Minutes of the District Elder’s Meeting

Mount Zion Apostolic Church

Indianapolis, Indiana

February 27, 2020

The District Elder’s meeting was called to order by Acting Chairman D/E Melvin Campbell with opening song followed by prayer and scripture reading.

Roll Call:

  1. D/E Merlin Williams
  2. D/E Ricardo Christopher
  3. D/E Steven Staten
  4. D/E Wendell Farmer
  5. D/E Nathaniel Nelson
  6. D/E James Denson
  7. D/E Michael Ford Jr.
  8. D/E James Stafford
  9. D/E Marvin H. Rogers
  10. D/E Darrell L. Fairer
  11. D/E Charles Thompson
  12. D/E James O. Edwell
  13. D/E Jason Daniels
  14. D/E Robert Taylor
  15. D/E Donnell Bouie
  16. D/E Nancy Jones
  17. D/E John Paige
  18. D/E Steven Saucer
  19. D/E James Sears
  20. D/E Kunto Harris
  21. D/E Benjamin A. Jones
  22. D/E Melvin Little
  23. D/E Ladell Myrick

Acting Chairman Campbell welcomed everyone. He gave an overview of our agenda and introduced our outgoing Chairman Honorable Bishop – Elect Spinks. Bishop Spinks went over the importance of contact information being current. He discussed under his tenure he only was able to visit 4 councils and re-emphasized District Elders getting visiting there churches.

He spent time going over the Gap assessment and Best Practices and encouraged everyone to go to our District Elder’s website for the latest information and updates.

Outgoing Chairman Bishop Spinks discussed the by/laws which are in need of updating. He stated he uploaded the by/laws to our site and they have not been updated since 2002. Based on the current language in the 2002 by/laws D/E Nancy Jones would be ineligible to serve on the District Elder’s Board.

He talked about the following:

  • Support system needing to be in place to support each pastor with sharing from other areas in the country.
  • Need for uniformity in duties with district Elders. He stated what happens procedure wise in Chicago may not be the procedure in North Carolina. Each Bishop that is over his Dioceses may do things a little different.
  • Ongoing training sessions that our Presider has implemented. Mentioned D/E Thompson gave us an excellent seminar on Tax laws and Due Diligence. And today we are blessed to have Dr. D/E Tyler training on Church Security. (Active Shooters)
  • Talked about many of our Pastors do not know proper protocol. Stated many by pass the D/E and go right to the Diocese Bishop. We need training through our Pastor’s Alliance to teach proper protocol.
  • Talked about the importance of everyone utilizing and participating in the conference calls. Re-stated the need for current email and contact information. We still have emails sent back invalid. Stated the last conference call there were only 8 in attendance with over 53 District Elders on the Board.
  • He stated he had to go to Bishop Gates to announce in the Board Room to ask the D/E’s to show up at our Caucus. D/E Ford stated to the Board that it is possible that a lot of your mail could be going to your Spam mail.
  • Discussed later Elder Evans will meet with all D/E to ensure everyone is set-up for the New Digital Electronic Membership Portal.

NEW BUSINESS – Acting Chairman Campbell ask for topics for the National Convention from the floor. He emphasized topics that are relevant and you want taught at our D/E convocation and Caucus. The following are the topics suggested:

  • D/E Ford – mentioned that he was all for training but we need a specific goal or mandate prior to us coming together – (Purpose)
  • D/E Edwell – we need to put together a directive that would address people not showing up. He went on to say since we were leaders we need a session on How to lead Leaders. He stated if we try to lead our Pastors like we lead our local members that is not going to work.
  • D/E Campbell our Chairman stated he wanted clarity on process of transferring credentials from prospective Elders and minister from other Reformations. And get them licensed and trained as well.
  • D/E Melvin Little – stated he wants training after he reads and studies the D/E manual where do we go from here. D/E Campbell mention to D/E Little that the role of a District Elder and the by/laws are on the Website and that should be a good nest step.
  • D/E Ford –stated in defense to D/E Little’s suggestion that there is a difference in the role and responsibilities of each D/E based on the area he has. And there should be uniformity and clarity in training if possible.
  • D/E Fairer – mentioned there is a committee right now working on updating the D/E Manual. Bishop Spinks stated that process is complete and he has uploaded the latest copy on our Website.
  • Bishop Spinks – stated that each D/E need to check with their Diocese Bishop and find out what he wants you to do. D/E Ford said, “try to be proactive’. Don’t wait for your Diocese Bishop to give you marching orders. Do something. He went on to say, “He did not want a title if he is not effective.
  • D/E Campbell – stated that their Diocese Bishop Jerry Jones have implemented a D/E Master form. Everyone is required to use this when they visit there churches. It captures how many churches planted between councils, times they visited each Pastor, offerings, etc. He stated many times he will get in his car and drive to Danville or other areas just to check it out.

NEW BUSINESS – Bishop Spinks took over to elect a slate for new Officers. He explain the process and that the slate is normally final. He started with the Chair. He mentioned that the entire D/E Board lost all their officers in the past four years due to elevations.

He opened the nominations from the floor and D/E James Denson was recognized first and he nominated D/E Melvin Campbell for Chairman.

  • D/E Ford – was recognized and he stated that he was also going to nominate D/E Campbell for Chairman.
  • D/E Thompson – nominated D/E Steven Staten for Chairman. Someone made a motion that we close on those two names. The motion was moved in second and carried and sustained. D/E Thompson wanted each nominee to share their profile and qualifications. The board voted to proceed due to time limitations with the vote.

Bishop Spinks asked both D/E Campbell and D/E Staten to leave the room for the vote. The vote took place by D/E Denson counting the showing of hands from each D/E in attendance. By majority vote D/E Melvin Campbell was announced as our new Chairman to be confirmed at our National Convention.

Next Slate an Assistant Chairman –

  • D/E Edwell – nominated D/E Fairer
  • D/E Parker – nominated D/E Staten –  He respectfully declined
  • D/E – from floor nominated D/E Donnell Bouie

Received a motion from the floor to close on those two names. – D/E Fairer and D/E Bouie was asked to leave the room. The vote took place by the Secretary counting the showing of hands. It was by majority vote D/E Donnell Bouie was elected as Assistant Chairman.

Bishop Spinks proceeded to next order to elect a D/E Secretary-

  • D/E Campbell – nominated D/E James Denson
  • D/E Edwell – made a motion that we close on that one name. It was moved in second. Ready for the question and the I’s have it. D/E James Denson was elected to serve as Secretary.

Bishop Spinks proceeded to next order to elect an Asst’ Secretary-

  • D/E Ford – nominated D/E Nancy Jones to serve as Assistant Secretary. D/E Edwell made a motion that we close on that one name and it was moved into second. Ready for the question and the I’s carried it. D/E Nancy Jones was elected to serve as Assistant Secretary D/E Board.

Bishop Spinks proceeded to final order to elect a Treasurer – D/E Board

  • D/E James Edwell- nominated D/E Charles Thompson. D/E Edwell made a motion that we close on that one name and it was moved in to second. Ready for the question and the I’s have it. D/E Charles Thompson was elected to serve as Treasurer D/E Board.

The election was concluded and Bishop Vernon Spinks introduced the Presenter and facilitator for the afternoon Caucus – Dr. D/E Tyler – Topic – Threats and violence at the House of Worship

Dr. Tyler – is the founder and CEO of the largest Black owned security firm in the nation. It employs over 800 officers. His business is to protect people, property, and things. He also has a cyber division.

Topics – Discussion – presented:

  • Types of active threats –(Bombings – car rage, gun violence in church)
  • Concealed carries – and if you believe in it.
  • Active Threat training for Churches
  • Video – power point discussion on Columbine shooting in 1999.

He explained that people took off running toward the shooter because they were unfamiliar to gunfire.

  • AME church in Carolina where 9 were killed. He stated this particular church had no security in Stated today we must always be concerned in our churches of protecting our members.
  • Gave statistics on how many killings and the diverse way of classification by state and government
  • Stated schools account for 21 percent of shootings. 44 percent of shootings are in businesses. 62 percent of the shootings are with hand guns.
  • Talked about Mental Health issues as it relates to Active threats. He gave scenario where a person was mentally ill and we missed the signs he was displaying.
  • Stated the average active shooters takes 5 minutes with the shooting in Orlando as an example. He gave many scenarios of Active shooters and said, “If you see something, say something”. He stated the average police response time is 5 minutes and a Swat team takes an hour. Stating that the person on the site is better equipped to stop an Active shooter.
  • Talked about Fright and Flight. He used the person drowning as an example. They basically have lost it. If your heart beats 150 beats a minute – you are in panic mode. 170 beats a minute you will freeze up. If someone breaches the building he stated the one that is closes to the intruder is better equipped to do something.
  • He stated with an intruder bunker in place by turning off the lights. If he comes in the room you have the upper hand due to his eyes must re-adjust.
  • Talked about training on Survival tactics. Use sugar as an item to pack a womb.
  • Talked about the proper way to approach law enforcement after you call them for help. You cannot approach them after you call them with a gun in your hand. They are trained to stop threats. You may be part of friendly fire.
  • Daycare – we must do criminal and basic background checks on all employees that work with our children.
  • Train everyone – Deacons – Ushers- greeters what to look for in everyone that comes into our churches. Use an example where church member calling for ministry help and brought an accomplice, rob the church, and shot the Deacon.

He closed with Questions:

  • Someone asked how long the training – He stated it was based on the size of the church, individuals need trained, and an assessment of the site. (Small, medium, large facility)
  • D/E Edwell – asked how an innocent person can prevent for being shot by accident. Dr. Tyler stated you should locate your local police officer and captain. Let them know you have something in place whether it is a dress code or hand gesture.
  • Someone asked a question about metal detectors in church – He stated he did not feel it was need at this time. He said use signs and hopefully trained eyes to discover active threats.

D/E Tyler concluded the presentation and turned it back over to our chairman D/E Melvin Campbell. D/E Campbell shared an incident that took place at his church. Talked about he had just put in security measures where the church was locked down at a certain time before he got up to preach. The individual came to the church with a gun to shoot him. The Deacon interceded and talked the individual down. To God be the glory!

D/E Campbell dismissed in Prayer – 2/27/2020.

Respectfully submitted:

D/E James Denson – Secretary