The Evening Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity have installed a new president.
The Rev. Harry E. Bronson, pastor of the Rising Sun Baptist Church, 745 S. 12th St. was installed on Monday. For Bronson, who most recently served as first vice president of the group, this will only increase his chance to serve the Delaware Valley.
Bronson is quick to point out that what sets the organization and his own congregation apart from many others is their belief in “old time country tradition.”
A native of Barnwell and Columbia, S.C., Bronson said during his 34-year tenure at Rising Sun Baptist he has been able to maintain a family atmosphere that is continuing to sustain its members despite economic hard times.
“Our conference is truly a fellowship, a brotherhood, and a kinship,” Bronson said. “Many of us are small churches but we are truly brothers and sisters. Many of the people (have roots) in Georgia and South Carolina and still retain that southern flavor.”
Among the hallmarks of many of the churches like Rising Sun is the very visible deaconate and deaconesses. Every week many of the churches still hold a prayer service and a Bible class. Like their larger counterparts, they may have a choir but usually there is no praise and worship team stimulating the congregation before the sermon.
Bronson and the group’s public relations “reporter” the Rev. Raymond T. Blue added that none of the churches within the evening conference is “in foreclosure that we know of.”
This Bronson credits to the fact that their close fellowship allows them to know when someone is in need. The church members then rally around the person to help them secure employment or get back on their feet which enables them to fulfill their church membership with dignity.
“The whole conference is one of cooperation,” Bronson said. “Every Monday we meet at Gethsemane Church. We take care of church business in an efficient manner. We look to each other for support. We discuss who is in need and try to help the misfortunate. We do what we can for those struggling in our communities.”
For Bronson, his ministry and association with the evening Baptist ministers has been a positive journey. He counts among the benefits the many strong friendships he has developed with those among the 70 pastors from Philadelphia, Chester, South Jersey and Delaware. Many will be attending his installation on Monday.
Bronson was elected as pastor of Rising Sun Baptist Church on March 10, 1977. He received his theological education at the New Era School of Theology and Manna Bible Institute, where he studied under the late Rev. Dr. J. H. Patton. The president-elect is a member of the Philadelphia Council of Clergy.
He is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Betty Jean Daniels. The Bronson have four children, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The Evening Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity is an arm of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Philadelphia. While the latter holds their meetings in the mornings, the former holds their meetings in the afternoon or early evening.
For more information contact Blue at (215) 758-7129 or visit http://eveningbaptistconference.org/.