Rev. Terrence Griffith was installed for a third term as president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity last Sunday at the 1st African Baptist Church, 16th & Christian Streets, where he is the senior pastor.
Reelecting Rev. Griffith for a third time is a history-making move for BCPV, the first in its 33-year history.
Griffith didnâ€™t realize he would be reelected when, during his first term, he requested a study be made as to changes in the by-laws bringing them up to date.
He recalls, â€œEven while I was still yet a â€˜newerâ€™ member of the Black Clergy back in 2008, in reviewing the by-laws I pondered the question of how much of an impact a leader could make limited to only serving a two-year term. I didnâ€™t know back then I would ever be the president of BCPV for a third term. Updating the by-laws was long overdue. One change was removing the impediment to our organization limited the terms for officers, lessening their ability to bring necessary changes to fruition.â€
The Black Clergy Board Members appointed a By-Laws Committee headed by Rev. Dr. William Shaw, Pastor of White Rock Baptist Church, a past two-term president of the national Baptist Convention. By-laws were amended over an 18-month process, after which the membership unanimously agreed to the amendments of the by-laws, enabling the members to again vote for Griffith as president.
The Black Clergy organization over the years has made a significant impact on the fabric of the city of Philadelphia, said Griffith. â€œWe have in so many ways restored the integrity of our organization, while at the same time working hard to uplift the people of our community and of our city. We look forward to the next two years, continuing to fight for the citizens of the city of Philadelphia in meaningful ways to bring better education, better housing, reduction in crime and to encourage more people to turn to God.â€
Worship Leaders at the Investiture Service were Rev. William B. Moore and Rev. James Moore, Sr. Invocation was given by Rev. Louise Williams Bishop. Prayer of Consecration was offered by Rev. Dr. James S. Allen, founding president.
Rev. Griffith is the pastor of the oldest African American Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, 203 year-old 1st African. He is a former Senator of the Grenada Parliament, the author of eight published books, the president of BCPV, a commissioner on the Governorâ€™s Commission on African American Affairs, board member of the Foreign Mission Board National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., the Mayorâ€™s Work Force Development & Investment Boards and others. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Ann-Marie; two children, Raisa, a staffer in the regional office of US Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Mikhail and grandson Jayden.
Over 400 pastors attended the ceremonies. This year marks the 33rd year of the Black Clergy organizationâ€™s existence.