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1997 Hampton University 83rd Ministers' Conference And
63rd Annual Choir Directors' & Organists' Guild Workshop


Greetings From Various University & Conference Officials

Select an individual to read their official conference greetings:

    University President William R. Harvey
    Ministers' Conf President Rev. Jesse Battle
    Choir Dir/Organist Guild Pres Ervenia Johnson
    Governor, Commonwealth Of Virginia, George Allen
    Mayor Of Hampton, James L. Eason



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Greetings From The University President



 With much pleasure, I welcome you to the 83rd Hampton University Ministers' Conference and 63rd Choir Directors'-Organists' Guild Workshop.  For many years on the campus of Hampton University, we have had wonderfully rich spiritual, education, musical, and social experiences during the Ministers' Conference, and I expect these experiences to continue for many years to come. This Conference has brought together thousands of distinguished clergy, scholars, musicians, and lay people who seek to better the lot of humankind through dialogue, worship, and song.

This event has become thoroughly entrenched in the life of the surrounding community. Like members of the University community, local citizens look forward to participating in the activities and enjoying the spiritual sustenance which this occasion provides. As always I seize this opportunity to let you know that we are most pleased to have you in our midst and to wish for you a constructive and stimulating Conference/Worshop.

 With all good wishes,

 William R. Harvey

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Greetings From The Ministers' Conference President

President Jesse Battle 

Dear Officers & Delegates of our 83rd Conference:

"This is a day which the LORD hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it."
(Psalms 18:24)

Greetings and well wishes to the participants and members of this 83rd Hampton University Ministers' Conference. I, along with the Officers, Past Presidents and staff, welcome you to our "Home by the Sea."

While all of us are apprised of the changes that have taken place in the administration of our conference, we enthusiastically look forward to a future that is as resplendent as our glorious past. We lament the departure of Dr. Michael A. Battle Sr., as our Executive Secretary during the past 20 years; however, we joyfully welcome Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie as our new Executive Secretary. We will miss the members of Hampton University's staff whose industrious engagements have made the conference a success year after year. However, we have full confidence that those who are designated to carry on this "divine work" will do so with an equal commitment to the objectives of our conference founders and those whose charge is to continue in the sacred traditions carved out by our "sainted predecessors".

I want to reassure all of you that while we labor under the clouds of change, we do so with an excitement that is unparalleled in our 83 year history This indubitably promises to be, as have all previous conferences, our most exhilarating session. This gathering will surely be an historic one, in that, we have striven to shatter the impedimental barriers of gender exclusivity Having brought in female lecturers, a female Worship Leader, we now have our first female officer - Dr. Suzan J. Cook.

In addition, we will witness the historic gathering of the leaders of several major denominations within the African American Church in a moderated symposium on Friday at 2:00 p.m. Unlike previous conferences, we will conclude this year's assembly with a dinner banquet during which we will honor Dr. M.A. Battle and the Michael A. Battle Endowed Scholarship which we kicked-off last year. This will be an exciting conference.

As evidenced by the cadre of preachers/scholars listed on the program, the spiritual and scholastic tone of this year's session will continue the paradigmatic standard of excellence to which we have grown accustomed, from the initial pounding of the gavel, which calls the conference into session, until the oration of the final benediction, our hearts will be fed. Our spirits will be uplifted; our souls will be renewed; our minds will be challenged; and our dedication to the ministry of Jesus Christ will be energized. We will go from this empowering "transfiguration" to our respective communities and continue in the work of the "transformation" of the heart, soul, and mind of the members of our congregations.

Jesse Battle, Jr.

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Greetings From The President of the Choir Directors Organist Guild

Dear Guild Members,

 "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

It is with Jesus joy that we welcome you to the 63rd Annual Choir Directors' and Organists' Guild of the Hampton University Ministers' Conference. I am sure that you will be more than richly blessed after this week at our "home by the sea."

The Apostle Paul made it known that "faith without works is dead," and for the past two years, the theme for the Executive Board has been "Love In Action. " For the next two years ,

I would like to add to that theme; "Love In Action," for Love Never Fails and challenge all of us to make this applicable to our lives.

He who lives a life of love and charity is constantly at worship. My prayer is that you will open your hearts and minds to be receptive to all that will be shared through the workshops and worship experiences.

 Ervenia Johnson

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Greetings From The Governor Of The State

On behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I extend warm greetings to everyone attending the 83rd Annual Ministers' Conference and the 63rd Annual Choir Director's Organist Guild Workshop.

The ministers and choir directors assembled in Hampton for this conference and workshop have served as symbols of hope and faith for many Virginians and Americans. Additionally your members' dedication and leadership m the community are helping to make Virginia and the nation a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Hampton, in the heart of the historic Tidewater area of Virginia, is home to one of our nation's finest Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hampton University. While you are in Hampton for the conference and workshop, I invite you to enjoy the many varied attractions of the region. Whether exploring Revolutionary War battlefields at Yorktown, visiting the colonial capital of Williamsburg or enjoying Hampton,s own Virginia Air and Space Center and its harbor cruises, you are sure to enjoy the history and hospitality of the Old Dominion from this beautiful waterfront location.

I extend my best wishes to Dr. Harvey and his staff and all of Hampton University's guests attending the 83rd Annual Ministers' Conference and the 63rd Annual Choir Directors' Organists' Guild Workshop.

 George Allen

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Greetings From The Mayor Of The City

Welcome to Hampton! We are delighted to host the Hampton University Ministers' Conference and the Annual Choir Directors' Organists' Guild Workshop in the City of Hampton again this year and vish you much success with both meetings.

I am confident that you will find Hampton and its facilities provide a pleasant and interesting meeting site.

Families and friends will also appreciate the wide variety of attractions and activities in the Hampton area. I believe everyone will find special interest in the Virginia Air and Space Center/Hampton Roads History Center and the beautiful restoration of the Hampton Carousel located on Hampton's downtown waterfront. Our central location in the Hampton Roads region also makes it an easy drive to all the water activities at the ocean front beaches, and the numerous historical sites at Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.

We are glad to have you in our community and we hope you will visit us again and again.


James L. Eason

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