Leaders


Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017

International Women’s Day took me by surprise. I was not paying attention to the preparations women all around me were making to engage in community service, provide child care and support women who would have to work on Wednesday March 8, 2017.

As a male, I acknowledge that we should all be paying attention to the women in our lives and to the awesome contributions that they are making in all areas and professions. The reality is that many times I take it for granted until somebody points out the extreme multitasking and momentous achievements that the women in my life are making daily.123_1

I look at the history of my family and remember that Jeanette A. Thomas, my grandmother was a phenomenal woman, She raised seven children in Cincinnati, Ohio after moving from File, Virginia. She set the example of educational achievement by attaining a Master’s in Education from the University of Cincinnati in 1959. She instilled this passion for education in each of her children who all achieved a Masters in different fields and three achieved doctorates. That passion and value of strong women on International Women’s Day is expressed by her granddaughter Dr. Marya l. Shegog PH.D MPH, “International Women’s Day is a day to honor the very essence of women, not merely for their accomplishments but for their existence and willingness to stand without waiver for love and passion.” 

The full expression  of this experience is not limited to my family. Virginia Sowell in Atlanta reflects and says, ”She’s not just somebody’s wife, daughter, or mother. She is someone! International Women’s Day is about bringing to the forefront women’s contributions throughout history that have been minimized. I am grateful for the strides to recognize marginalized people and that we are trying to learn more. Today we lift up women as humans, as equals, not as simply support to a man.”IMG_4001

In Maryland, my good friend Christine Kumar works faithfully in the church and reflects this way, “International women’s Day is a celebration of how our female ancestors bravely paved the way for us to be who God has called us to be. We move forward exercising our rights and building women from all walks of life up in this journey.”

God has created women not to be limited to the stereotypical narrow roles of being housekeepers, caretakers and  rearing children  but women all across the world are designed by God to be leaders, engineers, preachers, musicians,  business owners, CEOs, technology innovators, philanthropist and so much more. We all celebrate what God is doing in and through the women all around us not just today but everyday.

 

Marya L Shegog Ph.D MPH – Director of a Health programs, The Lincy Institute, School of Community Health Sciences, Editor of The Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Virginia Sowell – Director of Communications, Oak Grove United Methodist Church, Decatur GA

Christine Kumar – Business Administrator, Baltimore Metropolitan District, Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church

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For immediate release August 1, 2013

Media contact:  Donna Dodson 410.409.5378

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HOLLAND JOINS INFINITE GRACE FELLOWSHIP LEADERSHIP TEAM

Minister Ardenia M. Holland has been appointed as Director for Outreach and Missions for Infinite Grace Fellowship by resident Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  Minister Holland began her duties August 1. The church is located at 5130 Greenwich in Baltimore, on the city’s historic “40 West” corridor.

Minister Holland has served as an associate minister at First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church in Baltimore, where she has been a member from birth, since August 2008. Over the course of her membership she served on various ministries and in most recent years served as assistant ministry leader for the Ministerial Alliance, assistant to the executive director for Ministries of Excellence which provides oversight for church ministries and was co-facilitator for Baby Dedication classes.  In addition, she assisted with teaching in conjunction with prayer vigils and Bible Study.  She lives by the philosophy that it is her responsibility to use her life experiences to empower others to realize their God-given purpose and has a passion for community outreach, organizing and advocacy, especially in the areas of public health.

Min. Holland is a native of Baltimorean, and a graduate of Western High School.  She received a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She is the Executive Officer of her own consulting ministry, All His Glory Enterprises, and has a wealth of public health, public administration and communications experience.  Her work experience includes eight years with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and serving as Executive Director for the Heart & Soul Foundation.  In 2011 she coordinated the Heart & Soul Magazine Awards Weekend in Baltimore, MD, honoring 13 extraordinary women and men who advance healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyles. She has worked in a consult capacity with the Baltimore Washington United Methodist Conference of the United Methodist Church and coordinated Metropolitan United Methodist Church’s Full & Fit Community Outreach event in 2012.  One of her most memorable life moments is appearing as a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune in 1988.

Minister Holland is single and the mother of Aaron Holland and his wife Aerica.  She is blessed to still have the presence of her mother, Flora Holland, in her life and has four siblings.  Aware of God’s grace and mercy upon her life, she self-published her first book “Just Like Fire…God Said Testify” and believes God is capable of using our testimony to make us stronger as well as to spread the message of His saving, redeeming, and delivering power.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church is comprised of 694 congregations with nearly 200,000 members. It is the home of Methodism in America, with the founding of the denomination at Lovely Lane Chapel in 1784.

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There are many struggling churches in mainline denominations that aspire to Make disciples for Christ, Serve the Community and Impact the World. Often they struggle with limited finances, limited energy and few people. Efforts to reach more people and share the life changing message of Jesus Christ seem futile and the few ideas that do work seem to never provide the traction necessary to change the direction of the congregations decline.    I believe that there is something to learn from relevant success stories of congregations that have already gone through the process of revitalizing and restoring their mission. The role of the transformative, revitalizing pastor is to help the congregation discover the best practices to achieving the long term mission and vision. . As a pastoral and leadership coach here are some suggestions to accelerate the learning curve:

  1. Find multiple examples of congregations with similar demographics and a similar ministry context that have coped with equivalent challenges successfully. Learn from their mistakes, experiences and successes
  2. Find congregations that model excellence in the ministry areas that you desire to grow in even if the resources are outside of your denomination in a congregation that has no ministry context similarities.  Learn what the best practices are and let them become the standards that your strive for as you revision the ministry.
  3. Develop a step by step logic model of the reasons for the best practices and the success of the turnaround churches. Look for features that they share in common.
  4. Present these shared “success factors” as precepts, guidelines, and principles that can be implemented by all those who wish to achieve similar levels of success.
  5. Document your journey by video, journaling, pictures and recordings.
  6. Celebrate mini successes along the journey and review the ultimate goal and objectives often

B. Kevin Smalls

 

Several years ago, I accompanied my son to his new high school’s orientation and the principal began his speech with what he called non-negotiables.  One was, fighting.  The other was cheating and I don’t remember the rest of them.  I kind of like that concept.  I’ve been comforted lately by listing what my non-negotiables are as a leader and a pastor.  Here they are.

1. From time to time I would hear that “we are not being heard.”  I will listen to anyone but I will not accommodate negative, disruptive and problematic attitudes. There is a difference.

2. I will not make room for prejudice, judgementalism and religious elitism.  

3. I will not apologize for aggressively reaching those seeking shelter from the cold walk without God.  They are the priority for all of US.

4. I will not allow abuse to me or my family.  I will confront…

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For immediate release August 14, 2013

Media contact: Donna Dodson  (410) 945-8397
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FORMAN JOINS INFINITE GRACE FELLOWSHIP LEADERSHIP TEAM

Dr.  Scheherazade W. Forman has joined the leadership team of Infinite Grace Fellowship of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Dr. Scheherazade W. Forman will begin her ministry with Infinite Grace on July 1. The church is located at 5130 Greenwich in Baltimore, on the city’s historic “40 West” corridor.

Dr. Forman, a native of Newark, NJ, was formerly co-pastor of Grace Renewed Community Church, in Baltimore, where the mission was to restore men to their families and unite the family around Christ.

During her time in ministry, Scheherazade has served in the children and youth ministries, music ministry, women’s ministry, marriage ministry and pastoral counseling.

“In 1 Peter 5:10 God promises He will strengthen and settle us. God has given me a passion for the family. My devotion to God and commitment to relationships drives me to foster restoration of families.”

Forman is married to Rev. Anthony L. Forman and they have seven children and six grandchildren. Her educational background includes a bachelor and master degree from the University of Maryland, University College and a doctorate from Morgan State University with training at the International Harvest Bible Training Center.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church is comprised of 694 congregations with nearly 200,000 members. It is the home of Methodism in America, with the founding of the denomination at Lovely Lane Chapel in 1784.

 

Image“I believe that God has been working on me my whole life.  Every experience that I have had, both good and those that have been challenging, have led me to this point.  In Christ, I am a new creation that comes to the table with all of my past experiences and with my hope in Him for the future.  My prayer is that at Infinite Grace Fellowship, God would empower each of us to impact the lives of those in our community for the Kingdom of God and that the Good News would be spread far and wide both in word and in action to make disciples of Christ to then make more disciples of Christ.  We are going to be doing church differently and it is exciting!”

Image“My greatest hope as a campus pastor of  Infinite Grace Fellowship is to, “authentically” minister to those Believers and Non-Believers who have been “Beat up and set aside” by the World. My deepest concern is inspire Youth and Young Adults to draw closer to Christ, majorly focusing on Young Men.  My prayer is that by the Grace and Sovereignty of God, their eyes open wide enough for them to see and receive God’s Majesty and they will feel led to leave the World, and cling to God.”

~Isaiah Redd, Sr. ~

Campus Pastor, Infinite Grace Fellowship

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