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Author Archives: WSS News

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church Installs New Pastor, Dr. Michael Andrew Owens

Pastor Owens

Pastor Owens

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, a 106-year-old historic church in San Bernardino has selected Dr. Michael Andrew Owens as the new Pastor, who hails from Detroit Michigan. Beginning on Saturday August 12 at 6 p.m. there will be a festive musical celebration, featuring guest musicians, Evangelist Kimberly Whitsett and Minister of Music, Gregory Pearson from Bethel Baptist Church East.

On Sunday, August 13, “Installation services” will be conducted at the 7 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and commence with dinner and a formal 4 p.m. event.  Distinguished guest speakers will present during all services and the community and legislators are encouraged to join in sharing this exciting occasion.  Dr. Owens will continue a very proud, phenomenal, impactful leadership of spirituality and community service which New Hope Missionary Baptist Church has provided the Inland Empire.

Reverend Dr. Michael Andrews Owens accepted the call to preacher the age of fifteen and was licensed by the Bethany Baptist Church in his hometown of Chester, Pennsylvania.  In 1982, Rev. Owens was examined by the New Hope Baptist Association and ordained at the Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, Pennsylvania.  He now celebrates more than 40 years as a preacher of the gospel.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Dr. Owens further prepared himself for the ministry through secular and religious educational pursuits.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from West Chester State University, West Chester, PA. He completed his theological education at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA., earning both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Degrees.

He was also a great asset to the community as he directed the Capital Area City-Wide Revival for 10 years as a part of his work with the Interdenominational Ministers Conference of Greater Harrisburg, PA.

Dr. Michael Andrew Owens formerly pastored Bethel Baptist Church-East in Detroit Michigan. Dr. Owens was called to serve as Pastor at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on May 3, 2017. Pastor Owens continues to faithfully minister the Gospel in word and deed as he leads the church family to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. 

Emma Shaw Celebrates her 105th Birthday

Emma Shaw

Emma Shaw

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Saturday, August 12 in San Bernardino, the Shaw family will gather together to celebrate the 105th birthday of the family matriarch, Emma Shaw.

Emma was the second born to James and Gertrude Armstrong on August 9, 1912 in Tallulah, Louisiana. Emma was raised by her aunt and uncle and attended Madison Parish Training School. Emma was not able to complete school because the family needed her to help in the cotton fields. At the tender age of 15, she met the love of her life, George Bernard Shaw.

Emma and George were married on February 6, 1929 and to this union God blessed them with 13 children; six sons, five daughters and two children who died at birth. Six of their children; Cleveland, Luretha, Johnny B, Joyce, Wiley and Mary were born in Tallulah. Emma and George were married for 62 years until he passed away.

In 1942 George saw potential for advancement by moving his family from Louisiana to Las Vegas, Nevada. While in Las Vegas, Emma was an employee at the El Rancho and Frontier hotels. Emma gave birth to Donell and Ronell before leaving Nevada in 1944.

As times began to change, George had the foresight again to relocate his family to San Bernardino, California in 1944. Emma began working in private homes as a maid. She then found new employment at Norton Air Force Base. After leaving Norton, Emma began doing seasonal work at the National Orange Show. Once the seasonal work was done, Emma found employment in Palm Springs where she worked for 16 years. While in California Barbara, Vernon and Valerie were born.

Though their resources were limited, that did not prevent Emma from sharing with those who were even less fortunate whenever they stopped by. She is an excellent cook and is known for her homemade biscuits, fried chicken and her peach cobbler.

Emma joined New Hope Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend David Campbell. After the passing of Reverend Campbell, Mother Shaw changed her membership to Greater New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ, which was then under the leadership of Elder Herbert C. Pugh. Mother Shaw grew spiritually at Greater New Jerusalem where she became the Church Mother. She served as Church Mother for over 40 years and in recognition for this service Mother Shaw was appointed Church Mother Emeritus.

Everyone who knows Mother Shaw has heard her testimony and can repeat it verbatim as she starts to say…”Early one Saturday morning I was in my bathroom when I heard a loud voice saying, ‘Be ready, I’m on My way back’…” and from that time to this day, Mother Emma tells everyone that she encounters to be ready, the Lord is on His way back.

Emma Shaw is a legend living to celebrate her 105th year of life here on this earth. She is still so full of wisdom, discernment, encouragement and honesty. She has a no nonsense attitude when ‘stuff ain’t right’, and she will speak her mind and let you know. When you hear ‘now looka here’, you know something of importance is about to follow.   

The matriarch of six generations Emma has 6 living children, and well over 300 grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and great great great grandchildren.

Immigration Activists Denounce RAISE Act After President Trump’s Immigration System Proposal

By Jasmyne A. Cannick | California Black Media

President Donald Trump’s proposal for a new merit-based immigration system that would screen visa applicants using a point system may be racist and exclusionary but so is an immigrant rights movement that excludes, overlooks, and straight up ignores the voices of their darker skinned counterparts.

Last week immigrant rights activists decried the Republican-backed proposal known as the RAISE Act or Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, that would highly favor people between the ages of 26 and 30 with a doctorate, high English proficiency and a job offer with a high salary.   Applicants with the highest number of points would go to the front of the line to receive visas.

The Los Angeles area is home to nearly 3.5 million immigrants with approximately one million of them undocumented.  Here, public officials are quick to proudly tout the dozens of languages that are spoken by Angelenos and how much immigrants–regardless of their citizenship status–contribute to the city’s economy and culture.  In theory, Democratic politicians and immigrant right activists will tell you that all immigrants matter but in practice only one immigrant’s voice is only ever represented, celebrated or invited to the table.

Mass deportation and ICE raids under the Trump administration are not exclusive to Latinos.  Under Trump, more and more Africans and Caribbeans are finding it difficult to qualify for asylum or refugee status when they arrive at U.S. ports of entries–one of the primary ways that they can successfully stay in the country.

An estimated 575,000 Black immigrants were living in the U.S. without authorization in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center study, making up 16% of all Black immigrant’s population. Among Black immigrants from the Caribbean, 16% are undocumented immigrants as are 13% of Black immigrants from Africa.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and New York University Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic 2016 The State of Black Immigrants report found that Black immigrants maintain higher rates of employment in service and sales positions than their counterparts of other immigrant backgrounds.

According to the BAJI, immigrants from African and Caribbean countries comprise most the foreign-born Black population. Jamaica was the top country of origin in 2014 with 665,628 Black immigrants in the U.S., accounting for 18% of the national total.  Haiti seconds the list with 598,000 Black immigrants, making up 16% of the U.S. Black immigrant population.  Although half of Black immigrants are from the Caribbean region alone, African immigrants drove much of the recent growth of the Black immigrant population and made up 39% of the total foreign-born Black population in 2014. The number of African immigrants in the U.S. increased 153%, from 574,000 in 2000 to 1.5 million in 2014, with Nigeria and Ethiopic as the two leading countries of origin.

Los Angeles has a large and vibrant community of Black immigrants that but you’d never know because they are seldom reported on or heard from in the fight for immigrant rights–a fight that is led and dominated by Latinos. And while I expect Republicans to overlook Blacks until it’s politically convenient to pit us against one another, I do not expect the party of coalition building, solidarity and ‘we’re stronger together’ to do the same.

Let me put this into the right perspective for you. The party that calls out people, organizations and Republicans for their exclusion of women, transgender, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, members of the Asian/Pacific Islander community, Latinos, Blacks, veterans, seniors and I could go on and on does not itself (or very rarely) include Black immigrants.

Seldom discussed in mixed company is the fact that African-Americans privately agree with Trump’s assertion that “illegal immigration” has harmed the Black community economically. And even though Trump has no problem throwing African-Americans into the mix when it bolsters his immigration agenda, immigrant rights activists haven’t been as willing to include Black voices in their shared fight.

I look at the fight for the undocumented in America and think–strategically–Latino immigrant rights groups would do good to include the voices and images of Black immigrants to gain support from an already apprehensive and on the fence nation of African-Americans who may need more convincing that the fight for immigrant rights affects Blacks.  Despite HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s belief that slaves were immigrants–most African-Americans do not see themselves as immigrants and many are wary of and oppose the Democratic Party’s insistence that “illegal immigration” doesn’t harm Black employment.  Like white gay rights advocates and the Black community–it wasn’t until the visibility and voices of Black LGBT folks increased that real advances were made on LGBT issues with Blacks who mainly say gay rights as affecting and benefiting wealthy white gays.

Trump and the Republican Party are not going to stop pushing their anti-immigration narrative that “illegal immigration” threatens the jobs of poor Black people.  Many African-Americans already believe that there’s a prevailing attitude among Latinos that they don’t need anything from us except for the blueprint from our fight for our civil rights.

The pathway to victory for Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform needs both Black immigrants and African-Americans to succeed. While Latinos may outnumber African-Americans in cities like Los Angeles the reality is that our vote still matters and neither immigrant rights activists nor the Democratic Party can afford for African-Americans to remain on the fence about immigration reform. We win elections by bringing people together and working together