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Bethesda Community Baptist to host African American June 15 fellowship

PHOENIX (BP)–Bethesda Community Baptist Church in Phoenix will host the June 15 worship fellowship of the African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Ronald Vail, pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church in St. Louis, will preach at the 6:30 p.m. service.

On Monday, June 16, the fellowship’s annual pastors’ meeting will begin at 5 p.m., followed by a fellowship dinner at 6:30 p.m., both at the Wyndham Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza) in Phoenix. The pastors’ meeting will be in the Wyndham’s Apache A/B Room, with the dinner in the Navajo A/B Room.

The dinner’s featured speaker will be George McCalep Jr., the fellowship’s president and pastor of Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Atlanta.

“I’ve been an African American pastor for 23 years. When I first became pastor and even now when I go to the convention, you don’t see a lot of African Americans,” McCalep said. “So for no more than the camaraderie and fellowship, [the African American Fellowship] serves a great purpose. Secondly, it addresses issues that relate to African American churches. I think it’s very critical from that standpoint.

“This year like every year is always critical. People come to the convention to be involved in Southern Baptist life like the election of the president and resolutions that pass that affect the life of churches throughout the country,” he said. “The churches have to be involved if we’re going to make a difference.”

More than 3,100 African American congregations and church-type missions are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

African American congregations interested in becoming involved in the African American Fellowship may contact McCalep at (404) 486-1120.

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