Mother Bethel hosts national conference

Mark Kelly Tyler, left, Mother’s Bethel’s 52nd pastor and Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, presiding bishop over the First Episcopal District of the AME Church.

The “196th Session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference: Reach, Reclaim, Engage, Empower,” hosted by Mother Bethel AME Church, will be held next week, May 23 to May 27. The historic Mother Bethel AME church, located at 419 Richard Allen Ave. has an expected attendance of more than 5,000 people.

The meeting will be held by Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, presiding bishop over the First Episcopal District of the AME Church. All events are to be held at Mother Bethel excluding the Young People’s Division to be held at AME Union 1614 West Jefferson St. and the closing ceremonies, to be held at First Episcopal District Headquarters 3801 Market St.

The annual conference meets at different churches every year and Mother Bethel Church, is enthused to host the conference this year. According to Leslie M. Tyler, public relations director at Mother Bethel, the church last hosted the conference in 2008.

“The Annual Conference is always an exciting time for the AME Church,” said Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly Tyler, Mother’s Bethel’s 52nd pastor and conference host. “This is the most important annual meeting for local congregations to report on work that’s been done but also share visions of things to come — it’s a time to rekindle old friendships, make new friends and become inspired by powerful worship experiences.”

All evening workshop services start around 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. For more information and a list to a full schedule, contact Mother Bethel at (215) 925-0616 or visit

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