probably see more on the theme as the quadrennial (now until summer 2022) plays out. 

           On the last day, bishops were appointed to their respective episcopal areas of supervision, as follows. Most bishops were re-appointed to the areas they were previously serving. The exceptions were: Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr., was appointed to serve the Sixth Episcopal District (Georgia Regions); Bishop Kenneth W. Carter was appointed to serve Haiti, as well as several eastern and southern Africa Regions in the Eleventh Episcopal District; and Bishop C. James King, Jr., was appointed to serve the Fourth Episcopal District (Mississippi and Louisiana Regions). 

           After a General Conference, we begin a new quadrennium. We are in a state of “newness”: new themes, new emphases, new leadership on many levels, new plans and new expectations in many respects. “Behold,” says the Scripture, “I make all things new.” Let us all pray for the new aspects of the new quadrennium (four year period) to be God sent and God focused. Communion on the first day of July in 2018 might be a good way to start this new time!


                                                                                   + Lawrence L. Reddick III

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