On June 23, Blessing of the Elders will recognize seven outstanding pastors whose impact and ministry have been remarkable. They are examples to all and an inspiration to the generations to come. They have been faithful to the preaching of the Bible and ministering to the souls in their care. By awarding these accomplished leaders, we are upholding and enshrining their spiritual legacy as they prepare to pass the baton to the next generation of preachers, teachers, and pastors who are to come.
The evening will feature music by such renowned performers as Wintley Phipps, Marvin Winans, The Clark Sisters, Shirley Caesar, Tramaine Hawkins, Erica Campbell, Fred Hammond, and Lecrae, with Anthony Brown and group therAPy.
The Clark Sisters
Pastor Shirley Caesar
Anthony Brown and group therAPy
Each of the pastors chosen tonight exemplifies the vision statement of the Steering Committee, to honor "Black pastors across the United States who have been committed to their call of preaching the gospel and caring for the souls of humankind." Each honoree has invited a special guest or guests to introduce them and present them with their award.
Pastor A. R. Bernard
Reverend A. R. Bernard Sr. is the pastor, founder, and CEO of Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York. Bernard and his wife, Karen, built the CCC from a small Bible study in their small community in Brooklyn into one of the largest independent churches in the US, with more than 37,000 members.
Bishop Charles E. Blake
Bishop Blake is the pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ. He served on President Obama's White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, as an Advisory Committee Member of the Pentecostal World Conference, as the founder and Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Ecumenical Congress, and as founding Chair of the Board of Directors for the C. H. Mason Theological Seminary.
Pastor Shirley Caesar
Since leaving the Caravans, Shirley Caesar has been delivering her Christian message in song and sermon and picking up an astonishing number of awards along her path. She currently serves as the Senior Pastor of the Mount Calvary Word of Faith Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dr. Tony Evans
Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, former chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and accomplished author. The first African American to earn a Doctor of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University.
Bishop T. D. Jakes
Bishop T.D. Jakes is the founder of The Potter's House, a non-denominational, multicultural church and global humanitarian organization, in Dallas, Texas, with more than 30,000 members and more than 50 diverse ministries. And advisor to the last three US Presidents, he also empowers communities through distinct national ministries, including Global Partner System (GPS), MegaCARE, and Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.).
Bishop Vashti McKenzie
Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie is the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She is the first female elected to episcopal office in the more than the two-century-old AME Church and is the first female to serve as President of the Council of Bishops and President of the General Board. She is also the founder of Selah Leadership Encounters for Women and Kerygma LLC.
Dr. John M. Perkins
Dr. John Perkins is one of the most prominent evangelical figures of the American civil rights movement. He is internationally recognized as an author, teacher, and speaker. In 1983, Dr. Perkins and his wife, Dr. Vera Mae, helped establish the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development (now called John & Vera Mae Perkins Foundation), which focuses on Christian community development, racial reconciliation, multi-ethnic church planting, health care, education, and more.
Learn more about the Steering Committee’s proposals for the future of Blessing of the Elders, and be a part of this important initiative by supporting this vision and spreading the word among your churches and organizations.