Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/npcourie/public_html/libraries/joomla/database/database/mysql.php on line 383
“I believe the AUBA is a strong organization. Our churches recognize the vital issues plaguing our community,” said Rev. John Cook Jr., AUBA executive secretary and pastor of the North Side’s Victory Baptist Church. “It takes churches to engage in collaborative efforts to make our communities healthy and safer. As ministers we recognize and need a support network. Regardless of where we are all from, we are all dealing with a lot of the same things.”
The Allegheny Union Baptist Association is a consortium of more than 120 predominately Black churches in Western Pa. that strive to help churches with many ministerial areas including youth ministry. It was founded in 1952.
Reverend Alec Piper, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Aliquippa, is currently serving as the organization’s moderator. He fulfilled the term of former moderator Rev. Jerome Stevenson, who passed away earlier this year. Reverend Piper finished out the remainder of Stevenson's term, which ended in July, and then was elected to serve his own one-year term.
Members of the AUBA lower Mon Activities Committee gathered at Zion Baptist Church in McKeesport for the organization’s second annual gospel fest, with a special dedication given to Stevenson.
“This transition has been unique because this is the first time that a sitting moderator has passed away in our history. We’ve committed the last six months to carry out Rev. Stevenson’s theme, which was ‘Let Us Rise Up and Build.’ We’re in a healing process, but we are putting a lot of emphasis on our departments for them to stay committed to their set objectives. We also want to make sure that we are working outwardly in the community. We also held our sixtieth anniversary celebration in July,” Cook said.
During the anniversary celebration, which was held from July 14-19 at Bethlehem Baptist Church in McKeesport, ministers prayed for peace in the community in an effort to help curb the violence that has been occurring in many urban communities.
“I think all of us have a role to play to bring about peace. One of the church’s strengths is helping families during grief and bereavement. A lot of our young men don’t know how to deal with grief. If they are walking around with all that anger, we have to work with them during the funeral and after that,” Cook said.
The celebration also included a panel discussion on how to create programs for people incarcerated for non-violent crimes.
“In many cases, locking them up and throwing away the key is not the answer. There has to be churches and organizations that can help these non-violent offenders,” Cook said.
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the New Pittsburgh Courier Digital Daily newsletter!