President of the Council of Bishops Clement W. Fugh Celebrates 50 Years of Ministry
On October 20, 1967, Mr. Clement Willie Fugh was admitted to the West Tennessee Annual Conference by the Rt. Rev. Frederick Douglass Jordan in Avery Chapel AME Church in Memphis, Tennessee. His journey in ministry would take him throughout pulpits in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, to the office of General Secretary, and eventually to election and consecration as the 131st Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Fifty years later to the day of the beginning of his Connectional ministry, Bishop Fugh served as the preacher for the Service of Word, Ordination and Holy Communion of the 150th Session of the Tennessee Annual Conference on October 20, 2017.
The service was held at Greater Bethel AME Church in Nashville, where Bishop Fugh led the congregation in erecting a new edifice and was his last pulpit before becoming a general officer. Retired general officer, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Hill, served as the worship leader. In recognition of the special evening, a delegation of over 150 persons from the 5th Episcopal District traveled to Nashville for the service as did Retired Bishop C. Garnett Henning, Sr. (a Memphis native like Bishop Fugh) and Supervisor Alexia B. Fugh. Other persons attending included Supervisor Susan J. Leath and General Officers Richard A. Lewis and John Thomas, III and retired General Officer Daryl B. Ingram. A special welcome was extended from Greater Bethel to Bishop and Supervisor Fugh by Dr. Phyllis Qualls Brooks. Bishop Fugh and the 5th Episcopal District presented the Tennessee Annual Conference a gift of $5,000. In celebration of his admission to the West Tennessee Conference, the 13th Episcopal District presented Bishop Fugh with a commemorative pocket watch.
Bishop Fugh preached a heartfelt sermon entitled, “Tell Them Even If They Don’t Believe You,” from Isaiah 6:1 and Luke 4: 22. He used the text to reflect on his own personal journey in the ministry encouraging those assembled—particularly the ordinands—to be faithful and to preach the word even if it appears that the listeners do not want to receive the message. Two persons were ordained: Sister Angellette Warfield of St. Paul, Oakwood, was ordained a local deacon and the Rev. Omaràn Lee of St. Paul, Nashville, was ordained an itinerant elder.