St. Paul AME Cambridge, Mass. Alumni : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I am in Washington, DC on a business trip and on last night [4-27-01]I visited Ebeneezer AME which hosted the 51st Washingotn Conference. After the service I was the guest of Revs Grainger & JoAnn Browning for dinner. At the dinner they shared with me their fond friendship with Brenda & Jerryl Payne and a host of other St.Paul Alumni [Vernon Byrd, Jr., Fred Lucas, etc]. The pastors wished to express their best wishes to the Payne family in particular. Also Jeryyl, a Rev. Swann [MIT classmate] told me to tell you hello. He told me a very funny story about how you met him. Perhaps one day you can share it with the board. You guys are surely somebody!! QED

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2001


The list of St. Paul Alumni is so large that I would be sure to leave some very significant contributors out if I started to call it. St. Paul has been pastored by two who have become bishops (R.E. Stokes, J. R. Bryant). Since 1965 several who came to St. Paul as members have left as ministers, and have gone on to varying degrees of pastoral success. Certainly in this group the most visible who have passed through St. Paul's doors include Floyd Flake, Grainger Browning, Frank Reid, Fred Lucas, Kenneth S. Robinson, Johnathan Weaver, and Ann Lightner-Fuller. The list is extremely extensive as both Bishop Bryant and Rev. Attles, the current pastor, have had dozens of "children in the ministry." Several of these ministerial children now pastor throughout the New England Conference, the First District, and across the connection (including Reedy Chapel in the 10th, where Rev. Brenda Payne is pastor).

Other former members with connectional or national visibility include Dr. Renita Weems (Vanderbilt University), Rev. Dana Swann (Second District Christian Ed. Director), and Dr. Paulette Coleman ( former Editor, AME Review). Pastor Attles is a three-time candidate for the Bishopric. Nnenna Pierce Freelon was both a member and the pianist for the Inspirational Choir in her teenage years at St. Paul. (She had a great voice even then!) Former Cambridge Mayor Kenneth Reeves, Esq., is a long-time member.

Watch-care members or visitors have included J. Langston Boyd, Michael O. Thomas, Debyii S. Thomas, and Wiliam Watley, who all stopped by on their journey through divinity schools; Madison Shockley, who replaced Frank Reid as advisor to the television program "Amen" (he played bass for the gospel choir while at St. Paul); and Laura Murphy, Director of the Washington office ACLU.

For a relatively small church (roughly 1000 members) it has a rich tradition and has been a blessing to the connection. I am thankful for having spent some time there.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Boy, Brother Jerryl, I am beaming. Truly we at St. Paul are blessed and have been blessed for many years. Bro. Bill, Rev Grainger Browning was our Holy Week Revival preacher for the 2nd year in a row. He is a true son of St Paul. My Pastor, the Rev Dr LeRoy Attles has close to 100 sons and daughters in the ministry. When those that have already been licensed are ordained it will pass the 100 mark. He is in his 24th year here.A third of the pastors in the New England Conference have come out of St Paul. We are now around 1500. Since returning from General Conference God has been sending new souls to the church. With the exception of one week we have had at least one person accept Christ and/or join the church, 9 during revival and 25 on Ressurection Sunday.God has increased the number of men coming forward and continues to do great things under the leadership and vision of our Pastor. There are many names to add to those called out by Jerryl but one I would like to add is Brother Ronald McNair, Astronaut who was on board the Challenger. He started our Youth Karate Program which is still functioning. Bob McCain

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

St. Pauls Cambridge was and is an extraordinary place. I attended and was the Choir Director for the Inspirational Choir and the Angels Without Wings Children's Choir. And we had chu'ch!! The fond memories are too numerous--Bill Marshall, Minister of Music extraordinaire mentored me, the Revs. Drs. Ray and Gloria Hammond fed me when I was sho' nuff hungry, Jerryl Payne shifting from funky chord progressions one minute to a classical fugue the next, MIT Swan up in the balcony working the audio, Kenny Robinson directing the New Temple Singers, Pastor Attles demonstrating steady spiritual leadership. I remember one Sunday, shortly before he accepted the call, I heard a young man named Grainger Browning give his testimony about tithing and my Lord, when he got through I think the offering must have doubled easily that Sunday. What an amazing place--some of you writers out there, its a good topic for a book. Bro. McCain please let me know of any reunions in the future.

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2001

Vernon Byrd's selective "ebonics" are truly inspirational. While emotive terms like "chu'ch" and sho-nuff won't be found in Black's Law Dictionary, Thank the Lawd they are canonized in the language tools of ordinary church folk. If my late grandparents were around he would be affectionately slapped on the shoulder for communicating in a language which spoke to the depths of their spiritual existence. As our ancestors of faith were fond of saying, "Son you dunn Good". QED

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2001

Ah Bro. Bill, but just wait 'til I break out in Latin!QED :)

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2001

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