Bishop Marvin Frank Thomas, Sr. and the Presiding Elders of the Second Episcopal District.

The mission of the CME Church in the Second Episcopal District is to form Christian disciples through the systematic training and development of CME clergy and laity. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, CME disciples will preach and teach the word of Christ, nurture spiritual growth and stewardship, and witness and organize for systematic and social change in our communities. Our quadrennial theme is "The Investment Factor: A Changed People Changing the World."

Bishop Marvin Frank Thomas, Sr., Presiding Prelate

Our District Encompasses

Ohio & Central Indiana Annual Conference

Cincinnati-Dayton-Indianapolis District
Cleveland-Pittsburgh District

Kentucky Annual Conference

Louisville-Lexington District
Evansville-Hopkinsville District

The 2018 2nd Episcopal District Spring Gathering & Quadrennial Celebration Specifics:

The Date: April 6-7, 2018

The Location:

Phillips Temple CME Church

3620 Shiloh Springs Rd Trotwood, Ohio 45426

Pastor Jimmy Washington, Host Pastor


The Opening Session: 1:45pm, Friday
The Anticipated Adjournment: 2:15pm, Saturday
The Registration: $35.00

Guest Presenter:

Dr. John Eason, University of Houston, Houston, TX

The Quadrennial Celebration Musical:

Friday, April 6th, 7:30pm

The Quadrennial Celebration Worship Service:

The Reverend Warren J. Lesane, Jr., (Guest Preacher)

Stated Clerk at Synod of the Mid-Atlantic, Richmond, VA

I am asking all young preachers in the district to join me for a special time of food and conversation on Friday, April 6, 2018, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm at the Phillips Temple Church in Trotwood. The conversation will center on Adam S. McHugh’s book The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction (Inter Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 2015.) If you plan to participate, please secure a copy of the book and read it. Please let your presiding elder know you are planning to be present. Please anticipate a cost of at least $12.00 for the lunch. Thanks!

Spring Hill Suites Dayton North,
3591 York Plaza Lane, Dayton, OH 45414
Room Rates-$119.00 per night

Cutoff Date: March 5, 2018

It continues to be my single joy to use this means to greet all of you: the wonderful presiding elders, pastors, and laypersons of the Second Episcopal District. Greetings to each of you and know it is my hope and prayer that all is on the way to being well with each of you. It is also my hope that God will bless and prosper the Second Episcopal District in all the ways which are in keeping with His will for us. I always thank God for each of you and for the blessings and joy I experience continuously because of the prayers, support, and encouragement I receive from my Second Episcopal District family. Thank you! Peace and Grace to all of you.

Divine Upgrades

One Sunday during the recent Advent Season, I was preaching a sermon on Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the sermon, I stated the reason Mary was elevated from a mere peasant girl to a woman who was “blessed and highly favored” is because she received a divine upgrade. God upgraded her status and station in life. I invite the Second Episcopal District to join me in declaring and decreeing 2018 the Year of Divine Upgrades in the areas of stewardship, attendance, institutional health, and mission and ministry. Please affirm with me throughout the year; 2018 the Year of Divine Upgrades in the 2nd.

The Episcopal Churches of Cincinnati 2018 Annual Absalom Jones Symposium and Festal Eucharist

I am honored to have been asked to participate with the Union of Black Episcopalians and the Southern Ohio Diocese’s Annual Absalom Jones Symposium on Racial Justice and Reconciliation and Festal Eucharist. It is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, 2018 at the Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. 4th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. I will be part of the panel discussion which follows the 10:00am speaker. I am asking as many CMEs in Cincinnati as possible to join me for the 11:00am panel discussion. The symposium is free but they are asking everyone to register. You may register on the Christ Church Cathedral’s website. Thank you in advance for your presence and support.

The 2018 Joint Annual Conferences: The Annual Conferences of the Second Episcopal District will be in joint session, July 17-21, 2018 at the Metropolitan CME Church in Cincinnati, OH. Also, there will be a Second Episcopal District Youth Conference held during the same time at the Melrose Y, which is located across the street from Metropolitan. In addition, we will use this time for Episcopal District planning, Sexual Harassment training for pastors, presiding elders, and ministers, and church growth consultation.

The National Council of Churches has endorsed an initiative to end racism. It will begin with a massive rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC on April 4, 2018. I hope some persons from our district will participate in the rally. I plan to be there. The Ohio Council of Churches is sponsoring several buses to the rally. Buses will leave on April 3, 2018 from Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo and Cleveland. The cost of bus trip is $75.00 per person. Please see Reverend Ian Gibson or the Ohio Central Indiana Region’s Presiding Elders. I need a coordinator for the Cincinnati area bus. Someone please volunteer. Thank you!

On Tuesday March 13, 2018, I am asking as many CMEs as possible to meet me at the Kentucky State Capitol for CME Legislative Day. The plans call for us to gather at the Capitol Rotunda at 10:30am for devotion and discussing the day’s agenda. Please come one, come all. We need to be visible on the grounds of the State Capitol. Dr. Amariah McIntosh is leading this effort.

Phillips School of Theology Pastors’ Conference & Founders’ Day 

I am using this space to thank the district for your gifts, registrations, and attendance in support of Phillips School of Theology. I am pleased to report to you that the Second Episcopal District reported $25,000.00 to Phillips during the closing of the Pastors’ Conference. Also join me in congratulating Reverend James Settles on being recognized and honored as the 2018 Outstanding Pastor from the 2nd. I want to express appreciation to Presiding Elder Tracy Jackson and Sister Tracy Cayson for serving as our representatives on Phillips School of Theology Board of Trustees.

In my last communication to you, I solicited your prayers regarding a legal matter before the Second Episcopal District. Thank you. It appears at this moment the outcome is not in our favor. I still believe that we can get the verdict we believe to be the right one. A Notice of Appeal has been filed on our behalf. We will do all we can to achieve our goal; but under no circumstances will we put the financial health of the district at risk.

Real Pastors Attend Sunday School Challenge

I appreciate all the pastors and preachers who have made participating in Sunday School a priority during this seven-week challenge. I hope others will join us and that each of us will continue to do so beyond the challenge. I am requesting all churches submit a Sunday School attendance report for the period of the Challenge to your presiding elder. Please have this report to them by February 22nd. In addition, I am requesting the presiding elders to report the same to me in their February report.

The 2nd Episcopal District Missionary Institute

The missionaries of the 2nd Episcopal District will be engaged in their Annual Institute beginning on Thursday afternoon at Phillips Temple. Please consult with the Institute Director, Dr. Talitha Anderson or the Missionary Presidents for the KY Region (Mrs. Vickie Rogers) or the OCI Region (Mrs. Phyllis Tyler)

The 2018 2nd Episcopal District’s Homeless Outreach Ministry 

I hope all churches are planning to participate in our Outreach Ministry, which is scheduled across the Second Episcopal District for Saturday, April 14th. This is the Saturday following the 2018 Spring Gathering. The CME Church will hold The 2nd Annual Connectional Outreach Month during the entire month of April 2018. Churches are encouraged to select a day that works and the congregation may choose to devote its outreach with the homeless or the incarcerated (visiting a jail or prison in their community). I invite churches in the 2nd to choose either outreach platform. Please be prepared to submit your outreach intent to your presiding elder by March 31st. I would like to be able to post what each congregation will be doing with a special report at the Spring Gathering.

As the president of the governing board of the Ohio Council of Churches, I am asking for the assistance of CME congregations in the State of Ohio to participate in the Civil Discourse Working Groups in your part of the state. In addition, I need one congregation in the State of Ohio to serve as a host site for one of these discussions. If you have difficult topics you want to suggest we address, please share it with me or Reverend Ian Gibson as soon as possible.

I will end where I began by thanking all presiding elders, pastors, and congregations for your prayers, support, and encouragement as I have served with you as partners in the Lord’s ministry. Please know the mistakes that I have made along the way were in no way intentional. I have tried to be faithful as your Episcopal leader. As we move toward the General Conference, may I leave with you these words from Mary Bringle’s hymn, “God of Futures Yet Unfolding,” as our collective prayer for our continuing journey together:

God of futures yet unfolding.
Ever making all things new;
Grant us pathways in our wandering,
Light when darkness dims our view.
Open doors when dread defeats us,
Set discouraged captives free.
God of futures yet unfolding,
Help our blinded eyes to see.
God of futures yet unfolding,
Help our blinded eyes to see.”

Homegoing Celebration for Mr. Robert Jones, Jr.

Saturday February 17, 2018
St. John C.M.E. Church, 1233 S. Hawkins Ave, Akron, OH 44320
Calling Hour:11:00 am / Funeral: 12:00 noon
Presiding Elder, Rev. Bruce B. Gibson, Officiating
Rev. Reynard L. Monmouth, Eulogist

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