The Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black: conferences and ministries connect today’s Orthodox with their ancient roots

2011 Brotherhood Conference
His Grace, Bishop Matthias and clergy at the 2011 Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black conference.

Fr. Moses Berry, rector of the Theotokos of “Unexpected Joy” Mission (Orthodox Church in America) in Ash Grove, Missouri, announces that registration is open for The Brotherhood of St Moses the Black’s 19th Annual Ancient Christianity and Afro-American Conference.

The yearly spring conference hosted by the Brotherhood targets those who have little exposure to Orthodoxy, as well as those interested in learning more about the African roots of the Orthodox Christian faith.  Past keynote speakers at the spring conferences have included His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah in 2010, and His Grace Bishop Matthias in 2011.

His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese will be this year’s guest speaker for the event, which is being hosted by the Antiochian Village Conference and Retreat Center on May 25-27.

Founded by Fr. Moses, the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black sponsors two active chapters in Detroit, Michigan, and Anniston, Alabama. Members in both communities reach out through their involvement in local prison ministries, a free clinic, and a high school retention program.

While Fr. Moses leads as President, OCA parishioner Dr. Carla Newbern Thomas also provides direction and support to the Brotherhood as its Vice President.

St. Moses the Black

Dr. Thomas maintains a medical practice in Anniston, Alabama and is a founding member of Anniston’s OCA mission parish of St. Luke.  Several years ago, Dr. Thomas founded the Anniston Chapter of the Brotherhood and opened the Abba Moses Free Clinic, which she manages through the auspices of her own medical facilities. The Brotherhood website explains,

“The Abba Moses Free Clinic is operated out of the medical clinic of Dr. Carla Thomas (whose baptized name is Panteleimona after St. Panteleimon, 7/27). St. Panteleimon is an unmercenary, physician and great martyr who healed people of illnesses in the name of Jesus Christ. The segment of the population that suffers the most neglect of health is the 19-64 year old group. This group is also most often uninsured. It is this group that the Abba Moses Clinic serves. Like the Unmercenaries, Abba Moses is a desert father who was known for his works of mercy….Dr. Thomas wanted to be an unmercenary…a healer who charges no fees, in order to give glory unto God.”

The Brotherhood’s Secretary and Detroit Chapter Chair, Sharon Gomulka, is also an OCA parishioner at the Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in Livonia, Michigan.