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Friday, May 24, 2024

Celebrating Spiritual Sisterhood

East of the River spiritual sisterhood was on full display on March 25 at The Prayer Breakfast Celebrating Women of Faith hosted by Wards 7 and 8 Faith Leaders. The Anacostia Coordinating Council, East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, the East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership and the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative sponsored the event.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, nearly 150 guests broke bread in a beautifully decorated fellowship hall at The Union Temple Baptist Church in the Anacostia Historic District. It was an all-woman program from beginning to end. The MeLinda Ford Music Group performed inspirational gospel. Made 2 Order, a woman-owned business, catered a delicious repast. Rev. Dr. Anika Wilson Brown, the pastor at Union Temple and chair of the Mayor’s Interfaith Council, offered guests a hearty welcome.

DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb (D) poses with attendees. Photo: Lamont Mitchell

Reverend Karen Curry, the associate minister of the Pennsylvania Baptist Church, proved an infectiously effervescent emcee. Curry interwove a seamless program of prayers for physical and mental health, caregivers, equity, equality and workforce protections, provided by women clergy.

In her address, Rev. Patricia Fears, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church and the President of the DC Baptist Convention addressed the importance of women’s leadership in the church. She also spoke of the historic nature of this prayer breakfast.

The MeLinda Ford Music Group. Photo: Justin T. Gaines

Dr. Wanda Thompson, pastor of Ambassador Baptist Church and co-convener of the monthly Ward 8 Clergy and Faith Leaders Breakfast Meetings, gave the keynote address. Citing the pivotal roles that that women have in the Bible, she effectively nailed home the point that women form the church’s bedrock in the African American community. Recognizing the uphill path trod by women clergy and faith leaders, Thompson’s sermon exhorted her spiritual sisters to keep doing the hard work and staying strong in the struggle.

Reverend Thompson also noted the low male attendance at the prayer breakfast. This author strongly recommends men make more an effort to attend next year. Save the date!

To view the video of the prayer breakfast, please visit

Long-time Ward 8 community activist Philip Pannell can be contacted at Pannell is the Exebcutive Director of the Anacostia Coordinating Council. Help Make Wards 7 & 8 Great! Become a Member of the Anacostia Coordinating Council: Visit

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