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Hudson Valley Press

June 13th, 2007

Dr. Jeter elevated to Bishop

Dr. Lance R. Jeter was recently concecrated to Bishop of Shekinah Fellowship of Churches.
Lily Sussman


- On Saturday May 26th, Dr. Lance R. Jeter, current pastor of Solid Rock Church in Newburgh, was consecrated as Bishop of Shekinah Fellowship of Churches, an elected position which oversees the approximately 550 churches in the fellowship.

The Shekinah Fellowship of Churches which has member churches in the United States and abroad, was formed February of this year by networking pastors, "We wanted to have an impact," said Dr. Jeter.

The Saturday ceremony took place at the Baptist Temple Church, on Williams Street in Newburgh, at 3:00 pm. Dr. Jeter estimated 300 guests, from as far away as South Carolina, attended.

Following the consecration, performed by Bishop Thomas Wallace, guests enjoyed a banquet. The event was free, Dr. Jeter explained it would not be Christ-like to charge a fee, and open to the public.

Dr. Jeter, who at 35 is the youngest to serve as Chief Prelate, knows what he wants to bring to the position. "I see that people are not as passionate about salvation as they used to be," said Dr. Jeter. He wondered if college lifestyles and broken homes had something to do with the change.

Dr. Jeter explained by family he does not expect every child to have a home with two loving parents. Rather he believes people can work with what they have to embrace opportunities and uphold sacred values.

"Restore the Home," a program at Dr. Jeter’s Newburgh Church, aims to nudge people in what Dr. Jeter believes is the right direction.

Church affiliates work with single women to help them cope and provide positive environments for their children. Dr. Jeter said the church provides women with food, clothes and emotional support.

The program features free Sunday dinners which are models of how Dr. Jeter believes families should strive to live Monday through Saturday "…we all sit around a table and we talk and we share," Dr. Jeter said.

Dr. Jeter stressed the organization’s acceptance and inclusion. "Shekinah is interracial and inter-denominational," he said. Shekinah embraces independent churches worldwide offering them financial assistance and support ranging from access to youth workshops to a national convocation every October.

Inclusion however, has its limits. Dr. Jeter said the Shekinah organization is to serve, "Any denominations which believe Jesus is the son of God." Others must look elsewhere.

Dr. Jeter, who grew up in South Carolina and became ordained as a priest when he, "Felt the calling of the Lord at 15", said at 35-years-old, there is not much higher he can go. "My main goal in life is to make a forceful change," he said, trusting he can do that from his current position.

Dr. Jeter will travel all over the country as Shekinah’s new Chief Prelate. While he affects change on the move, others, he believes, can inspire change where they are. "I want to encourage the people with us to reach within their own communities and do some more mission work," he said.

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