Friday, November 17, 2006

Rev. Floyd Flake

New York Daily News -
Rev Invested in God & Man

Monday, November 13th, 2006

"My father told us never to invest in improving someone else's property," the Rev. Floyd Flake tells his visitor. "He only had a fifth-grade education, but knew that you put your money into things you own."

With the 2008 mayoral election looming and people urging him to run, you have to wonder how the former congressman and current full-time pastor of the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, Queens, plans to broker his winning investment in Tuesday's election.

Flake, 61, is on a first-name basis with almost all of the local Democratic Party politicians who helped take over the statehouse and Congress. Most of the New York delegations journeyed out to southwestern Queens in the days before the final tally seeking Flake's endorsement.

"Bill and Hillary were here last week," Flake says. "Eliot and David, Alan, they all have been here."

That's ex-President Bill and Sen. Hillary Clinton; Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer and his running mate, David Paterson, and embattled but comfortably reelected state Controller Alan Hevesi.

Those political heavyweights came to Allen to see Flake, who over his 28 years in the pulpit has seen the 1,500-member congregation explode to more than 23,000. The church has an annual budget of more than $34 million and holdings, mostly property and businesses the church has developed in and around Jamaica and St. Albans, Queens, valued at more than $140 million.

Allen AME was once the second-largest employer of African-Americans in the state, behind Beatrice Foods. Four years ago, it ranked in the mid-50s among the top 100 African-American-owned corporations in the country.

The church is building 54 apartments and several ground-floor retail shops directly across Merrick Blvd. from its front door. The Allen Affordable Housing Complex is scheduled to open this spring.

It will join 300 units of senior housing the church owns a short distance away, a retail complex up the street and more than 100 two-family houses the church has built under Flake's stewardship, most while using a system of state and federal tax credits and by leveraging the equity in other church property.

Those two-family houses, which sold for $89,000 when they were built, now command $250,000 or more, he said.

"We've been building for over 30 years," Flake said on a drive through the Jamaica community. "We started buying land way back, when most surveys were saying the middle-class community in Queens was in decline."

Flake, newly arrived at what was then Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church, said he did his own survey and found that the average household income in the Jamaica, St. Albans and Cambria Heights communities was actually higher than in surrounding communities.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data show that, at $52,000 a year, average African-American household incomes in several South Queens communities - including Jamaica and St. Albans - surpasses that of the average of whites in Queens.

Flake said Allen's construction projects attracted more private development to the area, increasing the housing and business stock each year.

"Private developers came in and built up projects next to ours," he said. "Other private owners came in and built more. Over the years that changed the face of the community. You can barely find a vacant lot around here where someone is not building something."

It helped, Flake said, that he spent his six terms in Congress - 1986-97 - as a centrist who would work with colleagues from either side of the aisle.

"My focus was on community development," he said. "I was not there to ingratiate myself with the powers that be."

Flake said Allen anchored southern Queens property values and positioned the community for a rebirth, while African-American communities like Harlem did not fare as well.

"Calvin [Butts, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church] did well with development, but some of the Harlem leadership did not perceive the nature of the land," Flake said. Versed in civil rights doctrine intent on ending racial discrimination, Flake contends that Harlem politicians wanted to tell of the wrongs inflicted on their community but sometimes underestimated the importance of development.

"They spoke truth to power. I was about getting economic power to the people," he said. "You have to do more than talk about what is not being done. The transition from civil rights to civil living has not taken place. You don't get ready for the future by only talking about the past."

So will he run to replace Michael Bloomberg, the Republican mayor he crossed party lines to endorse during Bloomberg's first campaign? Flake's not sure, saying his age at election time and the expected strong candidacies of Rep. Anthony Weiner and City Controller William Thompson will be factors in his decision.

Still, "I'll have to take a serious look at it," Flake said. "Once you've been in politics, you never want to say you'll never go back."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Speaking Pentecostal

Anointing:Used to describe any non-regular emotion (crying in the middle of a song when you forget the words, telling the church off (particularly when its over tithes and offering), doing the Olympic shout around the church (first one that hits the wall gets a white hanky tied around their neck!) ( I won't lie...I have ran around my church a coupla times....shoot it felt good!)

Trick of the Enemy:Used to describe anything that happens because you didn't do what you were supposed to, like your car getting repossessed cause you didn't pay the note, lights getting shut off cause you quit work to go on tour with the pastors choir, or your child repeating the first grade cause he missed the whole second semester to go on a 90 day/90 night fast and consecration. (The Enemy done played some tricks on me )

*Of course, we know there is grace*

Rhema Word:Any message from an out-of-town pastor or evangelist. (Yeah ...I love them)

Prophetic Word:Same message from that out-of-town pastor, delivered 5 decibels louder, while the congregation is standing. Quiet organ music optional, but works better with silence. (Def with the music)

Carnal:Used to describe a saint who goes to the movies. This term doesn't apply if you rent the same movie from Blockbuster. ( I saw a couple from church at the movies and they looked like deer in some headlights....I know they didnt want to see me LOL)

Didn't God Move?:What saints say after a long service where the pastor doesn't preach and they just shout the whole service. (Sholl is right!!! Love that)

Unlock Your Blessing: What preachers say after they've finished preaching, and they say you must give $50 to "unlock your blessing." For a more dramatic effect, this offering can be started at $1,000 and worked down to $25. ( You ain't never lie)

He'll Do It If You Let Him (followed by inaudible tongues): Round one of shouting; will begin in 5 minutes. Organist Get Ready ( I'm getting ready too LOL)

We Got To Move On: What the preacher says when he wants shout time to start up again. Organist, turn up the volume on the Leslie. (HMM)

We Have Time for One More Testimony: Not really, we're just waiting on the pastor to come into service. If you're called on during this one, when you hear clapping, just stop talking, cause the pastor has walked in and people are no longer interested in what God did for you. (I fell out on this one...cause I've seen it happen and I thought the same thing)

We Can Never Pay for the Word: Get your checkbook out, the auction will begin momentarily! This phrase always comes before the offering is taken for the guest speaker. ( They do say that)

God Has Been Dealing with Me on Some Issues: I'm still doing what I was doing before I got saved, only now I just put in an extra $5 in my offering when I do it. (Oh my goodness)

Is He Worthy?: Of course He is; why ask a question like that. (Exactly)

Let Us Go To God in Our Own Way: This is what you say when they ask you to pray in church and you don't know what to say.

Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready!!!: Don't really know what this one means, but if you're not careful, a shout could break out when you say it. It must be said three times to have real impact.

I Can't Get No Help: Preachers say this when no one says amen in the spot they thought would get a lot of amens.

I'm Blessed and Highly Favored: Said when a fellow saint asks "how are you?" Memo to saints: you CAN be saved and answer "fine" when someone asks how are you.

Where The Spirit of The Lord is, There is liberty: Whenever you want to disrupt service and holler out when it's quiet, use this statement to justify your behavior.

Get Ready To Go To The Next Level: This means the church will be hosting another revival in a few months.

Stand To Your Feet: This gives the illusion that the preacher is finished, but be prepared to stand up for at least 1/2 hour. May be cut to 15 minutes if the organist starts playing softly.

Give God a Shabach: Scream to the top of your lungs. Some church members may blow whistles and wave flags as well.

Every Head Bowed, Every Eye Closed: Quick! Everyone look around to see who's getting saved again this week.

Secular: Any person, place, object or event that's not in the church.

The "Yes Lord" Song: Signals the official end to shout time. Anyone still shouting when this song is over is considered to be "in self".

In Self: Used to describe someone who acts alone in church. For example, someone who is shouting alone. Add two more people to this display and its called...

In The Spirit: When three people are doing the same thing in a church service at the same time.

Prayer Partner: Phone buddy. 5 minutes of prayer, 1 hour of church gossiping.
(definitions also apply to COGIC, Charismatic and most anything seen on TBN... not that there's anything wrong with that! ;)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

New Website Sparks Outrage!

Nigga - This is truly ridiculous!