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Showing posts from 2011

Minister Evans speaks at Monroe County Dept of Human Services

Minister Evans was invited by a good friend and former work colleague, Sister Latonya Wilcox, to be the guest speaker at the Monroe County Department of Human Services' first ever  Kwanzaa observance, open only to employees. He was received very well and the program, which included African dance and Brother Carlton Wilcox singing on guitar,  was overall excellent. Below is Minister Evans' speech to the social workers in the audience.

Biblical references for First Fruits celebration

For this year's First Fruits portion of our year end celebration, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans is using the following Old Testament verses as reference material for the daily gatherings:

Exodus 23:16, 23:19 and 23:39Exodus 22:29Leviticus 23:10, 23:16. and 23:19Numbers 18:12Deuteronomy 26:2

You can ROCtheday for First Community Interfaith Institute in 2 weeks!

On Thursday, December 8, you will have 24 hours (12 am to 11:59 pm) to make an online donation to First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. (ideally we will be your first choice) through the RoctheDay platform, an effort coordinated by the United Way of Greater Rochester, along with several Rochester area community organizations, to encourage donors in the Rochester NY area (and elsewhere) to give to the 501c3 organization(s) of their choice. The Institute is, as of November 24,, the only black oriented 501c3 registered for ROCtheday. To save time searching for us, our link to donate directly to us is

Thank you in advance.

First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule for Dec 2011-Jan 1, 2012

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. invites the public to our 32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule of events. Events in bold are the major highlights of the 32 day season.

FIRST FRUITS (DECEMBER 1-DECEMBER 25) Thursday, December 1: Kwanzaa Appreciation Program, 6 PM, 219 Hamilton Street Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3: Kwanzaa prayer session and candle lighting, 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
Sunday, December 4: 4 pm, 219 Hamilton Street (Students Doology Hour, our weekly Sunday service)--also repeats on Dec. 11, 18, 25
Monday, December 5-Saturday, December 10: Kwanzaa prayer session and candle lighting, 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
Monday, December 12-Wednesday, December 14: Kwanzaa prayer session and candle lighting, 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
Thursday, December 15: African Mothers Day, 6 pm, School #33, 500 Webster Avenue (All females at the program receive a flower)
Friday, December 16-Saturday, December 17: Kwanzaa Prayer session and candle lighting, 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Str…

Kwanzaa Appeal has begun!

Our fiscal year began on October 1, and along with that comes our first major fundraiser, the Kwanzaa Appeal. Kwanzaa Appeal began September 25 and ends February 19, 2012. The Kwanzaa Appeal happens simultaneously with our major first and second quarter activities such as the anniversary of the Institute, Kwanzaa/First Fruits, Martin Luther King Jr. birthday and Supporters Day (Black History Month).
November 2 is the anniversary of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. and the birthday of National Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans has asked that all gifts go to First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. Your tax-deductible donations can be made to First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY 14620-1112.

More information about the Kwanzaa Appeal can be obtained every Sunday at Students Doology Hour. Doors open at 4 pm. The location is 219 Hamilton Street. Information can also be obtained by calling 585-461-0379.

Thank you if yo…


In 1986, at the entrance of Darien Lake Amusement Park, a fatal triple car accident took the lives of Sylvester Johnson, his daughter Stacey and Stephanie Kozak, a friend of Stacey’s. Brian Schollard drove his fire truck into Mr. Johnson’s car. Mr. Schollard was not going to a fire when the fire truck slammed into Mr. Johnson’s car. Consequently, Mr. Schollard was fined ten dollars.
The 25TH  Annual Sylvester and Stacey Johnson Memorial places emphasis on human lives and the need for authentic reconciliation. Also the 25TH  Annual Sylvester and Stacey Johnson Memorial is the kickoff of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.’s Kwanzaa Appeal. All proceeds will be used to support the Charles Riley Tutorial Program and other cultural activities.
On Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 4 PM, at 219 Hamilton Street, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will sponsor its 25th Annual Sylvester and Stacey Johnson
Memorial Lecture. First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will also be rememberin…

Minister Evans' retirement benefit was a monumental success!

Despite being rained out, on August 14 we had a packed house at 219 Hamilton Street as Minister Lawrance Evans' spouse, four of his six children, his six month old grandson, several godchildren, co-workers from his day job at Rochester General Health Systems, former and current students, and other community supporters and friends all came together to pay homage to a man who will be retiring in two weeks from Rochester General Health System. Minister Evans will not be idle; he will devote more time to working to ensure that First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. remain the premier teaching church in Rochester. The pinnacle of the program came when Monroe County Legislator Bauroth presented Minister Evans with a proclamation for all Minister Evans' hard work in the community of Rochester.

When the Change Comes

On Sunday, August 14, 2011, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will be celebrating retirement after almost ten years as a case manager/outreach worker for Rochester General Health Systems in Rochester NY. He is inviting the community of Rochester to this major fundraiser at 4 pm on August 14, 219 Hamilton Street. "When the Change Comes" is in the realm of the "Cultural Extravaganza" annual summer events First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. sponsored in the 1980s. If you would like to assist in the planning of Minister Evans' retirement, please email "When the Change Comes" is a fundraiser for our Charles Riley Tutorial Program and the upcoming Kwanzaa activities.

Check out the video by Theophil Syslo about our Charles Riley Tutorial Program!

Recent RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)  graduate Theophil Syslo visited the Institute this past semester and gave our young students disposable cameras to take pictures of things that interest them. Theophil incorporated the drumming and singing from the Sunday Student Doology Hour service with the children's explanations of their photography efforts to come up with an excellent video. The link is:

Legacy Day on June 5

Madame Martha Jordan’s legacy will be celebrated on Sunday, June 5, 2011. On that day, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will host a special Students Doology Hour Service at 4 pm, 219 Hamilton Street in the SouthWedge section of Rochester. All faiths are invited, especially families. In addition to Students Doology Hour every Sunday, First Community Interfaith Institute also is the home of its renowned Charles Riley Tutorial Program, and the First Fruits/Kwanzaa celebration in December.

On Sunday, June 5, 2011, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will celebrate the birthday of the woman who inspired Minister Lawrance Lee Evans to create the only interfaith teaching church in Rochester that is a spiritual and cultural organization. Minister Evans developed a unique organization, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., in 1970. First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is also a teaching church that is known for serving and educating for the purposes of empowerment and t…

We remember Malcolm X (1925-1965)

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., located in the SouthWedge, will honor the contributions
of Brother Malcolm X (1925-1965) during the week of May 15-21. Malcolm X would have been
86 years old on May 19.

On Sunday May 15, beginning at 4 pm, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., the National Minister
of the Institute, will give a lecture on Malcolm X at Students' Doology Hour. During the week,
the Institute will focus on organizing activities and community service. On Saturday May 21, the
Institute invites the community to participate in the bottle campaign fundraiser from 1-3 PM at
219 Hamilton Street. Minister Evans asks interested people to donate their NYS cans and
bottles to help finance its educational programs.

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., located at 219 Hamilton Street, is a spiritual and cultural
organization plus a teaching church. All activities listed above will be at 219 Hamilton Street.

Our children outdid themselves at the Good Friday of Inspiration and Motivation!

On Friday 22 April , First Community Interfaith Institute held its first Good Friday program, which was sponsored by 11 year old Tamia Jackson, Minister Evans' protegee. The children read the folktale play "Rabbit and Tiger," did their Reciprocity quotes, and we even learned basic karate from 8 year old Ahmein Parson, Tamia's brother.

Join us for "Good Friday of Inspiration and Motivation"

Our young students of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program, ranging in age from four to eleven, are working hard to make their program, "Good Friday of Inspiration and Motivation," to take place next Friday 22 April  at 7 pm Eastern Time (Good Friday), a success. This is the first time the Institute has had a program on a Good Friday. Please come and support the cihldren as they recite heroes and sheroes of Black History.

We honored the great Sister Siti Akanke!

On Thursday March 10, on what would have been Sister Siti's 79th birthday, Malik Evans, son of National Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, gave a wonderful tribute to the woman who had an extensive library of black literature in her home. Malik used her library when researching an assignment when he was in college. Malik recalled when Sister Siti would pick him and his siblings from school once a week, providing treats as well.  Brother Corey Tanskley, Minister Evans' godson, also knew Sister Siti as a child, and gave a poem dedicated to all the Sister Sitis in our lives--women who dedicated their lives to their families, blood and non blood, and to their organizations. Sister Shiminege, Sister Siti's daughter,during libation, talked about how her mother was hesitant about the Institute and the African clothing worn at the church when she first came across the Institute, but in no time became one of the Institute's best donors and promoters. Ten-year-old Jay Simms Jr. read a…

Black History Month is here!

On Sunday February 20 at 4 pm. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will give his annual Supporters Day address. The title of his lecture is "In Spite of Opposition: What Has and Will Be Done." The lecture will take place at 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY.

Suppporters Day is in honor of the later Charles Riley ( February 17, 1958-January 17, 1997), the namesake of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.'s renowned tutorial program. Brother Charles was not only a student of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., but he was also a strong supporter of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

Charles taught young people at the Institute's tutorial program (formerly called Children's Fashion Hour). He was so dependable that when he joined the ancestors , the tutorial program was renamed the Charles Riley Tutorial Program.

In addition to being a student researcher for his mentor (Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr.), he implemented the recycling program so that funds could be gener…

First Community Interfaith Institute honors MLK on Jan 15

On Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm, at 219 Hamilton Street in Rochester NY,  the National Minister of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, will give a lecture entitled “Doology Asks for the Real King to Stand Out!”Rev. Dr. King would have been 82 years old this year if he was not assassinated when he was 39 years old.
When a 42 year old seamstress refused to relinquish her bus seat to a white man and was arrested, a bus boycott was called. A young man named Dr. King was elected president to an organization called the Montgomery Improvement Association. The public life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was born.
We invite the public to hear Minister Lawrance Lee Evans as he addresses many of the misconceptions about King and the movement. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, the developer of Doology, founder of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., and financial supporter of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program, will explain how Dr. King's bri…

Wrap-up of our First Fruits/Kwanzaa

From discussions during the First Fruits (December 1-25) about humans' interdependence of each other, a beautiful African Mothers Day program at School #33 where we learned about the similarities of harvest celebrations throughout the diaspora, to black history, to finance, to poetry and pizza, to a mini-concert, and concluding with a marvelous feast with songs, libation and good food, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. once again honored the ancestors and concluded 2010 with more food for thought for the new year 2011. For more videos from our Kwanzaa season, go .