Meet Our Pastor
A Message from Our Pastor
The Bible speaks of a time for every season. Here is what it says in Ecclesiastes 3:
3 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
We can certainly bear witness to this as we have lived through the year 2020.
The world as we knew it before the coronavirus pandemic will never be the same. The weeks of shelter in place have taken their toll on us to the point where some are questioning their sanity. It did not respect denomination, race, age, gender, political preference, sexual orientation, economic status -- no, it ravaged and destroyed someone in every phase of life and life's circumstance.
But those of us who were granted grace and survived, those who trust and lean on God, know that He holds our future in His hands and that 2020 was only a season. One thing is for sure, the seasons will come and they will go. The question is, are you ready to face your season?
This may help you. Keep reading Ecclesiastes 3 and here's what you will find?
9 What do people really get for all their hard work?
10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.
15 What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.
Expect the best,
Ronald L. Rogers, Pastor
It is my prayer that every member and guest will know that “all are welcome here.” Mindful of the Church’s 155 year historic background coupled with the need to be relevant in today’s religious community, our mantra “The Church Without Walls” (Acts 2:42-47) reflects the Church’s acceptance of all people who seek salvation, have a desire to exercise their spiritual gifts and talents, and need a place to worship.
I am persuaded that all believers can experience true joy despite their circumstances. Joy is always available to believers because they have the comfort of knowing that Christ is with them.
First AME Zion invites you to worship with us anytime -- our doors are open! We pray that the prayer, praise and preaching you experience will bring you closer to Christ and closer to the life that He has planned for you. First Church holds itself accountable to follow the teachings of Jesus, acting compassionately and serving God's people with integrity. Remember, there is always room for you at First Church.
2020 promises to be a banner year in our service to the Lord and to our community. Come and see how you can be part of First Church making history in the 21first century.
Dr. Ronald L. Rogers, Sr. has a long and distinguished history in the AME Zion Church. He was appointed by Bishop Staccato Powell to serve as Pastor-in-Charge of First AME Zion, San Jose on June 9, 2019. In addition to pastoring, in May 2020, he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Bay Cities District, California Conference.
In 1972 Rev. Rogers received his first appointment in the California Conference when Bishop George J. Leake appointed him to pastor St. James AME Zion Church in San Mateo. Four years later, he went on to a rewarding pastorate at Greater Cooper AME Zion in Oakland, serving the Church and community for 13 years. While there the Church achieved many of its milestones. Among them were celebrating its mortgage burning, and instituting Project L.E.A.K.E. (Learning Enhances Aptitude, Knowledge, Experience), a program funded by the City of Oakland to tutor middle and high school students.
The Church was open seven days a week, ministering to the whole community including children, adults, seniors, and various groups who found themselves in dire situations and on the margins of society. He participated in ecumenical programs for the Oakland Unified School District and with representatives from Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Church of God In Christ, and Baptist congregations to name a few.
While pastoring Greater Cooper, Pastor Rogers also served as Presiding Elder of the Central Valley District, California Conference. In 1988 Bishop Richard Fisher invited him to pastor the New Mt. Olivet AMEZ Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He accepted an appointment and, after 11 months, and consultation and the blessings of Bishop Fisher, he returned to California, answering the call to begin a new work.
Pastor Rogers organized the Glad Tidings Community Church of Oakland and pastored Glad Tidings for 16 years until retiring in August 2005 when he relocated to Houston, Texas. In Houston, he united with the Brookhollow Baptist Church, known as The Church Without Walls, where he was Coordinator of its Kerygma (Preaching) Ministry. He left Brookhollow in April 2019 to accept the appointment as Pastor of First Church. In May 2020, Bishop Staccato Powell appointed him to serve as Presiding Elder of the Bay Cities District. Presiding Elder Rogers continues to serve the District under the leadership of The Rt. Reverend George D. Crenshaw, Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal District.
Ronald Rogers is a graduate of Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, with a bachelor’s degree in business education and a Doctor of Divinity degree. November 8, 2020, marked his 56th year in the ministry. His wife, Frances Miller-Rogers, has been alongside him for the past 37 years.