Gonzaga University will host the 115th session of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) Aug. 7-13. The theme for the conference is “Serving Well.”
Founded in 1787, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest African American institution in the United States. The AMEC was established in reaction to racial discrimination in St. George Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. AMEC’s mission is to minister to the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and environmental needs of all people. The Church’s Pacific Northwest region includes the states of Alaska, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Pastor Lonnie Mitchell of Spokane’s Bethel AME Church will serve as host pastor along with his congregation. Bethel AME church, founded in 1890, is the second oldest church in Spokane.
The weeklong conference will begin on campus with the AMEC Branch Women’s Missionary Society’s Annual Convention. The general assembly opens on Wednesday (Aug. 9) evening with a pre-taped welcome from Gonzaga President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. Conference events include a youth college fair and a free Gospel Choir Concert, which is open to the public.
The college fair begins at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, followed by a barbecue co-hosted by Gonzaga’s admission and diversity offices. Ten area colleges are invited. The Gospel Choir Concert begins at 7 p.m. Friday (Aug. 11) in the Globe Room of Cataldo Hall.
The conference closes Sunday with a commissioning ceremony starting at 11 a.m. Some 500 people are expected to attend the conference. AMEC leaders expected to attend include Bishop John Richard Bryant, presiding prelate; Rev. Cecelia Williams-Bryant, Episcopal supervisor; and Rev. Shermella Garrett, presiding elder.
For more information contact Bob Bartlett at (509) 323-4108 or Laura Smith 534-3007 ext. 1.