By Kia Croom
Greater Cooper African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church recently held its annual Shepherd’s Appreciation Celebration honoring Reverend Dr. Stephen W. Pogue.
The event featured Rev. Dr. W. Darin Moore, pastor of Greater Centennial AME. Zion Church in Mount Vernon, N.Y. The three-day celebration took place May 9-11 in the Greater Cooper’s Sanctuary.
The theme of the celebration was “Finding Treasures in Darkness,” taken from Isaiah 45:3, “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places; so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name.”
This theme, said Sister Teresa Williams, the preacher’s steward, is a common thread in Pastor Pogue’s teaching.
“The treasures are the Kingdom of Heaven. The treasures God gives the world that are taken out of darkness will show his surpassing power. And although many have seen dark places, you shall come out whole, by God’s Grace,” she said.
Each night highlighted a different biblical character portrayed in a brief theatrical performance. Wednesday, congregants met Peter,who recalled his miraculous fishing experience, where his net overflowed with fish.
Thursday, the Shumanite Woman talked about the ‘Good life,’ her wonderful marriage and God’s gift of a son to her and her husband. She described the darkness that loomed over her when her son took ill and died in her arms and how she found peace.
Friday night, the Woman at the Well described her life as a loner and how her encounter with Christ changed her life
Also attending was Rev. Ed Proctor-Harris, Presiding Elder, Bay Cities. Other guest worship leaders included Rev. Frances Reynolds Tsai of Greater Cooper; Rev. Michael Wallace, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and Rev. Malcolm Byrd, First Church A.M.E. Zion Church.
Rev. Pogue is a native of Roselle, N.J. He graduated from Nyack College in 1998 with a degree in Bible and Pastoral Ministries. He has a master’s degree in divinity from the Alliance Theological Seminary in New York and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from McCormicks Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Greater Cooper African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is located at 1420 Myrtle St. in Oakland. For information call 510) 444-2672.
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.