“Within the United States, there is a legacy of African American pastors who faithfully adhered to the Bible as their guiding light. For generations, these spiritual leaders of large and small congregations have held fast to Scripture and its message of love, faithfulness, forgiveness, freedom, and God’s abiding strength. Because of these elders the Bible continues giving hope to our nation.”
Those words frame the purpose of the Annual “Blessing of the Elders” ceremony, presented by the Washington D.C.-based Museum of the Bible, a global, innovative, educational institution whose mission is to invite all people to engage with the transformative power of the Bible.
This year’s years prestigious honors were bestowed upon Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, senior pastor of the Inglewood-based, Faithful Central Bible Church.
“This award was special because it really was not about me. It was about the legacy of the African American church and the prophecy pulpits that helped navigate its course,” Ulmer stated.
“It was also special because they came to Los Angeles to present it—the place the echoes the voice of such spiritual elders as Dr. E.V. Hill, Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, Dr. Manuel Scott, Dr. Jerome Pleasant and Dr. Jerome Fisher.”
What makes the award most prestigious are the renown pastors who comprise the steering committee for the Blessing of the Elders ceremony, including renowned pastors Tony Evans and A.R. Bernard, tasked with blessing those elders in the African American community who through their faithfulness to Scripture have made exceptional contributions to help heal racial, political, and spiritual divisions and to inspire younger generations of pastors and leaders to follow their examples.
Said Ulmer, “The award produced a heighten sense of both honor and humility for the opportunity to partner with two of my friends of many years—Dr. Tony Evans and Dr. A.R. Bernard. These two ecclesiastical giants are gifts to the body of Christ. To share the project with them was a great joy.”
Ulmer was a supporter of the Museum of the Bible before receiving the honor.
“Its vision and goal of telling the historical story of how the Bible was the driving influence of the African American church is one that I fully support,” Ulmer revealed. “I believe a Black Christian is one of the greatest miracles of God. This museum illustrates how the Black church impacted and influenced American history.”
Opening to the public in November 2017, the Museum of the Bible’s 430,000-square-foot building is among the most technologically advanced and engaging museums in the world. Showcasing rare and fascinating artifacts spanning 4,000 years of history, the museum offers visitors an immersive and personalized experience with the Bible and its ongoing impact on the world around us.