My heart is bubbling with the joy of the Lord as i write a tribute message in honor of the Right Reverend Hamel Hartford Brookins.

At the 1972 General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, H.H. Brookins was elected 91st Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was first assigned to the 17th Episcopal District which embraced five central African countries, among them present day Zambia,Zimbabwe,Malawi,Tanzania,Congoa DR.

During Zimbabwe's struggle for independence, Bishop Brookins dared to identify with the Black Freedom Fighters in opposing the white minority regime. His plainspokeness, his indomitable courage, and his direct efforts to furnish food, clothing and medical supplies earned him the honor of ouster from Southern Rhodesia(Zimbabwe). He continued his fund-raising on behalf of the liberation movement and urged his congregations to provide asylum in their sanctuaries. In 1981, he was invited back to attend the installation/inauguration of the new President Robert Mugabe of the independent nation of Zimbabwe.

It was during his first tenure of office as Bishop of the 17th Episcopal District that he identified one young man who was at that time Episcopal President of the Young People's Division. He personally decided to invest into this young man and took him to the USA. He secured a place for him to study at Paul Quinn College an AME Church institution of higher learning that is still in Dallas Texas. This young man was non other than N Jordan Mkwanazi who was born in the personage of Bulawayo Zimbabwe, son of the late Rev Dr Clement Mkwanazi. His uncle The Rev Daniel Mkwanzi served for several years and added value to the AME Church in Zambia.

Little did Bishop Brookins know that the certifed seed that he was sowing in N Jordan Mkwanzi will germinate and raise another preacher in the Mkwanazi family.

Having gone through the formal education in the US and acquired excellent qualifications in Sociology and Theology,N Jordan Mkwanzi left circular job and answered the call to preach which culminated into his ordination as an Itinerant elder in the AME Church. In 2004, Rev N Jordan Mkwanzi has pastor of the AME Church in good and regular standing for more than 20 years. All the years of pastoral work has been in the USA. Rev N Jordan Mkwanzi is currently pastor of Bethel AME Church in Dallas Texas for more than four years.

The 2000 General Conference held in Cincinnatti, Ohio made a strong recommendation for Africa to have indigenous leadership. Rev N Jordan has answered another call to come home and provide leadership of the Church at Episcopal level. He is candidate for Bishopry adopted and supported by the 2002 Christian Education Congress of the 17th Episcopal District held at David Livingstone Teachers Training College. He is the one of the true sons and daughters of the soils of Africa whom Bishop Hamel Hartford Brookins took for training for a time such as this one.

It is for this reason that i wish to personally salute you Bishop Brookins for the forsight that you had about the AME Church in Africa and future demans of competenct leadership. The 17th Episcopal District appreciates your contributions as she will now be enjoying the fruits of your personal investment in Rev N Jordan Mkwanazi who is no doubt the next Bishop of the 17th Episcopal District. Even as you retire from active service,it is our prayer that you will come to the 17th where you started your active service as Bishop, but this time around, to bring the fruit of your labor in your son Rev N Jordan Mkwanazi taking over the reigns as the Bishop of the District.God bless and keep you. Lstly, i wish to solicit the support of all Bishops, Clergy and lay delegates to cast your wise vote on Rev N Jordan Mkwanzi for Bishop at the forthcoming 2004 General Conference. God bless Bishop Brookins, God bless the AME Church

-- Anonymous, May 07, 2004


That was an excellent tribute. Because of his last appointments and the anquish that he caused there, I never knew that he had actually done something positive. Thanks for the information.

-- Anonymous, May 10, 2004

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