Bishop to be interim at First Methodist

A retired bishop will serve as interim pastor of Baton Rouge’s First United Methodist until a new pastor can be appointed next year.

Officials for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church announced this week the appointment of Bishop Robert E. Fannin.

The Rev. W. Ralph Ford, Baton Rouge district superintendent, told the downtown Baotn Rouge congregation that Fannin will begin serving the church in mid-September.

Fannin’s appointment follows the July 24 announcement that the Rev. Chris Andrews would no longer serve as First Methodist’s pastor.

Citing only “personal reasons,” Andrews told the congregation last month that he was applying immediately for a retirement relationship with the conference.

Fannin, who retired in 2004, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida Southern College and master of divinity and doctorate of sacred theology degrees from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Before going onto the ministry, Fannin was part of the J.C. Penney management training program, served in the U.S. Army, and became a representative for the Burroughs Computer Corporation.

His ministry has included service in the Florida Annual Conference as a pastor and a district superintendent.

Fannin was elected as a bishop in 1992, serving in the Birmingham, Ala., area until 2004.

Son replaces father at Gonzales church

The Christian Assembly Full Gospel Church, 42158 La. 941, Gonzales, has a new pastor with a familiar name.

The Rev. Richard Rayborn II has replaced his father, Richard Rayborn Sr., whose 60-plus years of ministry included 20 plus at Christian Assembly.

The elder Rayborn led the pastor installation service on Sunday.

Rayborn II, 51, also serves as pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 32325 Doc Dean St., White Castle.

A graduate of East Ascension High School, he did his undergraduate work at Wayland Baptist University in Arizona, before studying at Canterbury University Of Hyde, Cheshire, England, where he earned a master of divinity degree with an emphasis in Christian counseling and later a doctorate in the field of theology.

He’s been in the ministry since 1988.

Rayborn II and his wife, Sandra, have four daughters and two sons.

Nonprofit working to restore marriages

Revelation Knowledge Inc., a nonprofit formed to provide education, counseling and supportive services to families and individuals, is offering ongoing classes aimed a restoring marriages.

The Hearts on Hold classes are meant to provide encouragement and support to those seeking marriage restoration even after years of separation or divorce, said Chaunda B. Daniel, executive director of the nonprofit.

The classes are offered from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays in Room 2 at the East Baton Rouge Parish Scotlandville Branch Library, 7373 Scenic Highway.

Contact Daniel, (225) 778-1202 or

New Hope Baptist offers fitness club

New Hope Baptist Church is promoting exercise with its new Faithfully Fit Club.

Free exercise classes, offered Thursdays at the church’s outreach center, 5925 Greenwell Springs Road, include:

?BodyGospel, 6:15 p.m., a cardio and muscle toning workout set to gospel music.

?PraiseMoves, 7 p.m., a Christian alternative to yoga designed to improve physical fitness through powerful stretching integrated with Scripture verses and Christian music.

Bring a water bottle, large towel and/or mat. (225) 926-0246.


Rosaryville plans open house, study

Rosaryville Spirit Life Center, 39003 Rosaryville Road, Ponchatoula, is preparing for two public events in the coming weeks.

One is an open house meant to reacquaint people with the center, a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The other is a fall book study.

Rediscover Rosaryville, an open house scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 21, will include a complimentary brunch from 10:30 a.m. to noon and Mass at 1 p.m. as well as opportunities to stroll the grounds, tour the facility and participating in such children’s activities as games and swimming.

The book study of “Jesus Before Christianity” by the Rev. Albert Nolan, is registering participants now.

Book sharing groups will meet twice a monthly beginning the week of Sept. 11 and continuing through the week of Dec. 4 at times and days to be determined based on the convenience of the majority of participants. The cost is $50 for individuals and $75 for couples. Call (225) 294-5039 ext. 104 or email