The Rev. J. Kenneth Major, who began serving on the church altar at age 11 and has said farewell to the ministry after 42 years of service, will be honored at a retirement party slated for Sunday.
The retired rector of the Church of the Incarnation returned to Miami in 1968 following his ordination to the deaconate at St. Philips Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1968 and served under Father Tyrell Dear at Incarnation.
He quickly moved into active duty as a result of the riots in Liberty City and became vicar of the church in January 1969.
Major has been committed to enriching the lives of residents in the community. He served as president of the board for the Economic Opportunity Family Health Center for more than 10 years. He aided in the formation of the COPE school for pregnant teenage girls in 1968 and that year he helped launch the Belafonte-TACOLCY Center as an after-school facility for latch-key children.
His pastoral work kept him equally busy. The church membership was growing and, in 1986, he began the task of building a new church edifice.
Ground contamination prevented construction for years but after almost a decade, a new sanctuary and administration building was dedicated in 1995.
Some of his other accomplishments include the initiation of the Joint Lenten Services Coalition in 1982, as the kick-off to the annual combined services among black Episcopal congregations in Miami-Dade County during the season of Lent.
Major also began an annual service commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which is now co-sponsored by the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Greater Miami Links Inc.
He served as chairman of the Companion Diocese Commission from 1981 until 1983, solidifying the church’s relationship with the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Grand Affaire, as the party has been dubbed, will begin at 5 p.m. at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay with a reception, to be followed by dinner and dancing.
For more information, call the church at 305-633-2446.