USA: Women in Ministry Team Uplifts Chicago


by Patricia Fliginger, Chicago Women in Ministry

On May 20, 2017, the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) Women in Ministry national team arrived in Chicago to hold an event titled “Women Stay United in the Heart and Spirit of God—Uplifting Marriage and Family.”

The WIM national team—Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., Minister Reiko Jenkins, Rev. Marilyn Kotulek, Rev. Tanya Edwards, and Archbishop Dr. Sulanch Lewis-Rose—were visiting Chicago as part of a four-city U.S. tour.

The program, which was held at the Life Center Church of God in Christ at the invitation of Pastor T.L. Barrett Jr. and First Lady Cleopatra Barrett, with the collaboration of local ACLC leaders Rev. David Rendel and Rev. Kunihiro Sagisaka, was a grand celebration.

Coordinated by Evangelist Greta Myers, the dynamic program was filled with a diverse blend of presenters and guests. Around 80 people participated. As the mistress of ceremonies, Minister Fannie Smith did a fantastic job of keeping us on schedule and infusing the program with energy.

Archbishop George A. Stallings Jr., the national co-chair of ACLC, presented the True Family Values lecture “What Went Wrong?” Using many anecdotes, he clarified the symbolism in the Bible story of the Human Fall. Participants could follow the Bible verses in his presentation by reading the handout in the folder that they were given.

The highlight of the morning was the Appreciation Awards ceremony. Thanks to the inspired vision received by Rev. Marilyn Kotulek and the diligent efforts of Evangelist Rita Pritchett, honored first responders from the city of Chicago’s police, fire, and emergency medical team departments were presented with lovely plaques expressing our respect. In addition, the president of the Firefighters Union Local 2, Mr. Dave Quintavalle, presented our ACLC Women in Ministry with a generous gift.

The luncheon featured time-honored favorites, lovingly prepared by Ms. Joan Barrett and her team. In a special presentation, Minister Reiko Jenkins, the national coordinator for ACLC Women in Ministry, and the national co-chairs gave a recognition plaque on behalf of the ACLC Women in Ministry to Rev. Helen Cooper and Evangelist Greta Myers, the dedicated leaders of the Chicago chapter of Women in Ministry.

Rev. Tanya Edwards gave a moving True Family Values presentation titled “Why Do We Marry?” She wove her own family story into a message that prepared us for the Marriage Blessing ceremony that followed. Rev. Jeffrey Schmidt and Rev. Kunihiro Sagisaka moderated, as representative couples gathered on stage, and Pastor and Mrs. Barrett officiated the ceremony. All the guests participated and afterward were invited to receive a certificate of this Blessing.

Ms. Melishia Bansa, the daughter of Bishop Connie and Emanuel Bansa, who have been involved in ACLC for over 30 years, beautifully introduced our keynote speaker, Archbishop Dr. Sulanch Lewis-Rose, the ACLC national co-president. Archbishop Lewis-Rose poured her heart into her talk, an eloquent message that lifted our spirits. Afterward we formed a circle and Bishop Connie Bansa offered invigorating words for us all.

Evangelist Greta Myers closed the event. Cutting the congratulatory cake, we all felt the value of a job well done. Many thanks to our guests, such as Sister Claudette Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, and everyone who contributed to the planning of this year’s event, especially the invitational committee and decorating team.

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