The Women's Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is meeting for its 12th quadrennial convention at the Convention Center downtown. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend the event, which began yesterday and continues through July 3.
The 800,000-member society is an A.M.E. agency that responds to situations of human need at individual churches, in local communities and around the world.
Society President Delores L. Kennedy Williams said the group meets every four years "as a 'mountain-top experience' for worship, celebration, training, legislative concerns, election of leadership, for motivation and recognition of our membership, and for inspiration to return to our valleys of service."
The Rev. Frank Madison Reid 3rd, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Baltimore, is serving as host pastor for the convention. His predecessor at Bethel, Bishop John R. Bryant of Texas, is to preach the sermon during the opening worship, at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Convention Center.
Among the personalities expected to attend the convention are first lady Barbara Bush; E. "Ginger" Sullivan, the wife of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis W. Sullivan; and anti-cancer crusader Zora Brown.
The A.M.E. Church has 2.2 million members in 6,000 churches in the United States, the Caribbean, South America and Africa.