Rev. Marjorie Walker, possibly the first African-American female ordained by the Rocky Mountain District of the Assemblies of God, was recognized in a special service at her church in celebration of Black History Month. The service, held at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Greeley, Colorado, also honored two additional faithful African-American church leaders, George and Clydene Osborne.
The church’s pastor, Rev. David Meek, shared their stories in an article about the event published in the Greeley Tribune:
“The Rev. Marjorie Walker, a retired nurse, was the first black woman to be ordained in the Rocky Mountain District of the Assemblies of God Church. Last September, she retired at the young age of 81 from ministering at retirement homes in Greeley for 30 years. She is still an associate pastor at Glad Tidings and loves to lead people to Jesus. We love to hear her sing those great Southern Gospel songs, and she learned to play the harmonica at age 76 after her husband, Sid, went to be with Jesus.”
“George and Clydene Osborne are vital members as they greet people, sing in the choir and pray for the sick. George is a board member, directs the Men’s Ministry and preaches every Friday night at the Weld County Jail, leading men to love, serve and follow Jesus. They have been married 49 years, which is a miracle of God, as George use to be heavy drinker of beer, before Jesus delivered him!”
Rev. Meek recounted that the Assemblies of God grew out of a worldwide Pentecostal revival that took place one hundred years ago. One of the focal points of this emerging revival was the interracial congregation at the Apostolic Faith Mission on Azusa Street, Los Angeles, led by African-American pastor William J. Seymour. Meek noted that at Azusa Street, “The rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, and all races worshipped and sought God together.” The Azusa Street revival (1906-1909) has become a symbol of racial reconciliation, not just for Pentecostals but for all Christians. This interracial unity was not just evidenced at Azusa Street, but also in churches today, such as Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Greeley.
Panorama Magazine (a publication of the Greeley Tribune) also published an article about Rev. Walker in 2007.
The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center is very interested in acquiring materials documenting African-American Pentecostal history. If you have old photographs, publications (periodicals, tracts, books, congregational histories, etc.), and other treasures that would help historians, church leaders, and people in the pew to better understand African-American Pentecostal history, please consider depositing them at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Posted by Darrin Rodgers