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LEADERSHIP & STAFF EPISCOPAL LEADERS

BISHOP PRESTON W. WILLIAMS II Presiding Prelate, Seventh Episopal District

DR. WILMA D. WEBB WILLIAMS Episcopal Supervisor, Seventh Episopal District

PRESIDING

ELDERS

Rev. Jonathan Baker

Greenville District

Rev. Rosalyn Coleman

Georgetown District

Rev. Robert Cooper

Florence/Dillon District

Rev. Sandy Drayton

Columbia District

Rev. Malachi Duncan

Manning District

Rev. John Gillison

Edisto District

Rev. James Glover

Lancaster District

Rev. Charles Graves

Mt. Pleasant District President, Council of Elders

Rev. Dr. Juenarrl Keith

Orangeburg District 5

LEADERSHIP & STAFF PRESIDING ELDERS

Abbeville/Greenwood District

Rev. Oscar Klugh

Rev. R.L. McCants

Sumter District

Rev. Samuel Myers

Beaufort District

Rev. Allen Parrott

Kingstree District

Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Wateree District

Newberry/Spartanburg District

Rev. Joseph Postell

Rev. John Randolph

Charleston District

Rev. William Smith

Marion District

MINISTERIAL LEADERSHIP

Acolytes Ms. Oveta Glover

Episcopal Director

Allen University Rev. Dr. Charles Young

President

Board of Examiners Rev. Caesar Richburg

Episcopal Dean

LEADERSHIP & STAFF MINISTERIAL LEADERSHIP

Episcopal Chairman of the Board

Christian Education Rev. Dr. Allen Parrott

Debutantes & Masters Commission Mrs. Felita Grady Davis

Episcopal Commissioner

Health Commission Ms. Rosetta Swinton, RN

Episcopal Director

Lay Organization Mr. Norman Deas

Episcopal President

Ministers' Spouses, Widows & Widowers Organization & Preachers' Kids Mrs. Lula Cleckley

Episcopal President

Music Mr. Daryl Lee

Episcopal Director

Richard Allen Young Adult Council Mr. James Brown

Episcopal President

Sons of Allen Mr. George Brown

Episcopal President

Women in Ministry Rev. Izora Adamson

Episcopal President

Women's Missionary Society Mrs. Bernice Sanders

Episcopal President

Young Adult Initiative Ms. Tylaunda Corbin

Episcopal President

Young Peoples Division Mrs. Cheryl Swinton

Episcopal Director

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LEADERSHIP & STAFF EPISCOPAL STAFF

Christian Education Director

Ms. Kabrina Bass

Special Assistant for Faith Based Initiatives

Mr. Joe Benton

Mr. Benjamin Harrison

Public Relations Director

Ms. Mary Anne Jones

Administrative Assistant

Rev. Dr. Juenarrl Keith

Accountant

Rev. R.L. McCants

Treasurer

Ms. Carmen Thomas

Executive Administrator

SEVENTH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT OFFICES 110 Pisgah Church Road, Columbia, SC 29203 803.935.0500 (tel) 803.935.0830 (fax) www.AME7.org

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My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I write to you with a heart filled with the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful to God for having, four years ago, brought Dr. Williams and me to the Seventh Episcopal District. These have been some of the greatest days of our lives, and we hope we have been as great a blessing to you as you have been to us. I pray that as a result of my introductory visitations in 2004 I was able to bring to each and every person whom I met along the way a spirit of love and faith. I was blessed to have visited all 17 Presiding Elder Districts and fellowshipped with all 634 African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) churches throughout South Carolina. For nearly a half-century of being God's willing ­ winning ­ worker, my pastoral spirit has never left me. I feel most comfortable when fellowshipping with the Lord's people. That is why you will find me doing the Lord's work at the grassroots level. That is where the foundation is laid for great mission work and stewardship. During my visitations I experienced the warmth of thousands of people and the brilliance of hundreds of churches. It is through God's grace that I now know the beauty of the A.M.E. Church in South Carolina. It is my prayer that the Christian education programs which we have implemented in the Seventh Episcopal District have positively impacted the lives of our individual members as well as our collective church body of Christ. Studying the Bible helps to deepen one's understanding of God's purpose for our lives, thus creating a yearning and burning for Christ. With this in mind, in 2004, we hired a full-time Christian Education Director. We established a Christian Education Task Force, comprised of both clergy and laity of the Seventh Episcopal District, whose focus was to identify and address the myriad educational needs of this great state. With God's help we implemented a certification program to assist with the training of local church teachers. Youth summits also were established and convened prior to the opening of each annual conference. Bi-annual Theological Seminary Institutes were initiated where both clergy and laity studied biblical theology. The Leadership Congress was adjusted to now offer courses and workshops designed to educate and promote leadership skills. The Debutantes and Masters Curriculum Guide was created. We launched the Gear Up program to help prepare our youth for college, and we developed a Presiding Elder Institute to promote the process of life-long learning for our church leaders. Allen University was propelled to a new level of well-being and success. Financial support was made available for numerous Seventh Episcopal District members in their pursuit of seminary degrees. All of this has been accomplished within the past four years. To the glory of God! I pray that our beloved Allen University continues to sail toward brighter days. As Chairman of the Board in 2004 I reorganized the Board of Trustees in a manner that would more effectively assist the university in its endeavors. I negotiated an arrangement with the National Bank of South Carolina that restructured the university's debt at a rate significantly below market value and which also unencumbered many of the A.M.E. churches throughout the Seventh Episcopal District. Dr. Charles Young and I successfully pursued the reaffirmation of the university's accreditation which will last until 2017. Among a plethora of current development projects, we have begun the construction of a $16 million dollar, state-of-the-art, 480-bed Student Residence Center. I along with Allen University's President Dr. Young, the student body, faculty and staff, the entire Seventh Episcopal District and the Connectional A.M.E. Church are moving the university towards a bright and prosperous future. I pray that the ministry-minded adjustments we have made to the series of annual conferences have reached deep into the hearts and minds of the A.M.E.'s who carry out these missions and to the communities that we seek to assist. It is God who keeps me focused on our true and traditional mission of helping those in need, and so, instead of a conference exclusively devoted to business, we now incorporate the central purpose of missions into our gatherings. Before the start of each annual conference our steadfast missionaries go out and assess each community's needs. After a thorough assessment is made, the Missionary Society reports its findings to the Conference. Based on these findings, the Annual Conference is able to present each community with a substantial form of financial assistance and other aid as requested to help remedy its needs, thus, leaving it in better condition than when we first arrived. At the beginning of each annual conference I also personally go out into the town square and meet with local officials to discuss issues near-and-dear to the hearts of the Seventh Episcopal District. I meet with mayors, city and county council members, sheriffs and police chiefs, state legislators, state agency directors, as well as the Governor himself, in order to build a strong network of relationships between municipal leaders, other non-governmental organizations and the Seventh Episcopal District.

I pray that the partnerships that we have developed with many of these local and state agencies continue to serve as a blessing to all of God's people. In 2004, we partnered with the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) and have developed a number of leading programs, which serve as a model for the state and nation. We have developed Teen After School (TASC) Centers, implemented an Auxiliary Probation Officer (APO) program and donated $100,000 dollars to build a Community Connections Center where the youth who are being paroled back into society will be able to spend time with friends and family in a comfortable transitional living area. In 2004, we also partnered with the South Carolina Department of Social Services and provided thousands of undernourished children with a free state-sponsored summer lunch during the summer of 2005. We will also continue to seek additional opportunities to work with the SCDSS through programs such as the After School Snack Program and the Food Pantries Program where families can acquire donated food for free. Coupling a healthy spirit with a healthy body makes for a sturdy vessel in which the Lord can work. Through the Seventh Episcopal District's Health Commission, we strive to accomplish just that. The Health Commission promotes the mental, physical and spiritual well being of all people throughout South Carolina and the world. In 2005, we held our 1st Annual Health Fair in Charleston, SC where I met with Governors Sanford of South Carolina and Huckabee of Arkansas. Governor Huckabee, who is the President of the National Governor's Association, chose our Health-e-AME program as a "best practice model" for the nation. One year later, Governor Sanford chose our Health-e-AME program as the winner of the Healthy SC Challenge's faith-based category. In 2007, we conducted a "Whole Person Health Day" which took place at 17 separate locations throughout the Seventh Episcopal District and provided thousands of South Carolinians with information designed to empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices. If we are to properly tell the Seventh Episcopal District's story to the Connectional A.M.E. Church and to other religious and secular communities throughout South Carolina, the nation and the world, we must control the storytelling process and put our best foot forward. In short, we must advertise and promote our own. Since 2005 the Seventh District is proud to have a full-time Public Relations Director to help spread the news of the progress we are making here in South Carolina. By connecting the Seventh Episcopal District to the media through television, radio, newspapers and magazines, we are spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and the good works of the Seventh Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church across the state of South Carolina, the United States of America, and the entire globe. I entreat you to visit the Seventh Episcopal District online at (www.AME7.org). Our website touts the unyielding strength, spirit and vitality of African Methodism as experienced in the Seventh District. It also serves as a central source of information not only for the A.M.E. community here in South Carolina but also for Christians around the globe. The website is specifically orientated to bring the fellowship of the faith together through communication, knowledge and understanding - both domestically and abroad. Most of all, I pray that this website moves each visitor toward a deeper personal relationship with God from whom all blessings flow. Finally, I pray that this report serves to illuminate the divine vision which God has placed in my heart ­ a vision that I have laid at the feet of the Seventh Episcopal District. Please journey with me through this publication as you witness the unfolding of my vision and the answering of my prayers. I pray that the great work that we have accomplished together as a District over the past four years will become increasingly lucid with the turning of each page. I also pray that each and every endeavor we have undertaken and have sought to realize will glorify the most high and almighty God whom we serve. Yours in His Service,

Bishop Preston W. Williams II

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council of elders

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ,

statement

On behalf of the Presiding Elders' Council of the Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church we submit this letter of acknowledgement and gratitude to the Rt. Reverend Preston Warren Williams II, and his queenly wife, Dr. Wilma Delores Webb Williams, for an excellent 2004-2008 quadrennial season. We are elated to have served under this dynamic, energetic, and visionary Episcopal team. Bishop Williams presented a clear vision to this Episcopal District. As the Lord spoke in Habakkuk 2:22, "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables that he may run that readeth it," Bishop Williams' vision for the district was plain and we ran. Our focus was ministry, mission, education, health, youth, young adults, seniors and the spiritual life of the church and communities we serve. Our congregations have thrived under the leadership of Bishop Williams. We have heard members share their enthusiasm for the knowledge they have received during this quadrennial session through Theological Seminary Institutes, the renovated Christian Education Congress and through the Christian Education Certification program. More than 15,000 persons have benefited from these programs. Our children are blessed through the development of the Christian Education DMC Curriculum Guide, the implementation of the 2-day Youth Summit, and the development of certification focused teacher training to address the needs of the children. Our young adults are blessed through the implementation of the Young Adult Initiative which concentrates on economic and political empowerment. Our memberships are focused on Christian service and not church membership alone. Tithing is holy in the district and our memberships have increased significantly in their endeavor to become true tithers of God's blessings. They are not only seeking financial contributions, but also the time and talents of God's blessings. Our beloved Allen University has been lifted to a higher plateau of excellence. Through Bishop Williams' leadership as Chairman of the Board of Trustees he has placed the university on better financial footing and has unencumbered many of the A.M.E. Churches throughout the Seventh Episcopal District. He has also led the university to the reaffirmation of its accreditation, expanded its endowments, and orchestrated the construction of a new $16 million dollar Student Residence Center. Bishop Williams entered the Seventh Episcopal District as prophetic leader. We learned the true significance of going out into the communities and becoming ambassadors for Christ. Our annual conferences are no longer business sessions, but now sessions focused on ministries. We are now visible in the community during our annual conferences. Bishop dialogues with the leadership of the local areas, the mayor, the city council, the school board, and the governor, regarding issues that affect the church and the communities we serve. We are not only physically visible, but through this leadership we are financially visible. We have given more than $100,000 in financial support to local service agencies, $430,000 to theological education, $120,000 to support the Youth Summits for children ages 6-15, and $110,000 to the Friends of Juvenile Justice to build a facility to assist at-risk youth. This Bishop has led by example and we the members of the Seventh Episcopal District stand solidly and enthusiastically together to request the return of Bishop and Dr. Williams to complete the work which we all have begun together. Yours in His Service, The Reverend Charles Graves President of the Presiding Elders' Council

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Lay organization

statement

Seventh Episcopal District Lay Organization African Methodist Episcopal Church Norman L. Deas ­ President "The Builder, Bridging the Gap..."

Roger Cleckley 1st Vice President Genell E. Ruff 2nd Vice President Gilbert Smalls 3rd Vice President Ila McFadden Recording Secretary Jackie Williams Asst. Recording Secretary Valarie Frasier Corresponding Secretary Fred Leven Treasurer Brenda L. Holland Financial Secretary Laura Williams Chaplain Amos Wells, Jr. Historiographer Peter Felder Parliamentarian Clyde Hill Dir. Lay Activities Alphonso Times Dir. Public Relations

Bridging the Gap The Lay Organization has experienced a holistic and transparent form of governance under the leadership of our Presiding Prelate, Bishop Preston W. Williams II, during his first term as our spiritual leader. Bishop Williams has honored his pledge (2004) to include Lay leadership in all major decisions and activities impacting the welfare of the District and Allen University. Also, that Lay members have parity on all eligible committees during our Annual Conferences. The past four years have been both exciting and challenging as our Bishop has "bridged the gap" between laity and clergy by presenting Christian education courses, workshops and seminars on an equal level. Bishop Williams has worked, led and encompassed the spirit of the Lay Organization's benediction, "May God bless us with the true spirit of Christianity, that we may live together not as man over man."

­ Mr. Norman Deas, Episcopal President, Lay Organization

194 Lander Drive · Conway, SC 29526 Phone: (843) 347-4958 · Fax: (843) 347-2863 · Email: [email protected]

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WOMEN'S

MISSIONARY statement

WOMEN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY African Methodist Episcopal District Seventh Episcopal District Bishop Preston Warren Williams II, Presiding Prelate Dr. Wilma Delores Webb Williams, Episcopal Supervisor Sister Bernice Gore Sanders, Episcopal President

During the tenure of Bishop Preston Warren Williams II and Dr. Wilma Delores Webb Williams, the Women's Missionary Society has been greatly blessed. Bishop Williams' exemplary leadership ability, love, caring attitude, dedication and commitment to mission work are reflected in the many projects that we successfully completed and the number of persons and agencies that we helped. Two of Bishop Williams' major focuses were for the WMS to visit agencies in the communities surrounding each Annual Conference to assess and supply some of their immediate needs before each conference's closing session, and for us to partner with the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice to build a facility that will provide families with a decent place to spend time with loved ones during visitations. Bishop Williams' outstanding leadership skills also benefited us through the many training sessions held on all levels. This training was a great part of the success of the entire Women's Missionary Society during this quadrennial. We salute Bishop Williams for his commitment to excellence and his service rendered and unselfish love shared will touch the lives of many people in the years to come. Both Bishop Preston W. Williams II and Dr. Wilma D. Webb Williams have exemplified excellent leadership to the Women's Missionary Society of the Seventh Episcopal District. We were impressed by the love and concern they showed toward making life better for people through community projects as we met in Annual Conferences each year. We want them to know how much we appreciate the practical, helpful, and constructive leadership they have given us. Without their dedication and expertise, we would not have succeeded with our goals and objectives for this quadrennial. Bishop and Dr. Williams have been invaluable leaders and we are praying for their return for the next four years.

­ Mrs. Bernice Sanders, Episcopal President, WMS 402 Sandridge Road Little River, South Carolina 29566 Phone#: (843) 399-3990 Fax#: 843-399-1981 E-mail: [email protected]

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YOUNG

PEOPLES

statement

African Methodist Episcopal Church Seventh Episcopal District Young People's Division of the Women's Missionary Society Bishop Preston Warren Williams II, Presiding Prelate Dr. Wilma D. Webb-Williams, Supervisor Sis. Cheryl Felix Swinton, Director Bro. Jarrett Britton Washington, President

"O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvelous things (Psalms 98:1)." We have been blessed to have Bishop and Dr. Williams as our children's advocates. They have been dedicated to the improvement of our children's spiritual values and educational opportunities. We thank them for all they have done during the past four years. As we reflect upon the ministry of YPD during the past four years (2004-2008), we are proud of the accomplishments of our young people. Under the leadership of Bishop and Mother Williams, our YPD'ers have excelled in the areas of missions, education, and leadership. A few notable deeds and accomplishments include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Support of Katrina victims in the 8th Episcopal District with school supplies and other personal care products. Sent book bags and over $1,100 in gift cards and donations to the 8th District. Registered over 150 youth to vote during the YPD Retreats. Contributed over $200,000 to Allen University through YPD Self-Help efforts. Donated goods and monetary gifts to the Ronald McDonald House. Sponsored MAAMA Kits and supported the Souper Bowl of Caring. Placed first in the Connectional Self-Denial Oratorical Contests two consecutive years 2007 and 2008. Placed first in the Connectional Self-Denial Essay Contest 2006 and 2008. Hosted over 4,000 young people during the four years at the YPD Retreat. Elected and gained appointment of two Connectional Officers: Trey Swinton, Financial Secretary and Moyer McCoy, Evaluation Chairperson.

We believe that our successes would not have been possible without the support of our Episcopal leadership, Bishop and Dr. Williams. To God be the glory!

­ Mrs. Cheryl Swinton, Episcopal Director, YPD 3434 Attley Street Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina 29466

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b i s h o p

w i l l i a m s '

m o d e l

f o r

e p i s c o p a l

16

m i n i s t r Y

MISSION, VISION

&

PROMISE

Biblical Mission The foundation of Bishop Preston Warren Williams II's Model for Episcopal Ministry is deeply rooted in the holy word of God. As an anointed leader, dedicated to the service of Jesus Christ and the human race, in constructing a comprehensive agenda designed to minister to the needs of multitudes of people, Bishop Williams' philosophy is derived from and remains anchored in the Holy Bible. Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1-6 are two biblical scriptures which form the nucleus and essence of Bishop Williams' vision, which provide purpose and direction for his Episcopal mission, and which after five decades of pastoral service have become a part of his theological DNA. Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Isaiah 61:1-6 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion ­ to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the Lord; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast."

Both of these biblical passages begin with the primary and central notion of the Lord's spirit being upon thee. For Bishop Williams, all ministry, all mission-work, and every church-related agenda must flow directly from the goodness, grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Conversely, if the Holy Spirit is not present and is not the fundamental source of inspiration, then ministry, mission-work and church agendas fall short of God's purpose for the church.

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MISSION,

VISION

&

PROMISE

A.M.E. MISSION The two aforementioned scriptures greatly resemble the mission statement contained within the Doctrine and Discipline of the connectional African Methodist Episcopal Church, which states:

"The mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to... seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy through a continuing program of preaching the gospel, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, cheering the fallen, providing jobs for the jobless, administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens' homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, and encouraging thrift and economic advancement."

In essence, the A.M.E. mission is an extension of the original biblical missions found in Luke and Isaiah. All three missions seek to spread freedom and liberty to humanity through acts of goodness and righteousness, so as to fulfill God's will and build His kingdom. Bishop Williams' vision for achieving these divine missions can be viewed as a continuum of both the traditional biblical and A.M.E. missions applied to contemporary society. BISHOP WILLIAMS' VISION While remaining true to the core principles found in the traditional missions of both the Bible and A.M.E. Church, Bishop Williams employs innovative and transformative approaches to accomplishing God's will and work. His Model for Episcopal Ministry involves an inclusive process which empowers and enriches the entire body of Christ. Through the use of cutting-edge techniques and technologies and by stepping "outside of the box," Bishop Williams connects the old with the new for the betterment of all of God's people.

BIRTH TO DEATH While individual ministries often focus on a specific and/or particular area of a person's life, Bishop Williams' Model for Episcopal Ministry is designed to provide support, guidance, inspiration, encouragement and salvation from a person's birth to their death. Bishop Williams believes it is the church's responsibility to assist in the betterment of each person's life, for their entire life, for those are God's directives as evidenced in the aforementioned mission statements of the Bible and A.M.E. Church. Moreover, by establishing the church as the life-long life-center for individuals and communities, people are then able to walk through all seasons of their life in partnership with the Holy Spirit. Bishop Williams believes that if the church is relevant to an individual and/or community's needs, that will increase the likelihood that they will remain connected to the church. Conversely, when the church is not meeting the needs of the people, people will disconnect from the church. Thus, the essence and scope of Bishop Williams' model is that the church continually nurture and promote the acquisition of anointed life-skills in all areas of a person's life, from beginning to end, so as to activate the promise of God. PROMISE As is evidenced in the closing portions of Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1-6, the Bible illuminates the results of one's obedience to the will of God through faith. By adhering to the holy mission of replacing pain with joy and bondage with freedom, there is a biblical promise of new resurrected life in "the year of the Lord's favor." Thus, Bishop Williams, for his whole life has remained steadfast and true to the foundational principles of the Bible and A.M.E. Church, knowing that in carrying out their missions he is doing God's will. By spreading hope and faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, Bishop Williams is working towards the biblical restoration of the individual, the community, the nation and world through the fulfillment of the promise of God.

Model features

BIBLICALLY CENTERED SERVANT MODEL Bishop Williams has in great part rejected the pull toward hierarchical separation and division, which often stem from and result in the perpetuation of elitist attitudes and perspectives, and instead has chosen to honor a Biblically Centered Servant's Model. In Bishop Williams' eyes, the entire Seventh Episcopal District represents the body of Christ and all are anointed as a collective church to do the work of kingdom building.

COMMITMENT TO INCLUSIVITY In Bishop Williams' mind all are equally valued, equally needed, and equally called to serve. That calling of the spirit serves not as an act of self-aggrandizement or self-entitlement, but as a form of humility so as to better serve the common good. Everyone has a critical role to play in the life of the church, and as each individual shares his or her God-given gifts, the separate components combine to perform essential functions for the betterment of the collective whole.

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