Friday, February 3, 2017

Who was Charles Riley?

This excerpt from our most recent newsletter, The Black Koptic Press Release, was written by Brother Charles' sister, Sister Shiminege, the promoter of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program. On the 59th anniversary of his birth, the Institute will hold its Kwanzaa Appeal finale, "Supporters Day in Honor of Charles Riley" on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 6 PM, 219 Hamilton Street. Donations given at this event are tax deductible.

Brother Charles Riley was born on February 17, 1958 in Batavia, NY, and joined the ancestors on January 17,  1997. His mother was Sister Siti Akanke, aka Mary Bailey. His father was Leroy Riley.

Charles went to Alexander (NY) Elementary School and continued in Batavia, graduating at the top of his high school class in 1979. After he graduated, he moved to Rochester,  NY, where he lived with his mom, Sister Siti. He then went to Monroe Community College where he took up business classes.


Brother Charles came to First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. in 1985. He started coming every day to the tutorial program to help the children with their studies. He would come everyday to help and he did not have any children of his own in the program.

He then joined the Ministry School of Doology. He also was the Audio Technician.

**After Brother Charles' death, with the approval of his survivors, the tutorial program at First Community Interfaith Institute, originally known as Children's Fashion Hour, was renamed the Charles Riley Tutorial Program. The program continues under the direction of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. If you would like to enroll, we encourage you to attend Student Doology Hour on Sunday at 4 PM at 219 Hamilton Street. After service, you will meet with Minister Evans and Sister Shiminege. We can arrange classes based on your schedule         

Monday, January 30, 2017

We're coming to the end of the Kwanzaa Appeal



Obtaining resources to finance an organization is difficult. Since 1970, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.  has helped many families, organizations and individuals by our Charles Riley Tutorial Program (after school program), our cultural programs/activities, case management services and small business developments.

You can help by:
1. Donating bottles for our bottle campaign
2. Sponsoring Supporters Day: In Honor of Charles Riley--sponsorship is at least a minimum of $300.00
3. Giving a small donation of any amount
4. Advertising in our Program Booklet for Supporters Day.  Whole page $100; 1/2 page $50 and 1/4 page $25
5. Attend Supporters Day: In Honor of Charles Riley on February 17, 2017 (6 PM) at 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY
6. All of the above
7. Attend a special tea which will be held on February 18, 2017 (6 PM) at 219 Hamilton Street. RSVP only.

Monday, January 2, 2017

We had a succesful First Fruits/Kwanzaa!



In Rochester, we just concluded a wonderful Kwanzaa season. From the folktales  and proverbs told during the 25 day First Fruits celebration; the African Mothers Day program on December 15 where the men presented the girls and women with flowers amid a last minute venue change due to inclement weather; to the stories about the various African nations told by Minister Evans' adult students between Dec. 27-30,;to Minister Evans' daughter Sasha Eloi-Evans' talk about her educational journey from Dominica to the US Virgin Islands to the mainland US, ulltimately ending up at the University of Rochester, where she is currently employed and working on her PhD, and to the finale on January 1 (our Kwanzaa feast), where we enjoyed some delicious food, exchanged gifts and a surprise donation of $1000 was given to the Institute! We thank all those who came to the Institute and/or St. Johns Home during the past 32 days, whether it was one time or from December 1 to January 1.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Complete First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule



Here is the 32 day long First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule of events as celebrated in Rochester
Unless specifically stated otherwise, all events take place at 219 Hamilton Street at 5:30 PM

December 1: Kwanzaa Appreciation Program--open house, kickoff of 32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa season; dinner will be served
December 2-3, 5-10, 12-14, 16-17, 19-24: First Fruits storytelling, prayer and lighting of candles
December 4, 11, 18, 25: Student Doology Hour--4 pm Sunday service, prayer after service; dinner will be served
December 15: African Mothers Day--500 Webster Ave (School #33)-- females will receive flowers from men; program begins at 5:30 PM; refreshments available
December 26: Umoja
December 27: Kujichagulia
December 28: Ujima
December 29: Ujamaa
December 30: Nia
December 31: Kuumba
January 1, 2017: Imani-Kwanzaa feast-- 150 Highland Ave (St Johns Home)--exchange gifts, bring dish to pass (non pork), entertainment; starts at 5:30 PM

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

First Fruits/Kwanzaa is coming!

Here is a glance of our First Fruits/Kwanzaa season so far:


  • Thursday, December 1:  Kwanzaa Appreciation Program--at 219 Hamilton Street, 5:30 PM. We open our 32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa season. First Fruits lasts from December 1 to December 25. 
  • Thursday, December 15: African Mothers Day--at School #33, 500 Webster Ave, TBA
  • Monday, December 26: Umoja
  • Tuesday, December 27: Kujichagulia
  • Wednesday, December 28: Ujima
  • Thursday, December 29: Ujamaa
  • Friday, December 30: Nia
  • Saturday, December 31: Kuumba
  • Sunday: January 1, 2017: Imani

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

On November 2 we will be 46 years young!

On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will have a dual celebration: the 46th anniversary  and the birthday of its founder, the renowned Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr.

The First Community Interfaith Institute Inc was developed with the concept of the animation of Doology, a discipline developed by Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr, which highlights the teachings of his grandmother, Madam Martha McMiller Jordan.

On November 2, 1970 Minister Evans, then a first year graduate student at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, founded First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. on his 25th birthday in his on-campus apartment. That small gathering of people on November 2, 1970 expanded to its present day home in the SouthWedge. Minister Evans has become an influential leader in Rochester's black community in the past forty six years.

The public is invited to hear Minister Evans' lecture at 5:30 PM on November 2 on the topic "A Grandmother's Teaching and a Wife's LoveThe Making of a Quiet Warrior."

Below are some memorable moments from our special fundraiser on September 23, "Minister Akilah Ife's Cultural Extravaganza."





Monday, August 29, 2016

ALL NIGHT LONG!

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will close its fiscal year with the annual "Minister Akilah Ife's Cultural Extravaganza" on Friday, September 23 at 219 Hamilton Street. September 23 is the 49th anniversary of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans and his late wife, Minister Akilah. The Cultural Extravaganza begins at 6 PM and will last the entire evening. Entertainment and dinner will be provided. "All Night Long: Minister Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza" is a fundraiser for the Institute's cultural and educational programs. Suggested donation is $150. There are five scholarships available for those who are unable to give $150.00.