Pastor Reinstated at Lockport, New York Church; Services Allowed to Resume

The First African Methodist Episcopal Church has had its guest pastor reinstated and has resumed regular Sunday services.

The district office for the African Methodist Episcopal Church reappointed Justin Anderson, who is a pastor at Christ Community Church, as guest pastor on Feb. 25, Anderson said. The district also appointed Dion Green as supply pastor, but Anderson will be leading services on Sundays.

The reinstatement comes after Anderson was removed on Feb. 12, and some members were concerned that the move could lead to the closure of the 177-year-old church.

Anderson declined to comment on the specifics of the reversal, but said he was happy to be working with the congregation again.

“I’m really excited about them affording me the opportunity,” Anderson said. “I’m looking forward to great things happening here. We want it to be more than a relic of the past. We’re still vibrant, we’re still vital, we’re still alive doing what God has called us to do.”

The Rev. Pedro Castro Jr., an AME presiding elder and minister in Syracuse, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Anderson began guest preaching at the church in June at the request of long-time member Annie Gibson after the AME district-appointed pastor left in May.

The church will move forward in its efforts to renovate the historic structure, Anderson said. So far, community members have donated $2,000, but the church needs to raise $52,000 to complete needed work, he said.

“We want to thank the community for the outpouring of support so far,” he said.

Sunday services are held at 12:30 p.m., at 123 South St.

Source: Lockport Journal | DEBRA LEMOINE