By Roz Edward
A call to address the state of African American men in Detroit and America will be initiated with a gathering of men from all over Metro Detroit, Sunday, June 17, 2018 at the 10:30 am worship service of St. Stephen AME Church, 6000 John E. Hunter Dr., Detroit, Mi 48210. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press Columnist will be the guest speaker.
“There is a crisis in America. The crisis I am referring to is the state of the Black man in America. Only 17 percent of black men have a college degree or more. We are disproportionately populating the prisons and the unemployment lines. Those numbers are in Detroit are a little above these national numbers. In fact, the education picture is so bleak in Detroit, some are afraid it could negatively impact the renaissance of the city.” said Rev. Darryl R. Williams, pastor of St. Stephen Church in its centennial year.
“Well, it’s time we fight back! The church can no longer do business as usual. The Saturday Men’s ministry can no longer be a place where men gather and socialize and chomp down on pancakes. Can we really read about the state of the black man in Detroit, his unemployment, his education deficit, his participation and victimization as it relates to crime, and as Rochelle Riley says, calmly just take another sip of our coffee? Of course not. the church must be a place where we are engaging in ministry that will impact men’s lives in ways that are transformative” Williams added.
Following the service, the men will be asked to join the movement to make a difference in the lives of black men in Detroit. For additional information contact Rev. Darryl Williams at the church office, Monday-Thursday, 9 am to 2 pm at 313.895.4800.
In 1918, African-Americans who settled on the west side of Detroit needed a place to worship. Born out of necessity, Bishop Charles Spencer Smith called for a volunteer to provide an AME Church for the community. A young minister, The Reverend Thomas J. White (1918-1920), volunteered to undertake this mission. With the enthusiastic assistance of Evangelist Julia Hall, the task began. On Sunday, November 18, 1918, thirteen charter members signed the Document of Organization at the home of Brother Walter James. Under the leadership of Rev. White, a lot was purchased in 1920 on the corner of Stanford and Cobb. In November of that year, a temporary tar-papered structure was built to conduct worship services. St. Stephen has resided at the same location, guided by 13 shepherds who have led the church in serving the community and its members for more than 99 years. The church has come this far by fait.