Meet-A-Member - Annie Belle McIlwain

Hello fellow Christians. We would like to introduce one of the pillars of Centennial AME Zion Church. Her name is Annie Belle McIlwain and she is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Mama Annie Belle loves to be in church and has been a member of Centennial for over forty years. During her tenure she has been a choir director, a deaconess, church secretary, and the senior choir president. She loves to sing and her favorite gospel song is "Over Yonder".

Mama Annie Belle grew up in Lancaster, her sister Eva Mae calling her 'Bay'. Growing up she always wanted to be a teacher but she became occupied raising her seven children. She was married twice and did housework professionally. She also worked in the fields in between tending to her four girls; Virginia, Evadell, Linda and Brenda, plus her three boys; Odell, Sammy and Charles. Mama Annie Belle loved to fish, grew a great, big garden and had a passion for cooking. She always found herself feeding not only her kids but the neighborhood kids as well.

Blue is her favorite color and it goes well with her spunky attitude. Her favorite food is chicken and she loves to drink lemonade. She likes all kinds of TV shows but you will most likely find her set tuned into the western channel. She still gets a kick reading children stories but agrees that the Bible is the book for her. Annie Belle McIlwain is an inspiration for all of us but don't just take our word for it, come down and meet her for yourself.


Reverend Scott at Warner Temple

Rev. Gordon, Rev. Scott & Rev. Stewart Centennial's choir

Centennial's own Reverend Scott was the guest pastor for Warner Temple's Revival this past August 30th & 31st and he was on fire! Many visiting churches came out to sing and fellowship from all over North and South Carolina. Of course, The Little White Church's choir and musicians got busy for the Lord as well. Everything was real nice but Reverend Scott really reached the people on both nights. The Holy Ghost was definately in the house. Ain't no party like a Holy Ghost party because a Holy Ghost party don't stop.

Church Funnies - Holy Ghost Slide

First it was the Electric Slide and then the Cha Cha Slide but check out the newest craze hitting this church in particular, The Holy Ghost Slide! Betcha can't do that.


Meet-A-Member - Mary Stinson Jones

Meet Mary Jones
To get in good with Centennial AME Zion Church, there is one lady you should definately get to know. Introducing Mary Stinson Jones. She has been a member of Centennial for over 20 years and has many duties that include Sunday School Superintendent and teacher, Finance Officer & Deaconess. Born and raised in Lancaster, South Carolina, she is a graduate of Barr Street Senior High School and Denmark Technical College where she says she majored in Industrial Sewing. She credits her greatest accomplishment as running her own sewing business for over 40 years and is often called 'The Sewing Lady'. The place she enjoyed visiting the most was Detroit, Michigan and Canada but has also lived in Washington D.C. It was a sad time for her because while she was living there, Martin Luther King Jr. died and she lost her grandmother. She has a very loving family that include four brothers and four sisters, one who has passed. She testifies that she knows God is good because the doctors told her she was going to die back in the 1970's but she is still here today.

Her favorite Bible verse is John 14:1 which reads "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.." Mrs. Jones enjoys reading books and is currently reading author Kevin Waiters' book 'Brother To Brother'. She also likes Ebony magazine but if she is watching a movie, she likes any Tyler Perry movie. When watching television she likes 'Touched By An Angel'. She always believed that if she was going to be famous for anything, it would be for singing but she says her throat is too scratchy. Her favorite singer is Marvin Sapp and thinks "The Best In Me" is a very beautiful song. She believes her best quality is that she is able to help people especially children but thinks she can always work on being a better person. She says that the nicest thing someone has ever done was when she was helped financially when she really needed it without her even asking.

Her favorite color is maroon and her worst fear is heights. Mary enjoys bowling & playing Solitaire for fun. She would like to one day meet Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington, would help the church & pay off bills if she came into some money, and would save her purse and Bible if her house was on fire. Her favorite restaurant is Jomars in Lancaster, her most delicious dish is macaroni & cheese, she just loves to drink Fanta orange soda but can't stand broccoli. Her words of encouragement are to always trust in the Lord and be blessed. To find out more about Mary Stinson Jones, come learn from her at Centennial's Sunday School at 10:00 am. Lord willing, she's there every week. God bless.

Praise Dancing To Preaching

I thought this was pretty powerful, a young man praise dancing to a sermon. He really grabs your attention and does an excellent job of acting out each bit of information. There are other ones on youTube by the same guy so at the end, click on some of the other ones.


Vacation Bible Has Started!

Old and young, all are welcome to come a participate in the Centennial AME Zion Vacation Bible School experience from August 3rd - 6th and on Saturday the 7th there will be a celebration. So come one, come all and let's praise His holy name.


Meet-A-Member - Floyd Thomas Jr.

Visiting churches sometimes try to recruit our musicians because Centennial is known for its sensational talent. The man responsible for those soulful sounds is Floyd Thomas Jr. This 12 year member of Centennial is not only the Music Director but he is also a member of the Board of Trustees. He loves Jesus and doesn't like to miss church. His favorite scripture in the Bible is the 14th Chapter of the Book of John in which Jesus speaks of many mansions, states that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that to see Him is to see the Father. Jesus also promises the first and second Comforters.

Floyd is a very well dressed gentleman who always respects others and treats people like he likes to be treated. Born in September of 1964 in Charlotte, NC, he went to Myers Park High School. He has three sisters who lovingly call him Punkin, one named Nettie who is also a member and drummer at Centennial AME Zion, and he had a brother who was tragically killed. Floyd says his greatest accomplishment was raising his two daughters after their mother passed when they were 13 & 8. Floyd now has a granddaughter. His greatest fear is for the children of the world who suffer from hunger and disease. We all should pray that God will bless them.

While Floyd says he had a weakness for pork chops, his favorite dishes are fish and banana pudding for dessert. He prefers home cooking over restaurant food and he likes to drink Sobe fruit juices. Floyd enjoys watching old movies or action flicks and can't get enough of Andy Griffith on TV. His favorite sport is wrestling and regrets not wrestling back in school.

Recently, Floyd and his group The Sons of Thunder was blessed with a record deal with BOC Records out of Charlotte, NC. This a great accomplishment for the seven member band who organized back in 1978 by Joe Wilson. Originally named The Disciples, they were dubbed The Sons of Thunder by a preacher who had mistaken the name of their 1987 album for the name of the band and it just stuck. They have a total of five independent releases and hope to have their first nationally distributed CD complete this year. For contact and booking, email Floyd at floydthomasjr@hotmail.com or come to Centennial AME Zion and hear him play for yourself. Be blessed.

Sister Gross Preaches

Sister Renae Gross preached about almost being a christian and the importance of being a full-time saint. There are three parts so click on parts 2 & 3 after this one is finished. Stay blessed.


A Great Example of How God Is Good...

WowOn a particular Saturday morning, the ladies of Centennial were serving breakfast and oh, how delicious it was. The children were playing outside the church like they usually do and all was well. Not too soon after most everybody packed up to leave, a man fell asleep at the wheel, swerved across the church yard through the parking lot and took out a light pole! Twenty or thirty minutes earlier and we would have had a disaster.

Thank God nobody, including the driver of the pickup truck was seriously injured. The post was split and the power lines were ripped out the side of the church but once again, thank goodness that everyone is alright. Duke Energy has since put up a new pole and got the power back working. God is good, all the time.


Meet-A-Member - Tessira Tcon Wade

Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus but it's good to know that you can also make some friends at Centennial AME Zion Church so we'd like to introduce you to Ms. Tessira Tcon Wade. She has been a member of Centennial for her whole life of 24 years and is the YACM or Young Adult Christian Missionary president. Born March 19th in Rock Hill, SC, she is an alumni of Claflin University where she became a soror of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. A saying that she lives by is, "Float like a duck, under water work hard but on top, always appear calm and sireen." She prides her greatest accomplishment in receiving her Marketing Degree and is now pursuing an additional degree in Accounting. Tessira always believed that if she was going to be famous for anything, it would be for business. She has always been an advocate of education and dreamed of being a teacher as a child. Her favorite teacher coming up was Lani Helms because she was so nice and pushed her creatively.

Most people call her Tcon but her friends & coworkers affectionately call her Tess. She is currently a Mortgage Unit Assitant at a Citi Financial. She has a very loving family that includes a wonderful mom, Brenda & dad, Darryl, two brothers, Darryl & Andre, and two sisters, DeeDee & India. She would like to one day meet her grandfather so he can set the record straight. Her worst fear is that she will lose one of her loved ones suddenly because her family is very important to her. She says that the nicest thing someone has ever done for her was her mom giving her life. If she had one wish, she would wish that she could supply everything for her family but would buy herself a house if she came into some money. The place she wants to visit the most is The Bahamas because it looks so nice. Like most women, she chooses her stomach as the the part of her body that she wants to change first. She plays tennis but her favorite sport is basketball and she enjoys the Wii & playing the Wii Resort games for fun. Her most beautiful quality is her personality because she is a natural 'people person' but thinks she is too blunt and can't stand liars.

The first thing she does each morning is hit the snooze button and her favorite Bible book is Genesis because it tells about the beginning of everything. A few things most people don't know about Tessira is that she speaks a little French and plays the piano. The worst gift she ever got was socks, would save her photo box if her house was on fire, and hopes to have a solar powered satellite phone if she was stranded on a desert island. Ms. Wade enjoyed reading Steve Harvey's book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man & Cosmo magazine is her choice at the newsstand. But if she is watching a movie, she prefers a superhero action flick like Wolverine and when watching television she likes Leverage. Her favorite singers are her mom & dad. Her most delicious dish is fish and she just loves to drink ginger ale but has a weakness for her favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory. To learn more about Ms. Tessira Tcon Wade, come meet her at Centennial or befriend her on Facebook. God bless.


Church Funnies - Church Gone Wild

A group of clips of what NOT to do in church.


Meet-A-Member - Renae Gross

Renae Gross The only way to get to know Centennial AME Zion Church is to get to know it's members so we'd like to introduce you to Mrs. Renae Gross. She has been a member of Centennial for 18 years and has many duties that include missionary president, deaconess, class leader & associate minister. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, she is an alumni of Ribult Senior High School where she says her worst teacher was Mrs. Coleman because she already knew her and her family coming up so there was no getting away with anything. The place she enjoyed visiting the most was St. Petersburg, Florida because she says it was so laid back like a retirement community but hopes to one day visit Paris, France.

She has a very loving family that include a wonderful husband, one brother, two sisters, six kids, two dogs and a slew of grandkids that affectionately call her Mema. After 26 years at Sears she is currently a volunteer at a hospital which puts her close to her childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Her favorite colors are black and red but her hair color depends on her mood as it changes from black to auburn to honey blonde. She credits her greatest accomplishment as going to college and her worst fear that she will never lose the weight that she wants to, choosing her stomach as the the part of her body that she wants to change first and wishing for good health if she was granted one wish. But don't take her lightly because she is also a mean volleyball player and enjoys bowling & playing Taboo for fun. Her most beautiful quality is that she is an excellent listener but thinks she over identifies was other people's problems too easily.

The first thing she does each morning is pray and her favorite Bible verse is Psalm 37:25 when David said "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." The quote she uses in her daily life is "a lesson learned is not repeated" and always believed that if she was going to be famous for anything, it would be for speaking. She would like to one day meet Oprah, would pay off her house if she came into some money, would save her purse if her house was on fire, and hopes to have a Bible if she was stranded on a desert island.

Mrs. Gross enjoys reading books by author Joyce Meyers & Ebony magazine but if she is watching a movie, she prefers a comedy and when watching television she likes The Nanny. Her favorite singer is Shirley Ceasar and thinks "I Just Want To Praise Him" is the most beautiful song that she's ever heard. Her most delicious dish is macaroni & cheese and she just loves to drink Coca-Cola but can't stand liver. She has a birthday coming up on July 22nd so maybe someone will take her to her favorite restaurant, Red Lobster. Even though she really wants a car, she says that the nicest thing someone has ever given her was a hug when she was feeling down. To learn more about Mrs. Renae Gross, come meet her at Centennial or befriend her on Facebook. God bless.

Preach, Qua! Preach!

The future Pastor Ja'Quavis Tucker
When the Bible said you will be judged by your deeds, no one took that to heart like Ja'Quavis Omar Tucker. Called Qua for short, he has been an intricate part of the well being of Centennial. Not only is he a junior trustee, an usher, a member of both the junior choir and the Voices of Faith mass choir, a praise dance choreographer, and church play producer but he also is very active in the community as a volunteer police intern and student body president at Lancaster High. What is so amazing is that he is still only a teenager who's life is just beginning when he heads out this fall to college.

Being a very well mannered gentleman and intelligent individual, God had a plan for Qua and after being the guest speaker at church a few times, he has now accepted his calling to be a preacher. This past Saturday, June 26, 2010, Qua performed his trial sermon at the little white church on the side of the road in front of a packed house. The district elder and his wife were in attendance as well as many other pastors, church officials, family and friends. Qua did a very good job and we are so very proud of him and all of his great deeds and accomplishments. We wish him much success in his pastorial pursuit, college academics and in all of lifes endeavors. Preach, Qua! Preach.

He had the people moving!


Father's Day Celebration 2010

We heard it over and over again, "This is not a competition, this is how we treat our men." The women of Centennial went way out of their way to make the fellas feel special. It started not to many Sundays after Mother's Day with little candy treats, flowers, cards in the mail and all kinds of gift wrapped goodies. The Saturday before Father's Day, they cooked and served breakfast to the men at the church which was very nice. But then the big day came. We had an early 9:00 am service to praise our Heavenly Father first and then the whole congregation boarded a couple of long vans to head out to who knows where.

After an hour or so ride, they tried to fool the gentlemen of Centennial by stopping at a Cracker Barrel resturant but no one fell for that. We then pulled up to a docking pier at Lake Norman where we boarded The Catawba Queen and had a great time fellowshipping. The luncheon was superb and a few members even drove the boat. We laughed and enjoyed the fresh air until we docked back at the Queens Landing where we were greeted by a steel drum band. Thank you ladies for a joyous occasion.