Dr. Shangri-La Durham-ThompsonBermuda
Rev. Camille SmithNew York
Barbara Ann Miller LashDelaware
Sis. Josephine AndersonNew England
Sis. Carolyn WilliamsWestern NY
Bro. Samuel A. Jones, JrNew Jersey
Dr. Shangri-La Durham-Thompson
Shangri-La Durham-Thompson grew up in Bethel A.M.E. Church in Shelly Bay, Bermuda and she credits her church school with her strong foundation in Christ. At the age of eleven she gave her heart to the Lord and in 1967 she represented her church in Dover. After returning from university in 1976, she became a church school teacher and served in this capacity for eight years before becoming the church school superintendent in 2011. In 2012 she became the Bermuda Conference Church School Superintendent. Shangri-La is also a church steward, a position she has held since the 1970’s. This writer and director of numerous plays (one produced and performed at the A.M.E. Headquarters on Market Street, Philadelphia), is the author of Battle for Freedom, a collection of drama, and poetry. One of her of her plays in this collection highlights the history of the A.M.E. Church in Bermuda. Her poem, The Dawn of a New Day, was written at the request of the then premier of Bermuda. Shangri-La is featured in Bermuda’s first anthology of poetry and various other works. As an educator of over 38 years, she has taught in the public school system, the Bermuda College and was an adjunct professor for Mount Saint Vincent University. For eight years she held the position of Arts Officer at the Bermuda Department of Education where she initiated Spring into the Arts, an annual five day arts festival which highlighted Bermuda’s talented youth. Since 2003, this wife, mother and nurturer of God’s people, especially children, serves as a school principal who lives by 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Rev. Camille Smith
Rev. Camille Smith has been an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church since April of 2010; she serves as the Youth Minister at Mt. Carmel AME Church in New Rochelle, NY. She previously served as an Associated Minister at Carter Community AME Church in Jamaica, NY and First Hempstead AME Church in Hempstead, NY. She has also been a Middle and High School Level Mathematics teacher for 17 years with the NYC Department of Education. Teaching is a major part of Rev. Smith’s life and it is her goal to continue to share her knowledge and gain greater knowledge each day, as long as she lives. The Bible verse, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NKJV) remains one of her favorites since she received it as a gift from her Sunday School teacher at the age of 9.
Barbara Ann Miller Lash
Barbara Ann Lash was born to the late Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Preston Miller in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is the oldest of seven children. She has been a resident of Wilmington, DE for 34 years. She was married to the late William A Lash for 35 years. He died March 24, 2013.
Sister Lash was a 1964 graduate of Winston-Salem State University. She majored in Elementary Education with a minor in Social Studies. She retired from the Pittsylvania County School District located in Chatham, Virginia (1980). Since moving to Delaware She was a substitute teacher in the Brandywine and Vocational School Districts for 15 years. Her hobbies / interests are reading and studying religious materials, helping people understand God’s Word, sewing and bowling.
She became a member of Bethel AME Church in 1984. She served as local church school superintendent of Bethel-Wilmington for 23 years. Sis Lash is currently the Delaware Conference Church School Superintendent. Supervising 34 church schools. She is a member of the Wednesday night Women’s Bible Study group. She is a grief share ministry advisor and a member of the King of Kings chorus.
Her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 29:11; Habakkuk 2:14; and Romans 12.
Sis. Josephine Anderson
Sis. Carolyn Williams
Sister Carolyn Williams was blessed to answer God’s call to teach Church School at Israel AME church in 1995, and in 2002, to serve as the local Superintendent. She has also served as Assistant Superintendent and Conference Superintendent for the past seven years. Professionally, she is a permanently certified elementary school teacher and a speech and hearing pathologist. Since relocating to New York, she spent twenty years in higher education administration for the SUNY Empire State College. Currently, she oversees an Innovation Initiative project to design and implement the next generation of teacher evaluation systems to improve teacher effectiveness and student outcomes in public schools. Her passion is for helping our children to believe that according to Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV), “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
Bro. Samuel A. Jones, Jr
Brother Jones is a member of St. Mark A.M.E. Church in Lindenwold, NJ where Rev. Betty A. Clarke is his Pastor. In his local Church he serves as Steward, Christian Education Director, Church School teacher, choir member and pulpit staff member and Class Leader.
On the District level of the A.M.E. Church he was Church School Superintendent for the Atlantic City District for 12 years. He has since been elevated to the Conference level of the A.M.E,. Church. For the past six (9) years he has served in this capacity as New Jersey Conference Church School Superintendent being responsible for four districts which comprises a little over 100 churches.
He attended and graduated from Burlington County College with an Associates Degree in Business Administration and a minor in Human Resources Management. He also attended Rowan College with credits toward his Bachelors Degree. He has attended many conferences and seminars dealing with management and personnel issues throughout his nearly thirty years in Human Resources.
As a Human Resources professional, he is currently employed with Dietz & Watson Inc. at the corporate headquarters in northeast Philadelphia. His job title is Safety Coordinator-OSHA Compliance Manager. He has responsibilities for multi-plant locations that include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and South Carolina.
He is a Founding Board Member of the Greater Philadelphia Executive Claims Council whose mission is to expound best practices in the area of Workers Compensation.