REV. AND MRS. KISNER HONORED: With Martinelli apple cider rather than wine, and everyone having "a good time in the Lord." C.B. HANIF PHOTOS / SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Historic Tabernacle Church congregation celebrated their leader and first lady’s 28th pastoral anniversary with the “The People’s Pastor” as their anniversary theme, and the people definitely responded “amen.”

Friday’s "Jazz Night at TAB" was full of warmth among church members, family and friends, whose anticipation overflowed when the Rev. Gerald D. Kisner and Lady Mami H. Kisner arrived.

The historic nature of the evening was not lost even as reunions occurred and new acquaintances were made, the food flowed and DJ Charles Moses kept the jazz flowing.

Rev. Kisner thanked master of ceremony Deacon Joe Baker (husband of Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker), events organizer Mary Edge McGee, and “everyone for making this a wonderful evening.”

“We had a good time,” the reverend added, “and isn’t this what it’s about? As Christians, and people of God, we have to have a good time in the Lord. And too often, Christian people think you can’t have fun. You can have a good time and celebrate life.”

Then on Sunday morning, the Rev. Willliam Franklyn Richardson, III of Grace Baptist Church in Port St. Lucie proved the ideal keynote speaker for the weekend celebration’s church service.

“You don’t do anything for 28 years, anything good, if your soul is not anchored with God,” Richardson said, in tribute to the Kisners and their congregation. “Because it’s hard work, staying on the battlefield for God.”

He proceeded to lift attendees to their feet with his scriptural message, as he expounded exquisite, universal insights on the 23rd Psalm. Rev. Kisner later noted that Richardson had been in the nation’s capital the previous day for the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, yet had made sure to be present at Tabernacle.

The humanitarian spirit of the church was exhibited in the myriad special guests, dignitaries, elected officials, representatives of various organizations, and even attendees from other churches and religious faiths present in support.

And in a sign of the ever present, exemplary social consciousness at Tabernacle, Lady Kisner concluded when called to speak:

“If I don’t ask you for anything else, please go vote. Please, take somebody with you. Please, register someone. It is our duty. People have died, for the right to vote.”