It’s true – Savannah!!! On June 27, 2011 our own Sis. Mary Ann Foster – 1st Lady of St. Philip African Methodist Episcopal Church on the “Boulevard” – was crowned the “2011-2012 Connectional 1st Lady” of the Connectional Ministers’ Spouses Widows and Widowers Organization Plus Preachers Kids (CONN-M-SWAWO Plus PKs) . “This award represents a great honor for the entire AME church. We congratulate Sis. Mary Ann Foster for working hard and receiving this prestigious award” acclaims Sis. Shirley V. Taylor – President of the 6th Episcopal District MSWAWO Plus PKs.The Connectional 1st Lady award is given to the candidate who garners the most support through patrons and sponsors. Sis. Foster received support from over 310 patrons across the state of Georgia as a candidate for the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Over the past six months, my husband and I traveled throughout the state of Georgia – to all of the AME conferences – to ask for support of my candidacy. The responses were awesome; what a mighty God we serve!” said Sis. Foster. Her travels included the cities of Albany, Columbus, Savannah, Augusta, Macon and Atlanta. The awarding ceremony was held at the Columbia Convention Center at the seat of the AMEC Bishop’s Council meeting in Columbia, South Carolina. The AMEC 6th District and Georgia Conference had a great showing at the prayer breakfast. In addition to Sis. Foster’s recognition, the 6th District received the Attendance award for the most attendees and the most scholarships awarded (5 received). St. Philip AME Church was also well represented. “We support our 1st family and were elated when Sis. Mary Ann’s name was announced”, says Sis. Beverly Hall – steward and member of St. Philip.The AME Church is made up of 20 Episcopal Districts – 13 are within the United States and 7 stretch out to the Caribbean Islands, Africa, England and the Far East. 1st Lady and 1st Gentleman candidates are eligible to run from each district. The funds received support scholarships for the preachers’ kids within the AME Church. The 2011 scholarship recipients are: Alexis Louise Washington (1st District-Bethel AMEC, Pennsauken, NJ), Christopher J. Alexander (6th District – St. Paul AMEC, Columbus, GA), Jordan Kevin Clarke (6th District – Greater Gaines AMEC, Savannah, GA), Gregory V. Eason, Jr. (6th District-Big Bethel AMEC, Atlanta, GA), and Courtney Sharisse Green (6th District – Turner Cathedral AMEC, Marietta, GA). “We are proud of Sis. Foster. It is a grand day for St. Philip AME Church, the Savannah District, the Georgia Conference and the 6th Episcopal District (State of Georgia).” says Presiding Elder Rev. James E. Taylor – Presiding Elder of the West Savannah District. “The support that she received from the Georgia Conference was vital to her receiving this award.” Sis. Foster says “St. Philip was awesome; the Georgia Conference was awesome. Everyone was so supportive and encouraging.” Sis. Mary Ann Foster is wife of 25 years to the Rev. Dr. John Foster – Pastor of St. Philip AME Church. Dr. and Sis. Foster have served as 1st family since June 2004. They have three children – Kristina, John Jr. and Jessica. Sis. Foster is a native of Ashburn, Georgia. CONGRATULATIONS SIS. MARY ANN AND PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSING FLOW.