Members of the Evening Baptist Ministers Wives and Minsters Widows Auxiliary installed its 35th president during festive and well-attended gala at the Hilton at 4200 City Ave. on Saturday.
Family and friends came to support the newly installed president, Kim Fleming, and her cabinet during the celebration.
“I’ve been a part of the auxiliary for over 20 years,” Fleming said. “It is awesome and I am excited and also blessed. I am humbled and full of excitement.”
Fleming, the first lady of St. Joseph’s Baptist Church, said she hoped God would use her as president to stand among the women of the auxiliary and be the “best me I can be”.
“I just feel blessed,” Fleming said when asked how she felt about the turn out and significant show of support. “No one has to take the time out of their schedule, for no shape, form or fashion to come and to bless me on today. You could have done anything you wanted to do on a Saturday morning, but I am so blessed that 490 people had decided to convene to celebrate with me and this is truly an honor and I am truly blessed.”
The responsibility of installing the president was given to the Rev. James S. Hall, pastor of Triumph Baptist Church who said he was assigned the task by the president-elect herself.
“I served kind of as her spiritual father and have known her [Fleming] and her husband for a number of years, so she asked me, as her pastor, [to preside over her installation]. She is a very faithful wife and a great mother to her children. She works closely with her husband [the Rev. W. Gregory Fleming] who pastors St. Joseph’s Baptist Church in West Philadelphia and she works almost unbelievable hours giving service in many ways, spiritual and financial,” Hall said. “She’s just a wonderful person. A Lovely person. Well-trained and well-disciplined.”
Hall said the large turnout was a tribute to Fleming’s lifestyle and treatment of people and the respect people had for her.
“This is an unusual crowd and it’s a compliment to her faithfulness and her service,” Hall said.
Joan C. Pinkney served as president of the auxiliary’s Past Presidents Council which, according to Pinkney, “ensures that the integrity, the foundation of the organization is continued through each administration’ and the council works closely with the president to provide counsel and advice.”
Said Pinkney: “It’s a good working relationship. She presents to us her program for the next 2 years and if we see anything that we can help her with or advise her on, that’s what we do.”
“We’re really excited. The older ones, the past presidents as well as the members. We are really excited about the next two years.”
Paula Hall Jordan, the 34th president of the Evening Baptist Ministers Wives and Ministers Widows Auxiliary, was excited about the installation.
“We are here with Jesus Joy to install our 35th president, Mrs. Kimberly Vanessa Fleming as our Auxiliary president,” Jordan said. “We are grateful to God for her service, for her commitment, for her diligence and we are looking forward to the Lord taking us to higher heights and greater depths through her administration.
“So many people are here because this great Auxiliary loves the lord, we serve our community and we have been a blessing to many outreach ministries so people are here because when you worship God, people will come.”
Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal was among the speakers at the installation and during her humor filled remarks — which moved the audience to laughter various times — complimented both the past-president and newly president-elect on their accomplishments and service.
“First let me congratulate the president-elect and the vice-president elect, two phenomenal women,” she said. “I remember Angela Bassett said that ‘you are moving toward your purpose and don’t even know what it is’ and my mother telling me that ‘you make a plan and God makes a plan and God is the best of planners.’
“As you move in your purpose, God is saying ‘let know one tell you what you can’t do’, I’m a product of that and let no one hold you back from the good work that you are going to continue to do.”
City Councilman David Oh congratulated the incoming president and her cabinet and presented them with a citation from Philadelphia City Council.
The Evening Baptist Ministers Wives and Minsters Widows Auxiliary holds a general membership meeting and a fellowship each month.
Fleming said the auxiliary meets “regularly to talk about the necessity of our women and the of our city and our churches and different facilities and we go out and try to outreach to help them.”
Other officers in the group are:Kelli Jackson, recording secretary; Twyla Wilburn, financial secretary; Kimira Cousins, corresponding secretary; Joyce Henderson, assistant recording secretary; Camille Stevenson, treasurer; Valerie Sowell, chaplain; Roberta Hicks, pianist; Joan Pinkney assistant pianist; Louella Williams, parliamentarian; Diane Dougls, reporter and Veronica Blue, assistant reporter.