In the Wesleyan tradition accountability is paramount. The governance and operations of the church must be founded upon our doctrine and polity. Law and Order coupled with compassionate leadership and contextual awareness are to govern how we conduct business and handle fiduciary matters. The same holds true for how we handle property, preachers, and the ministry of the local church. When we consistently follow God’s way and the Law upon which we were founded the church will regain its credibility, trust, and power to transform lives.


Throughout the Church, there must be a strong emphasis on Intergenerational ministry. Allowing for caring, competent, and committed Young Adults to work alongside mature saints who are valued and accepting of the diverse gifts we all can and do bring to the ministry of the AME Zion Church. I believe that our working together is critical to our survival. We can do this if we believe that every gift needed for the church is in the Body.


Pastors and leaders must have the freedom in the “Freedom Church” to develop and implement non-traditional ministries that meet the needs of those in their communities. We must re-envision pre-programmed ministries that every church is expected to have and develop ministries in cafes’, coffee shops, laundry facilities, etc. that are spiritual in scope in need-based in praxis.


Serious consideration and thought must be given to Women, Young Adults and the Laity throughout Zion Methodism having equal Representation and leadership on Committees and Boards throughout the Church. We cannot profess the be the “Freedom Church”, when others are excluded based on sex, age, or rank.


Resources inclusive of finances and personnel must be allocated to provide for the successful planting of churches. Honest assessments of gifts, graces, and the charisma needed to plant societies should be paramount. We must move beyond maintaining what we have to plant what we need to prosper and grow the Kingdom of God. We are called to serve this present age!


The local church is Zion’s greatest asset. It is the catalyst by which lives are transformed for the Kingdom of God. A healthy local church will give evidence of numerical growth, financial stability, and spiritual transformation, all of which lend themselves to strong District, Conference, and Episcopal Areas; and not vice versa. I contend we can make our churches stronger by equipping its leadership with skill-based teaching and training, multi-cultural ministries, and facilitating newfound ministries in coffee shops, laundry facilities, recreation centers, etc. that are unique to the communities they serve. We can support our laity, youth, and young adults in assisting leadership with evaluating, assessing, and implementing strategies for growth. Rather than Zion speaking for the local church, Zion must position itself to listen and collaborate with our churches.


Given the financial climate of Zion, we must help to equip local church leaders with the development of balanced church budgets, the use and knowledge of church financial software to track and manage membership, facilities, and finances. And provide resources to assist with this. We must establish community relationships with bankers and financiers who are supportive of churches, as opposed to predatory lenders who offer high-interest rates and balloon payments. We must encourage every church to allocate resources yearly for physical plant concerns, high-priority ministries such as evangelism, discipleship and outreach, and technology where appropriate without the strain of being overburdened NOT by General Claims but rather, “askings” and other unallocated resources that weaken the local church. Accountability, must not be a term we use loosely but rather an attribute we expect at every level of the church. This includes filing taxes, giving W-9s to speakers and preachers, and reporting accurately through the Quarterly Conference all income and disbursements. Zion, we can do this, the time is NOW!


The placement of this particular bullet should not minimize its importance, because all of us called to manage and handle Kingdom business must be a lover of God, fear (reverence) God, and serve God without compromise. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church has a rich history and legacy that we are encouraged to build upon for the good of generations to follow. It is incumbent upon those in leadership to model and practice ethical and moral integrity. We are Kingdom citizens and must be so in practice in the church and in our personal lives. The Book of Discipline is resolute and built upon biblical principles intended to guide us in how we handle the affairs of our church, and we must no longer pick and choose what we will adhere to and what we will discard for our selfish gains. I contend that a Faith and Order Conference is the order of the day, as we move forward with holiness as our aim, ethical behavior as our practice, and moral character as our identification, not simply in pursuit of this office but as Zion Methodist.


Leadership is about INFLUENCE. This candidate has a level of maturity and spiritual insight that has fostered strong leadership skills. While leadership is a hallmark of the office of the Bishop, authentic leadership is evidence of God working through human personality to lead and influence others. Zion is demanding authentic leaders, those who are realistic about their strengths and weaknesses, joys and sorrows as they give witness to the transformative power of God. Authentic leaders are not perfect, but at least they are honest enough to admit the same. If we are to promote growth, Youth and Young Adult involvement, and the development of our Laity across the church, then authentic leadership must become the hallmark of those we elect.