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Black Church News in Virginia

Bibbins Mem. Bible Class Hosted By Covenant Presbyterian Church

Submitted by Dr. Melinda Harris-Peoples

Special to the New Journal and Guide

On December 3, 2015, Covenant Presbyterian Church hosted the K. B. Bibbins Memorial Bible Class. Rev. Helen Bessent Byrd, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, expressed her delight at hosting the event again. She indicated that Covenant has hosted the revived K. B. Bibbins Memorial Bible Class since its inception and that it has always been well attended and informative. According to Rev. Byrd, Covenant holds these programs as outreach to the community. The classes are always educational and inspirational, and the Covenant family is pleased to accommodate such community and civic events.

Mrs. K. B. Bibbins was a well-known teacher and principal in Norfolk. She was a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and Hampton Institute (now University). Mrs. Bibbins started the class when she was 90 years old. She was a very religious woman and held Bible study classes at her home for 16 years. Having a strong faith, she wanted to pass on the Good News to others. There were several students, and Mrs. Willie Hunter was the teacher during the time that they met at Mrs. Bibbins’ home.

Mrs. Gladys McElmore, the current Event Organizer, is a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community and a native of Essex County, Virginia. She is a graduate of Norfolk State University, and she taught school in the Norfolk Public School System for over 30 years. Further, she is a free-lance contributor to The New Journal and Guide. According to Mrs. McElmore, Mrs. Bibbins was very interested in people and in the Bible. She was a generous person with a benevolent spirit. After Mrs. Bibbins passed, Mrs. McElmore decided to create a series of Bible classes in her memory, the K. B. Bibbins Memorial Bible Class, in 2014. She wanted to continue the classes in memory of Mrs. Bibbins as a legacy to her contributions to society.

The class was and continues to be ecumenical. In attendance were individuals from a number of churches including: Main Street Baptist, Smithfield; Celestial Baptist, Portsmouth; Bethany Baptist, Chesapeake; Second Calvary Baptist, Norfolk; St. John A. M. E., Norfolk; Making a Difference “Believers Outreach Ministry,” Virginia Beach; Mt Gilead Baptist, Norfolk, Greater Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion, Norfolk; Shiloh Baptist Church, Norfolk; Grace Episcopal, Norfolk, and Covenant Presbyterian Church.

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The event began with devotions by Rev. David Charles of Second Calvary Baptist Church, Norfolk. The program was multi-dimensional, and several of the attendees participated by presenting the prophecies, short reports, Joseph’s dreams, the gifts of the Maji, and a short dramatic skit, “Breaking News From God About the Messiah.” The class was biblical in nature, with scripture sprinkled throughout the presentation. When asked how she rated the entire experience, Mrs. Hazel Edwards of Main Street Baptist Church of Smithfield said that on a scale of one to 10, she would give it an 11.

Of particular note was the distinction made between “wisdom” and “knowledge” by Ms. Brenda Andrews, publisher of the New Journal and Guide. She indicated that many know, but few are wise. When we look at our ancestors, with no education, no formal training, living in a foreign country, and being placed in bondage, they developed a resilient wisdom.

Further, she declared that this had to be a divine wisdom which paved the way for their descendants. They kept going and this made them wise, as wisdom generally grows with you as you grow. Wisdom is how you act on what you know. We should examine our reasons for our actions to determine if they are wise, and if they are for God’s will and not for our own.

You are welcome to attend the next K. B. Bibbins’ class. It will be on March 10, 2016, at noon at Covenant Presbyterian Church. It is free and open to the public.

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