Meet Our Pastor
A Message from Our Pastor
The world as we knew it before the coronavirus pandemic will never be the same. The, what seemed like endless, shelter in place weeks took their toll on us to the point where some questioned their sanity. But none of us was prepared for what happened on May 25, 2020. George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white American Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while three other ;officers --Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane -- looked on.
The days since the murder have been long. The officers have been legally charged and there have been protests around the world. I am thankful for the people of all races who have joined in solidarity protesting against a racist police society. And, now I'm asking people everywhere to strengthen their protests with petitions. It is time to "take to our knees" and petition God to hear our prayers and heal our land.
Keep your hearts and minds stayed on Jesus because in Him we will find hope, help, and healing for all of life’s challenges.
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 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.
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 10, 2019, marked his 55th year in the ministry. Pastor Rogers has been married to Frances Miller-Rogers for 36 years.