A longtime pastor has retired after more than 41 years at the same west-central Fresno church.
The Rev. Vaughn Morton of Truth Tabernacle United Pentecostal Church was honored at a pastoral retirement service Sunday night at the church, 4411 N. First St. He is 74.
Morton started at the church in November 1972. It is believed he had the fourth-longest run by a pastor at the same central San Joaquin Valley church. Pastors with longer runs were:
--Bishop Henry L. Johnson of Bethesda Apostolic Church in west-central Fresno, 54 years, from 1957 to 2011.
--The Rev. G.L. Johnson of Peoples Church, nearly 45 years, 1963 to 2008.
--The Rev. Chester Riggins of Saint Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 44 years, 1962 to 2006.
Morton plans to stay busy, presenting minister seminars and preaching throughout the United States.
Galen Gregg, assistant pastor at Truth Tabernacle, says Morton will be remembered for his influence on the congregation and community.
"He has been pastor, father, mentor, leader, a strong personality to provide direction," Gregg says. "He has always had Fresno and the surrounding area as a burden in his heart. He is known for trying to make Fresno a better place, one person at a time."
Morton was known for reaching out to the community through personal contact, expanding Truth Tabernacle's bus ministry and establishing six satellite congregations.
The Rev. Timothy Lackey is succeeding Morton as Truth Tabernacle pastor. Lackey grew up in Truth Tabernacle and served as pastor of North Calvary Church in Fresno for the past nine years.
Details: (559) 225-1622.
Fresno rabbi will shave head for cause
A Fresno rabbi is among more than 60 Reform rabbis nationwide who will shave their heads in a fundraising effort — "Shave for the Brave" — for pediatric cancer research.
Rabbi Laura Winer will have her head shaved at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, at Temple Beth Israel, 6622 N. Maroa Ave. She is the wife of Rick Winer, rabbi of Temple Beth Israel.
The Fresno event is in conjunction with the "Shave for the Brave" effort this year at the Central Conference of American Rabbis Convention in Chicago.
Monies raised go to the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which raises funds each March in shaves across the nation to support pediatric research funding.
The Temple Beth Israel event is open to the public.
Details: email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call, (559) 989-1997.
Former mob leader to speak at Easter services
An author/former mob leader will be the special guest at Easter weekend services April 19-20 at Northside Christian Church in Clovis, 2709 E. Nees Ave.
Michael Franzese, considered one of the 50 biggest Mafia bosses since Al Capone, will share his faith story at Easter weekend services at 6 p.m. April 19 and 9 and 11 a.m. April 20.
He is the author of several books, including "Blood Covenant." Franzese also will speak to Northside's youth group after the service on April 19.
Details: (559) 323-9675.
Fresnan to be installed as Rainbows top officer
A Fresno woman will take over leadership in the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls in California.
Dana Regier will be installed as supreme inspector on Tuesday, April 1, the final day of the California Rainbow Girls' grand assembly in Fresno. The gathering begins today.
Regier has served as California Rainbow grand officer, mother adviser, grand deputy and area grand deputy. She replaces Sara Lee Martin, who is retiring.
Saints congregation celebrates 20th year
A special gathering — celebrating the 20th anniversary of Saints Community Church in Fresno — will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the church, 3740 E. Ashlan Ave.
The church started in 1994.
Details: (559) 227-9819.
Library hosts talk on birth of modern Hebrew
A lecture/audio visual presentation on "Can These Bones Yet Live? Eliezer ben Yehudah and the Birth of Modern Hebrew" is scheduled at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at Woodward Park Regional Library, 944 E. Perrin Ave.
An impassioned crusader who imagined a Jewish state into being at the turn of the 20th century, ben Yehudah made it his life's work to return the language of the Bible to the marketplace, the daily newspaper and children's nursery rhymes.
Vic and Lise Rosenthal will give the presentation. The event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Central California.
Details: (559) 226-4978.
Episcopalians to vote on provisional bishop
A special convention to elect Bishop Assistant David Rice as provisional bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at St. Paul's Church in Bakersfield, 2216 17th St.
If elected, Rice would be formally seated at 1 p.m. He would succeed Chester L. Talton.
Speakers Forum presents Father Boyle
A presentation on "The Power of Boundless Compassion" is scheduled at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, in the Fresno City College Old Administration Building, 1101 E. University Ave.
Father Gregory Boyle, executive director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the United States, will give the presentation.
A native of Los Angeles, Boyle entered the Society of Jesuits in 1972. He was ordained a priest in 1984. He also is author of the best-selling book, "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion."
The presentation is a Fresno City College Speakers Forum event. Admission is free.
Details: www.fresnocitycollege.edu or (559) 489-2218.
Drama depicts religious pioneers
A dramatic presentation — "An Evening with Rev. and Mrs. Menno Simons" — is scheduled at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at Butler Church, 4884 E. Butler Ave.
Menno Simons was a leader of the Anabaptist movement, part of the 16th century European Reformation. Admission is free.
The event is sponsored the Council of Senior Professionals at Fresno Pacific University as well as the Fresno Pacific Theater Department, the California Mennonite Historical Society, the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies and Butler Church.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304, email@example.com or @ronorozco_bee on Twitter.