First Ladies’ Glorious Crowns

By Antoinette Porter

Left front - First Lady Barbara Hopkins - Grace Baptist Church, Oakland; left center - First Lady Carolyn Cobbs - Providence Baptist Church, Richmond; left rear - First Lady Rachel Hawkins - Bible Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, Oakland; Right front - First Lady and Pastor Maria Reems - Center of Hope Community Church, Oakland; center - First Lady Kathi Pinkard - Evergreen Baptist Church, Oakland; right rear - First LadyYvonne Harris - First Morning Star Baptist Church, Oakland. This is part 1 of the GoodNews Is..., series. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

The Post News Group co-sponsored a reception for some of the First Ladies from bay area churches, with the Waterfront Hotel. The photos, videos and interviews of the first ladies with their “Glorious Crowns” will be exhibited during Women’s History Month, Easter, Gospel concerts and denominational conventions. Some of the  first ladies shared a few words on their role as a First Lady: Barbara Hopkins, First Lady of Grace Baptist  in Oakland said , “Being the first lady is not all what people think, but we married Gods’ men. We have to be God-fearing women, standing by our church and our husbands.” Yvonne Harris, First Lady of First Morning Star Missionary Baptist  in Oakland said, “Being the First Lady at First Morning Star is challenging but it is a blessing, because I’m able to reach out and help people. I’m a very giving person whenever I see a need, God always urges me to administer love to those that need.  It’s very challenging, but rewarding. Kathi Pinkard, Evergreen Missionary Baptist in Oakland said, “Being the first lady is first of all, being a woman of God. Which is to know your place as the wife of the pastor; to support, to love, to nurture, to encourage your husband first?  First ladies are to be obedient to God first, your husband second then the people”. Pastor Maria Reems, Center of Hope Community Church’s First Lady said, “I want you to know the importance of all ladies, first ladies and pastor’s wives to be involved in the community. Our community is crying out for help. Single women, young women, teenage girls…We all need to come together as one in helping in our community.” Carolyn Cobbs, First Lady of Providence Baptist Church in Richmond said,  “Being the first lady is very important in a community. It’s important that we connect and be transparent.  We want to connect with the non-believers too.” Rachel Hawkins , First Lady of Bible Fellowship Missionary Baptist in Oakland said, “Being a first lady is a blessing, and a calling to assist my husband in ministry and the community. She should have a relationship with the Lord.” The GoodNews Is..,publication, which bears the name of the ownership entity of the Post news Group(PNG), will begin publication after the Easter season as a  subsidiary of PNG. The Post/GoodNews Is…, will visit churches in its 5 county distribution area to document the Pastor’s sermon, church services through photographs, video and audio recordings of the  choir, congregants  and other highlights.  The First Ladies will be featured and portrayed in their activities as well.

Top, from left: First Lady Kathi Pinkard & Pastor Frank Pinkard, Pastor Timothy Hawkins & First Lady Rachel Hawkins, Pastor Brondon Reems & First Lady Maria Reems; center row: Pastor Albert J. Harris, Jr. & First Lady Yvonne Harris, Antoinette Porter, Church Outreach/Events Director, First Lady Carolyn Cobbs, First Lady Barbara Hopkins. Photos by Gene Hazzard and Adam L. Turner.

The Good News Is magazine will highlight the historic hats as ‘Glorious Crowns.’ “Our goal is to bring the experiences of the message and the messengers and the faithful members who comprise the congregations that serve us,” said Post publisher Paul Cobb,  the former Religion Editor of the Post and Oakland Tribune. “The church is us, and we must help project all who do their part to fulfill our community’s needs. Our pastors provide leadership, but, First Ladies, Secretaries, Clerks, Musicians, Choir members, Ushers, Mission societies, youth groups, praise dancers, Sunday School Teachers, Deacons and Deaconesses and the numerous volunteers do the faithwork.” Antoinette Porter has joined the Post News Group as the Church Outreach/Events Director to help publish the churches’ messages, missions and ministries. The Waterfront Plaza Hotel, Mark Everton General Manager along with the Post News Group, Paul Cobb Publisher hosted several of the local churches’ first ladies and their husbands in the Penthouse Suite of Waterfront Plaza Hotel, for an afternoon reception.  The event was facilitated by Visit Oakland, formerly Oakland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Theo Jackson, Senior Sales Manager. All first ladies and pastors of churches in the bay area can participate in the weekly photo sessions by contacting Antoinette Porter (510) 926-9165 or 510-287-8200 or email to
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