First Met Event Reviews

2nd Annual Market Place Business Seminar….

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I would like to thank you all for attending the 2nd Annual Market Place Ministry Business Seminar last Saturday, March 22. 2014.  This meeting showcased some extremely strong and powerful speakers and we were very fortunate and blessed to have them in with us.

I would like to thank our keynote speakers Michelle Hardin, our Branding expert and Atty.  Ugo Onwudiegwu, also a CPA for attending and opening our eyes to so many aspects of branding & protecting our business.  They presented us with a wealth of information that we will be able to use and prayerfully profit from moving forward. Please feel free to reach out to them at anytime.Business Ministry Seminar

I would also like to thank our surprise First Metropolitan members, Patrice & Jerome Simmons, who shared their testimony and secrets to starting their God given business, Comfort Care Assisted Living.

Please send me any ideas or suggestions that you have about future meetings & speakers that you would like to see presented by the MPM. Also, we would like to move forward in establishing an energetic group of MPM members who can continue to support this ministry with ideas and suggestions on expanding the ministry, so that it can empower & be a blessing to more First Metropolitan members and those in our community.

Email me your suggestions or Shannon Taylor and thank you again for attending.  Please stay tune for more information coming from the MPM on establishing a tool where all of our businesses can be shared in print or through electronic & social media.

Yours In Him,

Daniel Johnson

The Boot; Hidden Treasures Revealed

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Lousianna Cullinary Insitutute
Louisiana Culinary Institute

Though Louisiana has been long associated with Mardi Gras and the recent lessons learned from Katrina; during the 2014 College Spring Break, many lessons were learned about the treasures of located in the state.   Though some believe its greatest treasures in casinos on both land and riverboats, 24 students discovered hidden gems in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Tuesday, the students began their journey with a tour of Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge.  Students were introduced to the culinary world and the development of the next culinary geniuses through interaction with factually and administration.  Students are taught how to work all 3 phases of the restaurant via the instruction of an instructor and hands on experience in an on campus dining hall.  The school was filled with modern technology, and uses a combination of training, creativity and competition to bring about the best in all that enter it’s walls with dreams of wearing a Toque.

Southern University Museum of Arts

The day continued with a trip to Louisiana State University (L.S.U.).  The grand campus of L.S.U. featured a tour arranged by faculty member Dr. Robinson.  Starting at the tour, students were given the history of LSU as well as insight on campus and student life via the experiences of an excellent guide.  The tour was topped by the input of Angelia, L.S.U. student and relative of tour participant Jayla, which gave insight on campus life, studies and the athletic atmosphere of the Tigers.  She  The rich tradition of L.S.U. was evident in every story and present in every step.  The facility was innovated with safe features as well, beautiful buildings, majestic landscape and an atmosphere for academia.

Jayla & Angelia Daniels
Jayla & Angelia Daniels

Later the students encountered the lively Southern University (S.U.).  Students on campus were eager to speak forth truths and share their school pride.  Students were able to see the football team, track team and the tennis team at practice for their respective seasons.  The highlights of the tour were the campus museum Southern University Museum of Arts (S.U.M.A.), Sorority and Fraternity plots, as well as 2 interviewed Law School Students.   The Museum featured African artworks and artifacts, that connected the past with the present, creating a sense of hope, purpose and family.

The night concluded with dining at the locally acclaimed Copeland’s of Baton Rouge (sister restaurant Copeland’s of Atlanta from the 2013 College Tour).  Copeland features fine cuisine, and an array of signature Cheesecakes.  All in attendance enjoyed the relaxed but somewhat upscale environment.



First Met Annual Couple’s Valentines Dinner

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This past weekend was filled with LOVE, the First Met Way. On Sunday, February 16th 31 couples attended our annual Valentine Couple’s Dinner. This year the dinner was held at the fabulous Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant; which consisted of dining, dancing, bonding games, and an over the top great time. Pastor O & Lady O presented each lady with a long stemmed red rose as she entered the dinner. ValP2

The main objective of the dinner was to remind couples of the importance of working together to keep their marriages strong and healthy. Pastor O & Lady O encouraged the couples to continue to uplift each other, and grow, because no marriage is perfect. In order for any marriage to remain healthy there must be forgiveness, love, and support in place. Couples were also encouraged to be creative with each other, and keep the romance alive at all times. ValP3

As the dinner progressed there was a live swing dance demonstration lead by Northside Swing Dance Group. The Swing Dancing was very exciting, and offered a new twist to the modern dances that most are familiar with.  Guest were also able to participate in a Lego activity; which allowed each couple to have the opportunity to build “something” together that represented their marriage. 

The Night was described as “Magical”, and a perfect way to display love through marriage. Pastor O & Lady O would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the couples who attended, and encourage you all to continue to stride towards a healthy marriage. ValeP1

Spring Break College Tour 2014; Firsthand

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SpringBreakFlyerThe 2014 college Tour is upon us.  This years theme is First Hand, drawn from the book, Firsthand; Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own by the Ryan & Josh Shook.    The goal this year is to insure that each student has a personal faith, and not one based upon their parents and grand parents.

As for the tour, the students will visit some of Americas finest institutions.  In Baton Rouge, the colleges slated for visits are LSU, Southern & Louisiana Culinary Institute and in New Orleans, Xavier, Dillard & Tulane.  The institutions combined represents a wide range of studies and collectively will expose our students to a variety of campuses and campus living.

Students will be lodging at Camp Istrouma.   The camp is filed with activities!  Options for Swimming, Climbing Walls, Low Ropes Courses, Canoeing, & new to the camp Paintball.

The cost for the tour is $275.00.  The cost covers the tour, travel, lodging and meals on camp grounds.

Ensemble Brings the Nativity to Life

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Sunday, December 22, The Place Where You Belong was honored to host a 2013 performance of Black Nativity.  The Vision from Pastor O, was to bring to life the Christmas Story through an anointed group, providing Christmas enlightenment as well as entertainment.  The Ensemble Theatre of Houston was no disappointment.JoAnne Davis-Jones

The Cast was stocked full of talented voices, amazing dancers and great actors and actresses.  Directed by Eileen J.  Morris, the cast of Black Nativity brought the Christmas story to life with renditions of Oh What a Wonderful Child, Silent Night, Mary Did You Know, Total Praise and many others soulful Christmas songs and melodies.Lashanna Leonard

The amazing dance numbers fit well into the performance, showing the full range of all on stage.  Each actor and actress displayed talent and ability well beyond the expectation of the audience, bringing smiles and applause from all presence. Spotlighted was anointed vessels Lashanna Leonard and Samanta West, both who’s solos covered the with of the stage, conquering each place their foot trod.  Their routines was graceful, and as one attendant labeled them, “angelic”.

A powerful performance by JoAnne Davis-Jones set the tone for the entire evening.  Her energy and powerful voice insured the audience that their attendance was no accident and would not be an evening without purpose and or fulfillment.    Midway through the production, Tommie Harper III brought the audience to their feet, mastering the  falsetto solo in a rendition of Temptations rendition of Silent Night.

The night was brought to a boil with a duet by Constance Washington and Brandon Johnson, as they performed a First Met Favorite, Mary Did You Know.  This song is near and dear to First Met, as our Pastor O’s solo tradition each Christmas.  The song displayed the talent of both soloist, and was under girded by the harmony of the entire cast.  This lead to the powerful concluding number Total Praise, which featured the backing of the amazing First Met Choir.  The full power of the voices was the perfect conclusion to the night.

L to R Top Brandon Johnson, Tommie Harper III, Samantha West, Werner Richmond, Bottom L to R JoAnne Davis-Jones, Constance Washington & LaShanna Leonard

L to R Top Brandon Johnson, Tommie Harper III, Samantha West, Werner Richmond, Bottom L to R JoAnne Davis-Jones, Constance Washington & LaShanna Leonard

Snow on the Beltway

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December 21, 2013 First Metropolitan hosted our Annual Christmas Event, “Snow on the Beltway”.  This year it had a slit twist to it. The weather just so happened to storm on the beltway, but without a hassle we moved our event indoors to assure that we could still put a smile on every child’s face. Santa's Lap

With over 200 children in attendance it was destined to be a magnificent experience for all involved.  With the help of our food pantry, and community sponsors we distributed over 500 toys.  Guest were able to take pictures with Santa, participate in Christmas games, eat cookies & hot chocolate, as well as pizza sponsored by Pizza Hut.  It was a beautiful visual to see each guest (including parents) go home with bags of gifts.  Santa took pictures with each child and gathered a list of their “Christmas List”.  Santa was elated to grant the children with their wishes of dolls, teddy bears, gift certificates, make-up kits, coloring books, Crayola’s, trucks, and so much more.
Pastor O & Lady O greeted each guest, and our evangelism ministry provided prayer to those who requested.  FMC Food Pantry did an amazing job of gathering families in the community who could use a lending hand during the Holiday season.  Amongst gifts, families also went home with food items to prepare a great Holiday meal.  We would also like to send a special thanks to KFMC News for provided everyone with great coverage and assisting in advertising.
Although we could not predict the thunderstorm that took place prior to “Snow on the Beltway”, we knew that God was smiling down on us as we ended the event with clear skies and sunny weather. God has a special way of letting us know that he is happy.

Pastor O & Lady O, and the entire First Met staff would like to Happy New Year.  We will see you all at our New Year’s Eve service on December 31st at 8:30 pm.

Serving Brownies with a Smile!

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On November 2, 2013 it was all about service.  The Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors volunteered to host Brownie Magic.  Brownie Magic is an opportunity for Brownie Girl Scouts to experience Girl Scouts.  The program provides 35 minute sessions on crafts, science, hiking, songs and games and a look at the girl scout drill team the Green Starlettes.  There were over four hundred girls registered to attend the event.  Our young ladies, served as camp host.  Their service required them to learn the camp ground rules, terrain, events/activities and schedule, prior to the arrival of the other campers.  Elianah said, “It took a lot of work and patience to serve the other troops.  We learned how to serve with a smile.”  Their efforts helped Brownie Magic participants access the fun elements of the camp ground, and to return without injury, maintaining order and keeping the camp on schedule.  Brownie Magic Flag CeremonyThe Junior girls lead the flag ceremony.  Sister Burnett was proud of the leadership skills the girls were exhibiting during this event.  She said, “It’s what we talked about at every meeting when we say to live by the Girl Scout Law.  They were living it.”  Other volunteers included Selena Montgomery, Monica Martin, Alex Poole, Quinita Ogletree, Michelle Muhammad and Yolanda Tisdom, Fred and Gerard Burnett came out and helped direct parking which was no easy task.  Sister Burnett continued, “I thank all the volunteers for supporting this effort.  It was a great experience for the girls and the leaders.”Brownie Magic Flag Ceremony

After Brownie Magic, the troop enjoyed the camp amenities.  Layla recalled, “I saw a deer at the camp, and one morning, we saw an armadillo outside of our cabin.”  The girls had an opportunity sleep in cabins and tell stories at night.  Sister Burnett recounted, “They were not allowed to tell ghost stories”. As always the Senior Girl Scouts (9th – 10th grade) took pride in modeling camp etiquette and wilderness survival, while teaching Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes how to enjoy nature.  Adaiah said, “I got to play around and enjoy nature!  I was excited because I finally got to go camping!”