Harlem’s Historic Abyssinian Baptist Church Ordains Three New Ministers

by Gilda Squire

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III welcomed three souls into ministry in the month of May. Ordination worship services for S. Raschaad Hoggard Ph.D., in conjunction with the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York, took place on Sunday, May 22. Janine Myrick and Darryl Stephen Williams, in collaboration with The United Missionary Baptist Association on May 29.

The ordination recipients worked long and hard through journeys unique to each, leading them to this most important moment in their lives and the lives of the people they will touch in their ministries.

Rev. Hoggard, a graduate of North Carolina A&T with a B.S. in Political Science, left his home state of North Carolina to study homiletics and social ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. “I am fueled by my faith and anchored in justice. My faith informs the work I do …to tackle systemic issues that impact marginalized and oppressed communities,” declared Rev. Hoggard.

Minister Myrick enjoyed a respected career as a licensed financial services professional for many years. She graduated from Baruch College with a degree in business administration, after which she attended New York Law School.

About making a serious career shift Minister Myrick stated, “After fighting the call most all my life and while serving at Abyssinian as an intern minister, I allowed myself to finally lean into the call. My ordination ceremony is a culmination of all the events in my life that led to this point.”

Minister Myrick’s commitment to a life in ministry solidified at Union Theological Seminary. Minister Myrick earned her Master of Divinity Degree in May 2020 and received the distinguished Maxwell Fellowship Award for the promise of excellence in parish ministry.

A ubiquitous presence at Abyssinian long before his ordination, Minister Darryl Stephen Williams began attending church there in 1988 and 11 years later, became a member. From 2012 to 2015, he co-led the Men’s Ministry and now serves on the board of the Abyssinian Development Corporation.

Before moving to New York City from his native Chicago, Minister Williams graduated from Notre Dame and received an MBA from The Tuck School of Business. In 2020, he received his Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary. Minister Williams is a member of 100 Black Men of New York and most recently worked as CFO of Warner Media’s Global Real Estate division.

Since 2019, Minister Williams has served at St. Matthew’s Baptist Church in Harlem, leading the audio-visual and finance ministries, and co-leading the church’s Sass Place Café community food program.

As much change as there is in our country and in the world, knowing these three wonderful human beings will continue to spread the word of the gospel and of God is good news. And for that, they are to be celebrated with sincere “Congratulations” and “Welcome.”

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