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‘Honorable’ Mapp Says He Joins The Ranks Of Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks By Attending Weekend Boondoggle In Philly

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Gov. Mapp receiving “prestigious” AME award

PHILADELPHIA — The 50th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference and Bicentennial Celebration of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is being held in the church’s birthplace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 3, 2016 – July 13, 2016 at the Marriott Philadelphia and Gov. Kenneth Mapp thought that it would be a good place to spend the weekend — so he went there at the government’s expense.

The Honorable Governor Mapp, Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands was unanimously selected to receive the prestigious Bishops’ Quadrennial Service Award in recognition of his election and supreme leadership in the relatively crime-free U.S. Virgin Islands.

Governor Mapp accepted the award today during the Bishop Led Worship Service where over 10,000 were in attendance.  The recipients of this award have demonstrated distinguished and committed service to African, Caribbean and African-American communities and through these services have exemplified the teachings of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Governor Mapp  said he “joins the ranks of such distinguished persons as Mrs. Rosa Parks (the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement), the Reverend Oliver Brown (for his role in the landmark court decision of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education), the Honorable James E. Clyburn (Majority Whip of the 110th Congress of the United States) and Mrs. Margaret Joan Cousin (for her pioneering role in HIV/AIDS awareness and ministry in the A.M.E. Church).”

Among those honored at the services were President and Mrs. Obama. They were recognized with the Richard Allen Community Service Award.

Governor Mapp, a lifelong member of the AME Church was baptized in Bridge Street AME Church in Brooklyn and has been a member of Bethel AME Church on Queen St. in Christiansted, St.Croix since 1960. The Governor’s family, beginning with his maternal grandparents are life long members of the church, his parents being married there in 1950.

Richard Allen, who was also named its first bishop, founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church more commonly known as the A.M.E. Church, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816.  It is a predominantly African-American Church and it is the oldest Protestant denomination founded by black people in the world.

What started as a church community of 5 churches and 8 clergy in 1816, has now grown to an estimated membership of approximately 7,500,000 worldwide with 81,000 pastors, 21 bishops and 12,000 congregations according to the World Council of Churches. St. Croix is the home of three AME churches, Bethel AME in Christiansted, St. Luke’s in Grove Place and Grady AME in Est. Glynn.

“I am humbled by this honor and accept it on behalf of the many members of the church who perform great and unselfish service to our community,” Mapp said. “Like many Virgin Islanders, the church played a pivotal role in our upbringing. Besides our homes, it was a place where we learned to be honest, to accept responsibility, to respect others as we wished to be respected and to be generous and kind to others. I am a proud member of the AME church and I thank the Council of Bishops for bestowing this honor upon me.”

A sculpture depicting Bishop Richard Allen stands in front of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The church marks its 200th anniversary in the city where it was founded by a former slave. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A sculpture depicting Bishop Richard Allen stands in front of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The church marks its 200th anniversary in the city where it was founded by a former slave. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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