NBF Vice-President, Bishop Walter Harvey and Parklawn Assembly of God are partnering with (SUM) School of Urban Missions Bible College and Theological seminary in launching a cohort campus at their church in Milwaukee, WI in the fall of 2015.
Bishop Harvey, who was a recent chapel speaker for Spiritual Emphasis Week at the Oakland, CA SUM campus headquarters says, “I am passionate and eager about passing on the torch to the next generation of spiritual leaders”. (You can watch the chapel at sum.sermon.net).
Milwaukee Parklawn SUM cohort students will receive hands-on-practical ministry and experience a live online class in which they and their instructors see and hear each other and directly interact in real time via web conferencing. Harvey says, “I am motivated by 1 Thessalonians 2:8 and am committed to personally making a weekly impartation into the students lives. They will be mentored in all aspects of church and outreach at Parklawn Assembly of God, including TV and radio evangelism, youth and children’s ministry, worship arts, small groups, homeless street ministry, preaching, economic development, global missions and church planting.”
SUM has four pillars of ministerial training: Academic Excellence, Practical Ministry Training, Personal Mentorship and Affordability. The average costs of attendance for its B.A. Degree in Biblical Studies totals $26,985 (comparable education is nearly twice the cost). And because it is fully accredited with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), students can apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA application. SUM’s Undergraduate program can be completed in 3 years, instead of the tradition pace of 4 years thereby saving students thousands of dollars. We desire that students graduate with little to no debt. We will also offer Graduate programs in Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, and Master of Arts in Christian Leadership at affordable rates.
Recruitment for the Fall of 2015 is continuing. Prospective students interested in joining Parklawn’s SUM should simply send an email requesting information to Youth Pastor, Yvonne Hatchett, firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (414) 442-7411. You can learn more about SUM by visiting their website at sum.edu.
A Call for Parklawn AG and the Outpouring Ministry Network to Prayer and Peaceful Protests
Today the Milwaukee County District Attorney ruled that a White, former Milwaukee police officer was justified in his use of force in the killing of Dontre Hamilton (a mentally ill Black man who was sleeping in a public park) and that no criminal charges would be filed.
I disagree with the District Attorney’s decision and support the Hamilton family’s course of action to peacefully protest and to seek a US Department of Justice and Federal Investigation in the hopes of a jury trial of the officer.
The District Attorney’s decision demands that religious leaders and people of faith respond biblically, prayerfully and peacefully. Violence will not accomplish the change that is needed in Milwaukee and so many urban communities.
As a pastor and bishop, who is also a Black man and son of the city of Milwaukee, I mourn with the Hamilton family, as well as with all families who have lost loved ones to violence. Yet today, I also mourn the death of positive trust and community relations between citizens, police and the criminal justice system. At this same hour, I condemn the killings of two New York police officers at the hands of a Black man, who acted alone and in anger over the acquittal of New York officers in the death of Eric Garner. We mourn with their families and fellow officers. Violence does not bring justice.
I join with scripture in the call for each of us to give honor to whom honor is due and I call all Christ followers in my circles of influence to be respectful and prayerful of police, military and elected officials. Romans 13, gives both citizens and guardians a reminder of their mutual responsibilities. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” (Romans 13:1-2)
It is our right as dual citizens to petition the power of heaven (God) and to petition the powers of earth for justice. So let us take up the standards of prayer and the bible as we take up placards in peaceful protest that cry out that “Black Lives Matter”.
In fact, God respects life and call every person to respect life. All lives matter to God but unfortunately history and our current times demands for all of us to be reminded and recite again that “Black Lives Matter”.
Some may not understand or agree with the protests, marches and press conferences that demand justice for poor, disenfranchised and Black Americans. Perhaps you have formed an opinion already but I know that many are searching for answers and more importantly, solutions.
Many are asking why is there such reaction to police officers killing in the line of duty or to the district attorney’s and grand jury’s decisions to acquit these officers. All of us are aware to some extent of the facts of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other high profile killings at the hands of White police officers. In addition, there have been killings of young Black males at the hands of other White citizens and their killings ruled justified. Personally, I participated in the funeral of Cory Stingley, a young Black male from Milwaukee who was killed by white citizens, who were attempting to make a citizen’s arrest. So the fact that yet another young Black man had been killed and his killer acquitted of any wrongdoing is not new to our national history.
The history of Black people in America includes this common story. After centuries of institutional slavery, the Jim Crow system was created to control, segregate and disenfranchise Black Americans. The US government and the legal systems supported these unjust laws to ensure that Black Americans would remain separated and unequal from White America. Our national history has clearly articulated and loudly proclaimed “Black Lives Do Not Matter”.
Consequently, even some Blacks do not respect the lives of fellow Blacks. Most of the violence and murders of young Black males occurs at the hands of other young Black males. The psyche and soul of our nation and people of every color needs to be healed and redeemed.
During this season of Peace, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, let’s all pray for reconciliation between God and man and man to man. Pray for the families of the New York City police officers killed in the line of duty. Pray for police officers in Milwaukee and all over the US who put their lives on the line to keep peace on earth and good will to all. Pray for the families who have lost their loved ones to police killings and violence. Pray for your pastors and community leaders as we seek healing, God’s wisdom and common ground.
Even as many of our religious leaders lead peaceful protests, pastors are also formulating plans and schedules, praying together and having discussions on how to lead our churches both now and in the future to be the Light of the World that Jesus called us to be.
May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!!!
Bishop Walter F. Harvey
Statement of Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood Encouraging Participation with Church of God in Christ in Observing Black Lives Matter Sunday
Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. of the Church of God in Christ has asked COGIC churches to observe Black Lives Matter Sunday this coming Sunday, December 14, 2014. As Bishop Blake’s friend and counterpart in the Assemblies of God, I ask that all AG churches do the same. I have two reasons for doing so.
First and foremost, black lives matter. The lives of all people are precious to God, of course, but at the present moment, many of our black brothers and sisters in COGIC and the AG feel that their lives are not highly valued by many in white America. As examples, they point to the recent controversial decisions of grand juries in St. Louis County, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, not to return bills of indictment against white police officers in the deaths of two black males, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Whatever your opinion of those controversial decisions, can we stand with our brothers and sisters and affirm the value of black lives generally and of their lives specifically? Scripture teaches that God does not take pleasure in the death of people, not even the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). If so, then whatever the circumstances, we can be certain that God did not take pleasure in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Therefore, neither should we. Can we affirm, then, the grief our black brothers and sisters feel about these men’s deaths? Think of it this way: If the families and friends of Michael Brown and Eric Garner attended your church, how would you minister to them in their sorrow?
Scripture teaches us to “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). Black Lives Matter Sunday is a way for all Assemblies of God churches to do that with our black brothers and sisters in the Church of God in Christ, our own National Black Fellowship, and the many multicultural churches in the Assemblies of God. Scripture teaches, “If one part [of the body of Christ] suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Let us suffer with our brothers and sisters in their time of mourning.
Second, America is racially divided and needs the Church to heal its divisions. The Pentecostal movement, to which both COGIC and the AG belong, traces a large portion of its spiritual genealogy to the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California, at the start of the twentieth century. In that revival, led by a godly black man named William J. Seymour, the Spirit of Jesus Christ powerfully knit together the hearts of people who attended, regardless of race and ethnicity. For a shining moment at Azusa Street, when the surrounding culture was segregated by color, “the color line was washed away in the Blood,” as Frank Bartleman famously put it. Unfortunately, the forces of segregation reasserted themselves among white Pentecostals, and for many decades thereafter, they allowed the spirit of Jim Crow into their churches.
Great strides have been made in civil rights and racial reconciliation over the past century, of course, but America still experiences racial divisions. If Spirit-filled Christians cannot find a way to work together to heal these divisions, what hope is there for the rest of the country? The Church of God in Christ and the Assemblies of God share a like, precious faith, including our belief in and experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ has already united us in doctrine and experience, in other words. If we cannot unite at this hour, how can we expect America to be united, when it has no spiritual foundation for unity?
Because black lives matter, and because America needs the Church to heal its lingering racial divisions, I ask that Assemblies of God churches join the Church of God in Christ on Sunday, December 14, 2014, and pray for the following things:
I recognize that some of you may find my request to observe Black Lives Matter Sunday controversial because of deep disagreement over the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. I do not wish to be controversial or to bring further division within the Church or within America. We have enough of that already.
Rather, I wish for us to find points of unity and cooperation across racial lines. We can take steps together in that direction by affirming the value of black lives and by praying for unity in our churches and our society this Sunday, December 14. I hope you will join me in observing Black Lives Matter Sunday with our brothers and sisters in the Church of God in Christ. Finally, at this Christmas season, may we take to heart once again the glorious announcement of the angel that the birth of Jesus is “good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
- Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and Parklawn Assembly of God
Talk Employment on Labor Sunday Milwaukee, WI (August 27, 2013)
Representatives from the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB) will discuss job opportunities, job training programs and support services at Parklawn Assembly of God on Labor Sunday, September 1, 2013. Walter F. Harvey, Senior Pastor of Parklawn, will share an encouraging message entitled “EEOC: Empowerment, Employment, Optimism and Compassion,” and pray for both the unemployed and underemployed at the 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services. MAWIB staff will be available to meet with individuals from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. (in between services) and starting again at 1:00 p.m. (the conclusion of the second service).
Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and Parklawn Assembly of God
Talk Employment on Labor Sunday
Milwaukee, WI (August 27, 2013) – Representatives from the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB) will discuss job opportunities, job training programs and support services at Parklawn Assembly of God on Labor Sunday, September 1, 2013. Walter F. Harvey, Senior Pastor of Parklawn, will share an encouraging message entitled “EEOC: Empowerment, Employment, Optimism and Compassion,” and pray for both the unemployed and underemployed at the 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services. MAWIB staff will be available to meet with individuals from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. (in between services) and starting again at 1:00 p.m. (the conclusion of the second service).
Unemployment rates are still high among some groups. According to a recent survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate for blacks is 12.6% and 9.4% for Hispanics. This outreach event is an opportunity for all the people in the community who are seeking jobs to gain access to on-the-job training, specialized skills training and other career-related resources. Additionally, the powerful message of hope will lift people’s spirits and increase their faith.
“The church has always been a place where people came for spiritual help,” said Harvey. “In our community today, we must also offer economic hope and practical instruction.”
"MAWIB is partnering with Parklawn Assembly of God on Labor Sunday to address workforce needs in our community. This will be one way to match job seekers with employers," said MAWIB President and CEO Donald Sykes. "It is this type of community collaboration which will positively impact our high unemployment rate. We look at this as a great opportunity to further develop our future workforce."
For more information about Labor Sunday, call MAWIB at 414-270-1700 or Parklawn at 414-442-7411. Parklawn Assembly of God is located at 3725 N. Sherman Boulevard in Milwaukee at the corner of Sherman and Fond Du Lac Avenue.
MAWIB is a strategic and coordinated demand-driven workforce development system that is connected to bolstering the economic strength of key industry sectors and economic clusters.
Parklawn Assembly of God is a Pentecostal church touching our community with the light, life and love of Jesus Christ.