Voice & Viewpoint Staff Writer
In another one of its partnering efforts with the community, the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper sponsored an African American Pastor’s Appreciation Breakfast last Saturday at the Jacobs Center. The event not only brought together senior pastors across denominational lines for a time of fellowship, it also provided an opportunity to say “thank you” to a number of senior clergy that have served the Black community long and strong. Dr. John E. Warren, Voice & Viewpoint Publisher and organizer of the event said “We not only wanted to show our appreciation for those who have served, but also provide an opportunity for like minded men and women to come together and share with one another.” Over 40 men and women ministers were on hand for the event which found its spiritual basis in Psalm 133, which says in part “It is good for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
During the breakfast a Good Shepherd Award was presented to four senior pastors that were identified by the newspaper as well as at the recommendation of fellow clergy. Rev. Walter Wells who has pastored for over 40 years, Rev. Willie Manley retired, but pastored long and recently celebrated his 80th Birthday; Pastor Charles Dorsey, retiring this summer, known for his many years of service in just about every pastoral or ministerial organization in San Diego, and Rev. George Walker Smith, retired, who has pastored locally for 44 years, and recently celebrated his 84th birthday while recovering from a recent illness, were all honored. As the ministers received their awards, they shared with their fellow clergymen how it has been an honor to serve in the community. With fiery strong voices, those present reflected on their times prior to receiving the call to minister, and expressing the goodness of God for bringing them thus far.
“This is so needed,” one pastor could be heard saying. All in attendance were appreciative of the effort, and encouraged that something similar be held every quarter. The Voice & Viewpoint agreed to spearhead the next meeting which anticipates a greater attendance since a number of pastors were unable to attend due to previously scheduled conferences and several personal conflicts. Dr. Warren, who pastors Eagle’s Nest Christian Center spoke to the group about its collective responsibilities and the many issues they all faced as pastors in a time when many are challenged personally and economically. At the close of the breakfast, pastors were able to pass the microphone and express their thoughts and hearts amongst brethren openly, giving thanks for one another.