More than 100 people gathered April 15 at the Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, Illinois, to celebrate the pastoral installation of the Rev. Anthony W. Sullivan Jr. to lead, as senior pastor, God Can Ministries United Church of Christ at 1100 Greenwood Ave. in Ford Heights, Illinois.
God Can Ministries has a vision to make known the radically inclusive love of God by reaching out in love and respect to ALL those whom the church, community and society have rejected. God Can Ministries has a mission to be a risk-taking, justice-seeking, disciple-making, open and affirming congregation, in part by valuing families in all forms, including two-parent, single-parent, same-gender-loving and blended families.
Sullivan is a doctoral student at McCormick Theological Seminary in its Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Scholar cohort in African-Centered Religious Thought and Ministry, and is a graduate of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union. Sullivan shares his life's journey with his partner, First Gentleman of God Can Ministries Mr. Michael L. Joseph, as well as daughter Imani and granddaughter Amira.
The installation message was delivered by Bishop Yvette A. Flunder, senior pastor, City of Refuge United Church of Christ. Her works in this San Francisco - Oakland, California based Fellowship of Affirming ministries was featured recently in the ABC network's 4 part series "Still We Rise." The Reverend Dr. Vertie Power, Associate Conference Minister, Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference United Church of Christ officiated the installation celebration's Covenant, laying on of hands, anointing and official installation of Rev. Sullivan.
Photos and text by Max Smith