Passing the torch UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Passing the torch UPDATE



To you.

Noted: The Mann jury has not reached a verdict. Deliberations in the bombing case will resume tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: And this just in, Circuit Judge-elect Wendell Griffen, who also pastors the New Millennium Church, a Baptist congregation, has announced a series of events in August including a sermon Aug. 29 by another free-speaking preacher like Griffen — President Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright.

Many details on the jump.


New Millennium Church of Little Rock, led by Rev. Wendell Griffen, is engaged in a month-long emphasis about the relationship between faith and community involvement that will include a four-day session to help children prepare to return to school, back-to-school events with Bale Elementary School, presentations by local persons and visitors about faith and community, and featuring a sermon by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., during the 9 a.m. worship service on August 29. New Millennium, which worships in the sanctuary of Lakeshore Drive Baptist Church at 21 Lakeshore Drive, was organized in May 2009. The congregation is dually aligned with the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

New Millennium is one of several partners-in-education with Bale Elementary School, located only a short walk from the church office on W. 32d Street. Community Emphasis Month began on July 28 as New Millennium, Lakeshore Drive Baptist, and New Disciple Church hosted a get-acquainted dinner for Ericka O'Neal-McCarroll, the new principal at Bale Elementary, and her leadership team. Community Emphasis Month will include the following events and activities:
· Volunteer efforts during student registration at Bale Elementary on August 4 and 5.
· The second of two Summer Enrichment Experiences to prepare children in returning to school will occur August 9 thru 12 from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Lakeshore Drive Education Building. Volunteers will help children re-sharpen skills in reading, writing, decision-making, and team-building by using drama as a learning tool. An earlier four-day session occurred during June.
· New Millennium members will join other community resources and the Bale Elementary faculty and staff to welcome students and parents during a "Back To School Bash" from 10 a.m. until noon on August 14 at the school.
· Rev. Demetria Edwards—a Chaplain Resident at Baptist Health and a lawyer licensed in Arkansas and New York—will preach during the 9 a.m. worship service. Afterwards Rev. Edwards will speak during the Sunday School period about her experience as a black woman seeking acceptance as an ordained Baptist minister.
· Representatives from the Center for Women in Transition, a local ministry dedicated to working alongside currently or previously incarcerated women, will speak during the Mid-Week Ministry Gathering on Wednesday, August 18, at 6 p.m. in the Lakeshore Baptist Fellowship Hall.
· Elizabeth Richards, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship commissioned worker in Jordan, will preach during the 9 a.m. worship service on August 22 and speak during the 10:45 a.m. Sunday School hour about her work in Jordan.
· Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Senior Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, will preach during the 9 a.m. worship service on August 29.

According to Rev. Griffen, "Community Emphasis Month is more than a month of events and activities. We are re-calibrating and strengthening our commitment to missional faith as a religious fellowship within the wider community and world. In doing so, we expect to be led into new challenges and relationships, confront new opportunities to re-examine what God is doing around us, and see new angles on involving ourselves within the wider community and world as part of our life in God with each other, the community, and the creation."

"Dr. Wright's ministry at Trinity United Church of Christ is a good example of missional faith and its impact on people and the places they live, work, study, play, and serve," Rev. Griffen said. "Faith in God's love and truth cannot and should not be confined to pulpits and pews, but works on and through people who claim it and are claimed by it to make radical and hopeful differences in lives, neighborhoods, and societies. At New Millennium, this month-long focus reminds us to express with our living the Biblical truth that 'the Word' must "become flesh.' We are delighted that Dr. Wright, who is actively engaged in preaching, teaching, and leading study tours to Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean since he retired as Senior Pastor of Trinity at the end of May 2008, will be with us to culminate Community Emphasis Month."

For further information, contact Rev. Wendell Griffen at (501) 562-9244/ (501) 416-1917 mobile/ or Joyce Williams at (501) 374-3214/ (501) 310-3214 mobile/ The New Millennium Church website can be found at

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