READ IT, SAVE IT, COPY IT, FILE IT, FORWARD IT, DISCUSS IT AND BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF THE FRATERNITY
"Finding the Good and Praising It!"
REV. A. WAYMAN WARD:
THE AUTHOR OF THE FRATERNITY PRAYER
and the AME Church Connection with Alpha Phi Alpha
By Skip Mason
While there are many differences with regards to chapter traditions in Alpha there is one thing for certain. At the end of the singing of the fraternity hymn, the fraternity prayer will be spoken. Those 27 words were divinely crafted by Rev. A. Wayman Ward with the assistance of fellow clergy Charles H. Wesley (then General President) at the 24th General Convention of the fraternity in St. Louis, Missouri in 1934.
Ward, the son of Rev. A. Milton Ward, a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church followed his father into the ministry. The young Ward attended historic Wilberforce College where he was initiated into Xi Chapter in 1912. He graduated and continued at Yale where he obtained his Master's of Divinity degree. (It is interesting to note that author and composer of the fraternity hymn also were also initiates of Xi Chapter at Wilberforce.)
Rev. Ward became well known in the AME circuit, pastoring several churches including Shorter A.M.E. and Bethel A.M.E. in Chicago. Ward was known as the "Dollar Money King" of the A.M.E. Church from 1928-1938 because of his ability to raise effectively funds for the church. One of the Bishops of the AME Church in the 1920s was Bishop John A. Gregg who inspired Ward to seek the episcopacy. In 1940, at the Quadrennial Conference of the AME Church in Detroit, Michigan, Ward lost an unsuccessful bid for Bishop. He returned to Chicago pastor the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Chicago. He remained active with the Xi Lambda Graduate Chapter in the "windy city and served for many years as the National Chaplain of the fraternity.
Ward was Vice President of the Chicago Federation, Chairman of the Inter-Racial Commission, Representative of the Federal Council of Churches in America, a member of the Masonic Lodge, a Shriner. He held memberships in the Chicago Branch of the National Urban League and the YMCA. Rev. Ward and his wife were parents of five children. His exact date of death has not been located.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...
-Historian and the 14th General President of the fraternity, Dr. Charles H. Wesley was also an ordained minister and Presiding Elder of all of the A.M.E. Churches in Washington, D.C until he accepted the presidency of Wilberforce. Wesley was also a candidate for Bishop in the A.M.E. Church but lost.
-Several AME Bishops were members of the fraternity: Bishop Henry Murphy, John Hurst Adams, Frederick H. Talbot, Frank Madison Reid, Donald George Kenneth Ming, McKinley Young
Known denominations of the Jewels.
Not AME related but thought that you would like to know:
Jewel Nathaniel Allison Murray served as the first chaplain of Mu Lambda Chapter in Washington, D.C. and always opened the chapter meeting with the Lord's prayer.
FROM THE LIPS OF A JEWEL:
"These seven young men who founded the fraternity were like other young men in college. But perhaps we had a deeper feeling of our obligation to God, family and race because of existing conditions than seven other youth would have under the same conditions.
-Jewel George Biddle Kelley, 1956
Skip's Favorite Scripture for today: And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Skip's Favorite Borrowed Quote: "Personal Growth is the Mother of Greatness, but its price is pain and perseverance."
Tomorrow's Issue-Brother Abram L. Simpson, author of the fraternity hymn.
Brothers Want to Know: Did C.C. Poindexter have a relationship with Omega Psi Phi? What's the real deal with Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi? Look forward to factual and documented historical moments on those issues. Remember, if I can't prove it, I will not use it.
-From Vol. 4( Delta founder Vashti Murphy had five daughters, only four were Delta's not five as listed). Thanks Delta's for bringing this to my attention. As I told you it is printed incorrectly in the book "In Search of Sisterhood"
I forgot to mention in that same issue that long time Fraternity Sgt. at Arms Frank Dee was the first husband of actress and Delta Soror Ruby Dee(she took his name) and kept it after she married Ossie Davis.
A brother emailed and connected me to the great-grandson of George Lyle and Ethel Hedgeman Lyle(Alpha and AKA Connection, No. 2). I look forward to chatting with him.
DISCLAIMER: This page is not affiliated with the National Organization. I am not the Historian of the fraternity, just a brother who is and has always been thirsty for more knowledge on this organization. The information provided has been thoroughly researched and documented and is brought to you with all the fraternal love and spirit I possess. Sources are available upon request.
WE MUST CONTINUE TO FIND THE GOOD AND PRAISE IT!