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St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church Holds Pastor & Wife’s Appreciation Service Honoring 10 Years of Service

Rev. Jeff Clark and First Lady LeShune Clark (Photo Credit: Crittenden Ward)

By Crittenden Ward

Santa Barbara, CA — On Sunday, August 13, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Clark and First Lady Le’Shune Clark, recognized 10 years of faithful and dedicated service they rendered to their church and the greater Santa Barbara community. The keynote speaker for the afternoon was Rev. J. Louis Watkins, pastor, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Santa Barbara. He was accompanied by Associate Minister Rev. Roderick Murray, the choir and other members. The theme for this year’s celebration was Leading by Following, based upon Joshua 1:16-18. Sis. Wendy Sims-Moten facilitated the program.

As in the past, this year’s celebration was grand and festive. Upon arrival, the Hospitality Committee greeted the visitors and served a full course meal; music was provided by the combined choirs of St. Paul and Friendship; and, Rev. Watkins provided an enlightening word. He spoke on the theme, reflected on his relationship with St. Paul and Rev. Clark, and had specific comments to each member of the Clark family, including Rev. Clark, First Lady LeShune Clark and son Sean Louis Clark. In addition, there were well wishes from Robin Freeman, President of Xi Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority of which Le’Shune is a member; from Ron Greenwood, Basileus of the Psi Xi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., of which Rev. Clark is a member; and, from Dianne Bridgett, older sister of LeShune.

Several members of the St. Paul family participated in the program. Freddie Walker gave the opening prayer; Luba Mitsuk read the scripture, and Rose Bartley extended a gracious welcome. Rev. Roderick Murray of Friendship Baptist introduced the speaker. Special presentations were made by Wendy Sims-Moten and Mack Vickers. Remarks were made individually by the Clark family: Le’Shune, Louis and Rev. Jeff, in that order.

Rev. Clark is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was baptized at King David Baptist Church in 1972. He came to California in 1985 and received his call into the ministry in 1996 while a member of Bethel AME Church, in Oxnard.

He served as an Associated Minister there until he was assigned to the Providence First AME Church in Lompoc, California. He was then assigned to Allen Chapel AME Church in San Bernardino, California, and served there until he was assigned to St. Paul AME Santa Barbara on December 15, 2007. Le’Shune has served actively wherever her husband has been assigned. A native of Waynesboro, Georgia, she currently serves in the Women’s Missionary Society and is President of the Usher Board. The Clarks reside in Oxnard where Louis just graduated from Santa Clara High School and will be attending San Diego State University, majoring in Engineering. Earlier this year (February 14), the Clarks celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary.

Although it has been stated before, there is just no other way to describe the Clarks and their ministry than to say they are devoted to serving in God’s vineyard; they are devoted to each other and their family. Their level of devotion and genuine warmth towards each other and to those they come in contact with is clearly discernible. This made the celebration all the more worthy and enjoyable. To God be the glory for the great things He has done, and for sending the Clarks our way!”

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