By Jasmine Steele and Dr. Cornelia Graves, 13th Episcopal District
Payne Chapel AME Church, located at 212 Neill Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee, held its Celebration of Youths and Young Adults Month in July. The month began with 30 youth and youth workers attending the 13th Episcopal District Leadership Congress in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath and the Christian Education Department of the 13th Episcopal District prepared a program with the focus on the youth of the district. The youth of Payne Chapel joined with the youth of Robert Chapel AME Church, supply-pastored by Payne Chapel daughter, the Rev. Veronica Dailey, had a wonderful time attending workshops on peer pressure, handling law enforcement, and learning about the legislative process.
Selecting the theme, “Youth Serving with Purpose,” using the background scripture of Romans 8:28, the youth of Payne Chapel embarked upon a dynamic month of ministry and activities. Under the direction and insightful leadership of our pastor, the Rev. W. Antoni Sinkfield, the youth ministered and were ministered to in mind, body, and spirit.
Payne Chapel’s youth participated in a number of activities during the month, including a private swimming party, a Field Day, preparing tie-dyed shirts, and roller skating. Not forgetting our missionary purpose, the youth prepared letters of encouragement, thanks, and pride to the National Guard platoon to which one our youth members is currently assigned in South Carolina.
During the month, all of our Sunday morning guests were millennials who shared the word and proclaimed the gospel. On Sunday, July 9, Minister Glendavion Teasley delivered a word stressing to the youth to walk in their purpose. On July 16, the Rev. Jennifer Bailey of Greater Bethel AME Church in Nashville preached about purposeful inclusion and love. The Editor of The Christian Recorder, Mr. John Thomas, III, delivered a wonderful message telling us that we are predestined for success.
Vacation Bible School was held for three days, July 24 – 27. Brother Marcus Hawkins, the organizer for VBS, prepared a wonderful program to help youth ages three-12 understand the importance of letting our light shine for the Lord. The last two days of the week were filled with a dynamite youth revival featuring Minister O’Nae Chatman as the revivalist. The revival was filled with powerful testimonies, visiting youth ministries from St. John AME Church of Nashville (pastored by the Rev. Ralph Johnson) and Wayman Chapel AME Church of Columbia, Tennessee (pastored by the Rev. Victor Goodman). One of the sons of Payne Chapel, Brother Andrew Batey, brought Christian rap to the house on both nights, relating to all of our youth and adults alike.
The 5th Sunday of the month was designated as our Celebration of Youth and Young Adults Day. The youth of Payne debuted their new Youth Ministry t-shirts, designed by our YPD president, which carried the theme for the month. The 60+ voice Youth Mass Choir, which provided the music throughout the month, ministered in song and the 25-member liturgical dance group, the Angelic Dancers, under the direction of Sister Janyne Steele and Sister Myesha Mason, ministered in dance, establishing a sweet spirit in the house. The climax of the month, however, was the sermon by the Rev. Darius Thomas Curtis, pastor of Brown Chapel AME Church in Joliet, Illinois (4th Episcopal District), who delivered the word from Jonah, instructing the youth and young adults on why it is important to walk in God’s purpose. At the time of the invitation to discipleship, five of our youth surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The Youth and Young Adult Ministries of Payne Chapel AME Church praise God for the Rev. W. Antoni Sinkfield and his visionary leadership—along with the many youth and young adult workers, the youths and young adults, and their parents—who invested their time and talents to make this month a success. Sister Nicole Mason is the YPD Director and Sister Jasmine Steele is the YPD President of Payne Chapel AME Church.