Tagged Dion Evans

Meet Rev. Dr. Martin Peters, Victory Baptist Church

From left to right: Nerita Peters (wife, 7 months pregnant), Nakaya (daughter by marriage), Marissa (daughter by birth), Rev. Dr. Martin Peters, Rev. Dr. Jewel Peters (father) and Lady E. Dolores Peters (mother).

From left to right: Nerita Peters (wife, 7 months pregnant), Nakaya (daughter by marriage), Marissa (daughter by birth), Rev. Dr. Martin Peters, Rev. Dr. Jewel Peters (father) and Lady E. Dolores Peters (mother).

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Dr. Martin Peters, now Senior Pastor of the Victory Baptist Church in Oakland, is serving as successor to Dr. Jewel Peters, the church’s founder.
Peters is a graduate of Morris Brown College in Atlanta and a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
“It is with great joy that I declare that your name shall no longer be known as Martin Ray Peters, but from this day – according to the affixed signatures of the academic dean and myself, the campus president, I declare that you shall be known as Dr. Martin Peters,” stated Dr. Zemekio Jackson, President of St. Thomas Christian College of Jacksonville, FL.
Local well-wishers who commented on this historic occasion in the life of Dr. Peters included Pastor Elliott Ivey, Pleasant New Beginnings in Oakland.  “I want to say congratulations to my friend and brother Pastor Marty Peters,” he said. “Congrats on being conferred this honorary degree and on two years of ministry at the Victory Church! God bless you and your family!” Read more

Women Ministers Crash Through Stained-Glass Ceiling of Baptist Clergy

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Rev. Dr. Lawrence VanHook

The Baptist Ministers’ Union of Oakland and Vicinity took a crucial vote this week to determine access of women into membership of the organization.
Leading up to this vote were a series of meetings held to best understand the “Identity” of the BMU. According to BMU President Rev. Dr. Lawrence VanHook, “As a Union we had to come to grips with who we are – not only from a perspective of what we think about ourselves, but additionally from the perspective of what people say about us as a Union of preachers.”
Known as the “identity Model,” active members of the BMU started asking themselves hard questions regarding the group’s purpose and vision as it relates to communal outcomes.  In one particular session it was shared that the BMU was not “women preacher friendly.”
Although the union recognized such a statement was a common thought, the active membership, however, did not want such a belief to be considered true.  From there, a series of conversations were held with passionate discussion from multiple sides regarding “Women in Ministry” (commonly known as the “Women Pastors or Preachers” argument). Read more

Woman Struggles to Survive Domestic Violence

Part 4
By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

As we began to recount last week, Shaunte´s horrifying experiences put a face on struggle of a woman to survive domestic violence.  This is a true story – the names were changed to protect the guilty and the innocent.
“I was accused so much of sleeping around until I was afraid to look at other people or touch (hug) them,” Shaunte said.  “I was told how to dress and I felt as though I was in a concentration camp.”
Notice, in seeking maximum power and control, the perpetrator tries to undermine the very mind of the victim.  In this case, the perpetrator told lies to “cause” the victim to alter her behavior without being guilty of the crime. Read more

Word Assembly’s Carnival

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

WORD OLYMPICS: On the left are members from Word Assembly representing East and Downtown Oakland led by Bishop Keith Clark (center left). On the right are members from Word Assembly representing Tracy and Antioch led by Pastor Randy McRae (center right). Bishop Keith Clark’s team won the best of three.

Bishop Keith Clark, General Overseer of Word Assembly Churches hosted a “Carnival Style” festival last Saturday in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland.
The festive event featured food, fun and entertainment, children’s jumpers, health screening and chiropractic services, a Jamba Juice booth, board games, field events, dance lines and Word’s first-ever Olympics.
Bishop Clark introduced David Jackson, owner of Western Christian Books and Café, who explained the day’s itinerary. Read more

Confronting Domestic Violence

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

What does Domestic Violence look like?  As shared in an earlier column, many experts believe it to be an issue of one seeking power and control over the life of another person who is a “love interest” or a spouse.  Here is the face ofr domestic violence in the form of a survivor’s testimony.
“(It) Started when I was 18 years old,” said the woman who I will call Shaunte.  “We already knew each other, got into a relationship, but that was the part of him I had never met.” Read more

Marching for Peace in Brookfield

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

The family of Elliott Noble is on a memorial march in the Brookfield neighborhood in East Oakland. Here they are marching Westbound on Edes Avenue towards Ira Jinkins Recreation Center.

It was December 2005 when SF Chronicle staff writer Henry K. Lee wrote an article highlighting the life and mission of Venus Noble, mother of two sons who were simultaneously shot, one killed on the scene, at Richmond Parkway in Richmond.
The eldest brother, Larrie Noble Jr., survived two shots to the head, but the younger brother, Elliot Noble, 20 years old at the time, was fatally shot as they prepared to attend a vigil for death row inmate Stanley Tookie Williams.
“It was a case of mistaken identity, but today we plan to memorialize my brother who would have turned 25 years old, ” according to Larrie, who wrote on Facebook that Elliott would have celebrated his birthday on Aug. 19. Read more

Opinion Domestic Violence and the Church

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Sometimes before there are any visible manifestations of domestic violence, there is the manifestation of power and control.
What potential role does the church play in the manipulation of that power and control?
I believe church leadership must counsel according to the teachings of the Bible.
But what happens when a person in the relationship seeks to “use the Scriptures” to obtain power and control over a spouse or significant other?
In some instances the church is failing in its oversight of how the interpretations are applied within the relationship, thus setting up potential domestic abuse as a result of misinterpretation.
Once Scriptures are misinterpreted, and by default, misapplied, the couple is left vulnerable to at least eight identifiable behaviors that can lead to domestic violence.
First, the use of intimidation: this can be done by looks or gestures.  Second, emotional abuse: this can be done by calling one out of their names or seeking to make them believe they are guilty of something.
Third, Isolation: this can be done by controlling whom the person sees or where he or she can go. Fourth, minimizing, denying and blaming: this can be done by making light of manifested abuse, shifting abuses blame.  Fifth, by using children: this can be done by threatening to take the children away from the spouse.
Sixth, male privilege: this can be done by the man seeking to treat the woman like a servant or defining himself as a king.  Seventh, economic abuse: this is done by withholding money or not allowing access to family income.  Eighth, coercion and threats: this can be done by threatening to leave (even suicide) or threatening to report the other person to some government agency.
Any one of these eight issues is the groundwork for power and control.  Once someone within the relationship seeks to live beyond his or her control or power, the person may use physical or sexual violence to maintain that position.

Domestic Violence and the Church: What Are the Answers?

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Did you know domestic violence affects one in four women over the course of a lifetime?  Did you know that children often mimic those same behaviors because they’ve witnessed Domestic Violence in their own homes?
Did you know that some women who leave a violent relationship will soon enter into a new relationship that will have the same outcome?  And did you know that some men who go to jail for domestic violence were first hit by a woman.? Read more

Zion Tabernacle Rocks and “Rolls”

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

“Bounce! Rock, Skate!  Roll, Bounce,” is the song that avid roller skaters typically move to, but on Sunday, thanks to Zion Tabernacle Baptist Church in Oakland, Bay Area skate lovers were bouncing to the latest Gospel Music tunes from Fred Hammond, Vicki Winans, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and others as they hosted Gospel Skate night.
Gospel Comedian J-Redd, Earnest Larkin of Ambassadors for Christ Choir and Charmaine Domino of Magic Fingers Hair Salon and Barber were some of the noted guests who skated. Tinka Blackmond, Sunday Morning DJ on KMEL’s (FM106) Gospel Show joined in the promotion of the event.
Coordinator, Rev. Bernard Emerson, son of Zion Tabernacles’ Senior Pastor, Bishop Alonzo Emerson said, ““We just wanted to have something fun for the young people and that’s why I am out here with skates on.  This gives them something else to do and allows them to know they can be young, saved and have fun.”
McGee Avenue Baptist won the night’s prize for the church that brought the most paid skaters – 28 people, mostly youth ranging from ages 6 to 19 years.  Lewis, further stated, “I think it is good that youth groups interact with other youth from different churches and are able to serve and fellowship with one another while having fun.” Read more

Two Beloved Pastors Passed

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Dr. Willie James Smith

Dr. Willie James Smith was scheduled to preach at a church in Natchez, Mississippi on Sunday morning July 11.  When he did not arrive as scheduled, the youth pastor was sent to the hotel to check on him.  Hotel staff opened the room to discover Dr. Smith dead in bed.
Smith served as the Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church before relocating to San Diego to serve as Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church.  Dr. Smith, FROM Greenville, Mississippi, was a 1977 graduate of Bishop College in Dallas, TX.  He leaves his wife, Toni Smith and his children  Willie Jr., Kelli and Kristian. Read more

81 Never Looked This Good Nor Praised So Great

Bishop Ernestine C. Reems celebrates her 81st Birthday

By Dion Evans, Religion Editor

Bishop Ernestine Reems (left) outshined them all wearing a stunning aqua-brown dress with flawless makeup and accessories with Vickie Winans – who looked stellar in her black dress suit with a diamond studded cross around her neck. Photos by Dion Evans.

The place was packed!  A Bay Area legend, Bishop Ernestine C. Reems – founder of the Center of Hope Community Church (8411 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland) was being celebrated for her 81st birthday.  Rather than being celebrated Bishop Reems used the occasion to celebrate Jesus Christ and set the atmosphere for attendees to be saved by the Blood.
From the start of the celebration, Wednesday Night – featuring Vickie Winans, to the close of the celebration, Sunday – featuring the preaching of Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Bay Area residents were treated to some of gospels music’s most notable personalities.
During Wednesday’s service, Pastor Brondon (son of Bishop Ernestine Reems) and Maria Reems (Wife of Pastor Brondon) served as hosts.  The service was a fusion of musical, media shorts, preaching, dancing and giving.  Pastor Brondon shared a video from a sermon preached by Bishop Darrell Hines entitled WILL THE REAL CHURCH IDENTIFY ITSELF.  During his provocative, yet hilarious, sermon he expounded on holiness not being a denomination, religion or church.  Bishop Hines stated, “Holiness is an identity.”  Although he was viewed via video, projected on TV screens, the congregation worshipped as if he were preaching live. Read more

CityTeam Ministries’ Breakfast of Champions Unites Families

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

A large crowd turned out for the Breakfast of Champions event sponsored by CityTeam Ministries of Oakland last week.

Would you believe that a fundraising event had to change venues one week prior to its date?  YES!  This was the case for the Breakfast of Champions event sponsored by CityTeam Ministries of Oakland.
City Director, Chris Williams, stated, “The event grew so well that we had to ask servant B.K.Woodson to help us relocate to the Bay Area Community Church (BACC) at 8th and Clay streets.”
Anette Boulware, CityTeam Assistant Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator, said the volunteers responded and performed well under short notice. “Many of the volunteers are CityTeam residents and they knew what to do and in the end, prayer made the difference.”
Pastor David Kiteley, President of the Pastors of Oakland organization reserved two tables in support of CityTeam.  Christian Comedian Rick Eichorn and his son Matt provided comic relief and encouraged the attendees to keep trying and to never give up. Read more

Morris Legrande Jazzes Up DMC

By Dion Evans

Religion Editor

Luajuana (left) and Morris LeGrande shared a special Valentine’s Kiss during the LOVE and BASKETBALL CONCERT sponsored by Tinka of KMEL’s World Hit Gospel Show and Floyd Entertainment. .

Tinka, celebrity and modest radio show host of KMEL’s Sunday morning “World Hit Gospel Show” held an event on Valentine’s Day – LOVE AND BASKETBALL.  Tinka, a huge basketball fan, created the perfect event for people who both like sports and cherish Valentine’s Day festivities.  The event featured the comedy of Dennis Gaxiola and the Smooth Jazz of Morris LeGrande, a native of Oakland.
LeGrande shared during the concert how he fell in love with his wife and what his first kiss was like when he knew he was falling in love with her.  “It was electric!  We admitted to one another that we were beginning to fall in love with one another.”  LeGrande gave out complimentary CDs of his latest musical project to those couples who had been successfully married for at least 30 years.  As many as seven couples acknowledged they had been.  One couple, known to Morris LeGrande, acknowledged they’d been married for over 50 years.  The audience cheered and praised God for such an awesome example of commitment.
As the Smooth Jazz filled the air, Morris LeGrande and his band held an entertaining competition  with the audience using the childhood toy – kazoo.  While many did not know how to operate the toy instrument–LeGrande highlighted the abilities of those willing to showcase their skills.
Following the entertaining display, LeGrande stated, “Its time for me to get a little serious for a moment.”  He began to share his undeniable testimony of Jesus Christ.  He stated, “I am not ashamed to say the name Jesus Christ.  Without Jesus Christ I would not be here today.”  Some attendees returning to their seats seemed caught off guard by the testimony.  They‘d departed listening to the sounds of smooth jazz and returned to a period of praise and worship.  LeGrande subsequently sang, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – there’s just something about that name.”
Sharing the stage for the LOVE AND BASKETBALL party was J-Redd local Bay Area comedian and BET’s Comic View comedian– Dennis Gaxiola; born in Berkeley , CA and also featured in Paul Rodriguez’s LATIN ALL-STARS OF COMEDY.  Gaxiola had the audience laughing in their seats as he told comedic stories about his father; a former boxer turned preacher.  He shared, “If my father was preaching too long, we would ring a bell and he would go sit down in the corner.”  Gaxiola, also an unashamed Christian, shared how he once needed tequila while performing on the stage but, “now I just have a little of water.”
Following the Comedy and Concert – a large screen was lowered for attendees to watch the remainder of the NBA All-Star Game.  Tinka announced, “This is the beginning of a new entertaining company I am launching – FLOYD ENTERTAINMENT.”  Tinka will be unveiling more entertainment events in the future.  Stay tuned.