Kingdom News

January 9th 2015 

January Consecration

Grace and Peace from God our Father, Christ our Savior and the Holy Spirit our Comforter,

Beloved, I’m blessed to have this opportunity to greet you on this side of 2015. After all we’ve come through in 2014 thank God that we’re still standing!

We’re grateful for a new year however we realize that 2015 has its own challenges and trying situations waiting for us. Indeed many of our members are already dealing with death, loss and disease. Some have already lost homes and jobs and their lives have been turned upside down already in 2015. We’ve been unable to have service at 242 for that last month and it’s been difficult for us. We’re already challenged and the year is just getting started. Those who’ve been around me know that I believe in the power of prayer and I believe that “all things work together for our good.” I’m asking that as we move into this new year join me in making the month of January is our month of consecration and fasting. Please join me in giving time to God in prayer, meditation and in fasting and consecration. I believe in faith to receive miracles in the lives of our members and in the life of our church this year. I want to constantly over come things and have to say, “Only God could have done this.”

Consecration is a solemn commitment of your life and time to God. This month, if nothing else, we endeavor to consecrate the balance of this first month of the year to the Lord in prayer and fasting. Fasting is one of the most powerful spiritual disciplines we hold dear in the Christian faith. Prayer and fasting go hand in hand. During this month we are fasting or voluntarily not eating food or certain foods for a specified length of time.

There are (3) types of fast in scripture.

  1. Partial Fast- Daniel engaged in a partial fast. Daniel 1:12 Daniel said, “Please sir test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.”

    In Daniel 10:2-3 there is another fast of Daniel where he says, “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”

    We observe partial fasts on Tuesday at Varick as our weekly fasting day: 6:am-6:pm we eat fruits, salad, soups, water, herbal tea or decaffeinated water. After 6:pm we eat meats that are not fried, no sodas and no unhealthy snacks. (NO FAST FOOD)

  2. Normal Fast- The normal fast is very strict and shouldn’t be done without first consulting your doctor. This is the fasting practice of Jesus in wilderness where Jesus ate no food for forty days and nights He only drank water.

  3. Absolute Fast- This is when no food or water is consumed for a specified length of time. This fast is only mentioned in scripture a few times. Paul after the Damascus Road revelation went for three days with no food or drink and didn’t have his sight. Cornelius went for a four day fast. Ezra (Ezra 10) went for a night without food or drink.

    Elijah and Moses went on a forty day absolute fast where they were sustained by God. The length of time or the regulations are not most important but it’s the element and level of seeking God that is most important through a fast.

I am aware of those of us who have special dietary requirements especially for medications and must eat certain foods at certain times; in these cases please follow your doctors instructions. Along with the fast you choose, you should consecrate this time by refraining from anything and anyone that would draw you into negative thinking and behaviors. Lets allow Philippians 4:8 to govern our time, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praise worthy- think about such things.” Create a prayer list, please include our sick and shut in members, include persons in your class or life group that need special blessings. Pray for our member’s lives to be blessed with good health and provision. Pray for jobs to come to members of our church. Pray for wisdom and integrity for our national and state leaders. Pray for our pastors, presiding elders and bishops across the AME Zion church and the church universal. Pray that God would open doors of opportunities and that resource’s to be multiplied here at Varick Memorial so that we can be and do all that God has destined for us in His Kingdom. Please pray for me and my family as we pray for yours. Everyday this month, yes even this year lets and spend time in special reflection on and in meditation with God.

Lets do it for the Kingdom!

Pastor Eldren D. Morrison



May 28th 2014

Today, God in His infinite wisdom has called home Dr. Maya Angelo after 86 wonderful years of life.  What a phenomenal woman Dr. Angelo was- one who challenged and inspired us through both her remarkable life and poetic words. Varick Memorial honors her life and work. We are thankful that she crossed Jordan in a calm time.

Pastor Eldren Morrison & First Lady Stachia Morrison


May 8th 2014

We welcome you to Varick this Sunday as we worship God and especially thank Him for those special women in our lives we call mothers. We know that mothers are special to God for it is through mothers that new life is born. We remember how Mary cared for her son Jesus, taking time to wrap him in swaddling clothes in his infancy and raise him in the laws of God. As she saw him grow, the bible tells us that she pondered many things in her heart- Then we remember the love and care that Jesus had for his mother Mary, as he hung on the cross, making sure that is friend John, would care for Mary when He was gone.

Today we thank God for the hands that wrapped us and raised us- the hearts of our mothers out of which unconditional love has flowed. Thank God for mothers. Moms, grandmothers, great-grandmother, nana, granny, mama, madre,or big momma. Whatever name you may call her, let's take this time to share with her and let her know that she is loved and appreciated this and everyday. Varick salutes and loves our mothers, we look forward to celebrating worship with your family this Sunday.


April 28th 2014

I want to share that the Lord allowed my grandfather, The Reverend Robert A. Morrison Sr. to quietly enter into eternal rest in Him. My grandfather was my mentor and the reason I entered ministry in the A.M.E. Zion Church. He was a tremendous influence on so many during his 72 years of preaching ministry. I shared with our family that we may be sad but we can't be sad too long for God gave him 98 blessed years to live and serve Him. My grandfather lived for this day. At this time the arrangements are incomplete. Please keep Stachia and I and our family in your prayers.

Pastor Morrison

The Funeral Arrangements of The Reverend Robert A. Morrison Sr.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday evening April 30th, from 7:00pm–8:00pm at the Steele Hill A.M.E. Zion Church. 

The Final Viewing will be Thursday May 1st, at Noon until 1:00pm.
The Funeral Service will be Thursday May 1st, at 1:00pm.

Steele Hill A.M.E. Zion Church

6021 Charlotte Highway  
Lancaster, South Carolina 29720  
Church Phone Number 803.285.7850
Reverend Sandra Sistare, Pastor

Morrison Family Home 

5911 Morrison Road
Lancaster, South Carolina 29720 

Final Rites Entrusted to:
McMullen Funeral Home
403 Clinton Avenue - Lancaster, South Carolina 29720
"We excel in Quality and Service" 


April 9th 2014

These are serious times. I was sitting with Superintendent Harries at The Great Debate at the Shubert Theater in New Haven filled with high School students. While sitting there, we received updates about the tragic stabbing of students near Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania. A 16 year old student  violently stabbed 20 others students this morning. I sat there and looked around thinking this could have happen here in New Haven, Hamden or West Haven today. Those 20 victims could have been our kids today. I ask that you join me in prayer for the students harmed today in Pennsylvania and their families.Lets continue to pray for the safety of all our kids as they sit in school class rooms everyday.

Ephesisans 6:13, 18 Message Translation "Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare... Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each others spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out."    
Pastor Morrison


Booker T Washington Academy in the News

April 3rd, 2014

Check out all the buzz on Booker T Washington Academy.

New Haven Register
New Haven Independent


Booker T Washington Academy makes History!

April 2nd, 2014

It's official, history was just made! Booker T Washington Academy has been granted a State Charter to open for the fall of 2014 school year.


STATEMENT: ConnCAN on the proposed Booker T. Washington Academy

“Rev. Morrison and the Varick community have proven to be tireless advocates for children, dedicated to a future in which no child is unfairly denied the preparation they need for college and a good career”
-- Jennifer Alexander, chief executive officer at ConnCAN

Hartford, Connecticut (March 13, 2014)Background: Today, a public hearing will be held on the proposed Booker T. Washington Academy. One of nine applicants for new state charter schools submitted to the State Department of Education this year, the Booker T. Washington Academy is a partnership with Family Urban Schools of Excellence, Inc. (FUSE), which runs Jumoke Academy in Hartford, and partners with the Hartford district on Jumoke Academy at Milner, and with the Bridgeport school district on Dunbar Elementary School. Working with FUSE is Reverend Eldren Morrison of Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, New Haven’s oldest African American congregation. In response to the Booker T. Washington Academy public hearing,Jennifer Alexander, chief executive officer at the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement NOW (ConnCAN) made the following statement:

“Every child deserves the opportunity to get a high-quality education, no matter where he or she lives, and the educators at FUSE work diligently to make that a reality. They have had demonstrated results for students in Hartford and are already starting to see improvements in Bridgeport. The possibility that they could play a role in improving options for kids in New Haven is exciting.”

“Rev. Morrison and the Varick community have proven to be tireless advocates for children, dedicated to a future in which no child is unfairly denied the preparation they need for college and a good career. Right now, about 1,300 New Haven families are on waiting lists for access to high-quality public charter schools. Rev. Morrison and Varick, in partnership with FUSE, could help meet that demand. ”

“Hartford’s Jumoke Academy is Connecticut’s highest performing charter school at the lower school level, according to school performance data from the State Department of Education. Combining that history of success with Rev. Morrison’s commitment to New Haven can bring great things for New Haven’s kids. The proposed Booker T. Washington Academy will help ensure that New Haven is a place where people want to live, work, and invest in their future and where children thrive.”

About the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN)
The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) is an advocacy organization leading a movement to improve public education for kids. We bring parents, educators, policymakers, and advocates together to help ensure that all kids have access to great schools regardless of race, wealth, or zip code. To learn more about ConnCAN, visit:

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Copyright © 2014 Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN)
85 Willow St
New Haven, CT 06511

We ask everyone to help the school become a reality by attending the hearing tomorrow.

Reflection: A Tribute to MLK Jr

January 16th, 2013

We pause today to honor and pay tribute to The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, had he lived today it would be his 85th birthday.

Dr. King said, "we all can be great because we all can serve." Today is not a 'day off' but this is a 'day on' we all should be busy serving those in our community who are less fortunate, helping to build up that which has been torn down or working to restore those who have fallen down among us. We can all be great when we serve the needs of others.

Dr. King was in many ways a man before his time. His stance on the Vietnam War and many global issues many times were not embraced by his contemporaries or even the mainline church. But, Dr. King continued speaking and doing what he knew was best for the progression of our people and our nation.

I hope today we will all take time to remember Dr. King, his courage, faith and his lasting influence in our lives.

Varick Memorial Varick Memorial



VIDEO: Pastor Morrison on Mayor Toni Harp's first New Haven Board of Education Meeting

New Haven, Connecticut (January 13, 2014) Tonight will mark New Haven Mayor Toni Harp's first Board of Education meeting as a sitting member. The meeting will take place at 5:30 PM at Hill Regional Career High School (140 Legion Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06519). In advance of tonight's meeting, Reverend Eldren Morrison, Senior Pastor of New Haven's Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, released the following video and statement:

“Happy New Year. I'm Pastor Eldren Morrison, Pastor of the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, New Haven's oldest African American congregation. We're very pleased that the Board of Education is meeting this Monday with Mayor Toni Harp. This is a historical time in the life of our city, as she's been the first woman elected mayor of this city”.

“While on the campaign trail Mayor Harp made a promise in education. She promised to support the start of three new schools in our city. I hope, as founder of the Booker T. Washington Academy, to help her fulfill this promise. ”

“We know the need for high-quality educational options in our community. Thousands of parents are on waiting lists for charter schools in our city. I ask that you will support Mayor Harp's educational platform so that we can move our city forward.”

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VIDEO: As Mayor Harp prepares for New Haven Board of Education meeting, parents urge her to continue improving public schools for kids

“I would like for my kids and other kids in New Haven to be prepared for college and to be successful because they deserve it and our city needs it.” — Jonique Webb, New Haven parent

New Haven (January 13, 2013) – Tonight New Haven's new Mayor Toni Harp will attend her first New Haven Board of Education meeting as a sitting member. Today, as Mayor Harp prepares for that meeting, ConnCAN released a video that features parents urging her to continue improving public schools for Elm City kids.

The video comes on the heels of a Global Strategy Group survey of 400 New Haven voters that found nearly unanimous support (96 percent) for continuing efforts to improve schools.

In the video, New Haven parent Jonique Webb points out that too many kids aren't getting the education they deserve.

“There are too many kids in the public school system who are falling through the cracks, and it's also alarming that one in three third graders are being left behind, reading under the grade level,” said Webb. “I would like for my kids and other kids in New Haven to be prepared for college and to be successful because they deserve it and our city needs it.”

Newhallville native and parent Guinell Stanley notes that she would like to see Mayor Harp improve public schools to ensure African American students get a better education.

“What I would like to see Mayor Harp do is close the educational gap for African American children so that they can compete in this world,” said Stanley.

Click here to view Global Strategy Group survey results:

Last week, in a statement regarding survey results from the Global Strategy Group survey, ConnCAN's CEO Jennifer Alexander noted that city voters want leaders in New Haven to continue improving education.

“For the first time in more than two decades, New Haven has a new mayor and superintendent of schools,” said Alexander. “These survey results show that as Mayor Harp takes office and becomes a voting member of the New Haven Board of Education, she and Superintendent Harries have public opinion on their side to continue and accelerate efforts to improve education for all kids regardless of their race, wealth, or zip code.”

Additional key findings from the New Haven voter survey include:

  • New Haven voters want to give students more opportunity by expanding early childhood education and making school funding fairer.Voters favor both expanding early childhood education (including universal pre-kindergarten), where participation has been shown to be an early predictor of success (68 percent say this is an “excellent” idea and 77 percent say it will do “a lot” to improve education), and ensuring that school funding is fairer so New Haven students receive the same amount of funding as students in wealthier school districts (57 percent “excellent” idea and 74 percent say it will do “a lot”).
  • New Haven voters believe that parents should have more options so they can find the right school where their children can thrive. Giving parents more access to public school options, including traditional public schools, magnet schools, and charter schools, is also seen as a crucial step for improving education (41 percent “excellent” idea/60 percent will do “a lot”). Voters are favorable towards charter schools (57 percent favorable/19 percent unfavorable) and a majority (54 percent) view charters as places that provide opportunity to receive a high-quality education. This positive outlook on charters is even more common among parents (64 percent provide opportunity/22 percent drain resources) and non-white voters (60 percent provide opportunity/26 percent drain resources).
  • New Haven voters believe that supporting and retaining the very best teachers is critical to ensuring students' success. Voters think that great teachers can make a big difference in a child's life and poor teachers can stifle a child's ability to learn, with over two-thirds (67 percent) believing it is essential to continue improving education by both holding teachers accountable for their performance and developing those teachers who deliver for New Haven's students.
  • New Haven voters fundamentally believe we must create a public education system that gives all students the opportunity to succeed. Three-quarters (75 percent) of voters believe that improving education is important because students in New Haven should have an equal opportunity to succeed and that success should not just be limited to those who can afford it.

About the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN)
The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) is an advocacy organization leading a movement to improve public education for kids. We bring parents, educators, policymakers, and advocates together to help ensure that all kids have access to great schools regardless of race, wealth, or zip code. To learn more about ConnCAN, visit:

Follow Varick Memorial:

Varick Launches New Website

On Thursday, October 18, 2012, Varick launched its brand new website. The development of the website began in 2011, and is almost a year in the making.

The website aims to connect current members with the services and events of the church; while introducing prospective members and visitors to Varick Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church.

In conjunction with Faith Network (our website development company), Varick's website team (comprised of Bro. Darin Kent, Sis. Karen Dixon, Sis. Hazel Johnson, and Sis. Tyra Pendergrass) has diligently worked to ensure that the website is a reflection of Varick's commitment to stay connected to its members and the community through technology.

Some great features of the new website are:
  • Live Stream- In early 2013, weekly Sunday services will be able to be viewed LIVE via the internet.
  • Audio & Video Media Uploads- This component of the website allows for users to listen to, and watch archived recorded church events (i.e. weekly sermons, bible study).
  • Pastor's Blog- In this section of the website, Pastor Morrison will share his thoughts through a bi-weekly blog.
  • Online Giving- This component of the website allows for users to pay their tithes and offering through the use of debit and credit cards.
  • Featured Announcements & Events- This section serves as a virtual church bulletin; weekly announcements and upcoming church events will be highlighted. 

Additionally, the website allows users to connect to Varick's social media pages on: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram. Check them out!

Stay tuned for all of Varick's new website's future advancements. We're excited and hope you are too!

If you're interested in joining Varick's website ministry email us: 

© October 18, 2012