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The Mission of the Homewood African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is to spread the love of God, witness to God’s work of salvation, encourage acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord and to help meet the needs of humankind by giving our best to the Master. The church song is “All is Well, “all is well, all is well, it’s getting better, it’s getting better and the best is yet to come.” On Dec. 11, at the Marriott City Center, all was well as members and friends of Homewood AMEZ Church celebrated Rev. Stanley Dennison’s (pastor of Homewood AMEZ and presiding elder of the Braddock District) 30 years in the ministry.

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CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN MINISTRY—Rev. Stanley C. Dennison and Rev. Dr. William Kelly (Trinity AMEZ, Washington, D.C.)

After a meet and greet reception, Rev. Dennison and First Lady Debra were escorted into the ballroom by Toni and Wayne Phinisee. The evening included a wonderful meal, presentations by friends, church members and family. Those in attendance were able to enjoy a video that featured a much younger Dennison with a large afro.

During the festivities, Rev. Dennison was speechless. He leaned over to his brother and said, “I thought I would have to be dead to hear words like this about me.” The evening ended when Rev. Dennison was presented with a stack of $50 bills. He had a running joke with his steward, Mary Ann Howard. Whenever Howard would call in to the church, she would ask Rev. Dennison if he wanted her to bring him anything on her way to the church. In jest, he would always reply, “bring me a stack of 50s,” as in a stack of $50 bills. Reverend Dennison was shocked to actually receive his stack of 50s.

Reverend Timothy Howard said Rev. Dennison has always been a straight up friend and always gives it to you straight. Both husband and wife were honored on this special evening by members and family. Reverend Dennison met his wife, Debra, in Massachusetts. She was a member of the first church he was assigned to. From Massachusetts, it was on to New York, Connecticut, St. Croix and then Pittsburgh.

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WE ARE FAMILY—La’June Grant (niece), Volencia Curtis and Daurius Dennison (children of Rev. Dennison).

Organized in 1871 as the first Black church in Homewood, the Homewood AMEZ is an early example of cohesiveness and sophistication of Blacks in Homewood at a time when Blacks had few economic resources. The church’s first location was at Tioga and Dunfermline streets and is now located at the corner of Homewood Avenue and Bennett Street.

Event chairs included: Mary Ann Howard, Archie Brown and Wilfred Dennis. Committee members included Earlene Henderson, Rev. Kenneth Copeland (Holiday AMEZ Church), Donald Mackey, Leroy Payne, Delores Perry, Toni L. Phinisee, Melvin Ratliff, Loretta L. Sutton, Dorothy White and Shirley Taylor (souvenir journal).

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