President_Jonathan_Mason_web_smallThree months following the passing of his beloved father Reverend Lee Mason Jr., Rev. Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. has been appointed senior pastor of the historic Northeast Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA.

Assuming the pastoralship of the community cornerstone this past Sunday, with an official installation ceremony planned for the spring, Mason brings a powerful new voice and decades of organizational and leadership experience into the esteemed position. The International President of the historically Black fraternity Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. says he is proud to accept the torch from his father and excited to continue executing his vision for Northeast Baptist.

“The church moved very slowly to fill the position of senior pastor,” explains Mason. “My father has left a large shadow being a great pastor for 41 years. I’m overwhelmed by the trust that Northeast has placed in me and I’m even more excited by the challenges ahead. ‘If God is for us, who can be against us’,” he cites, quoting Romans8:31.

Through his work as one of the nation’s leading African American sales executives in radio, Mason brings more than 20 years of corporate skills to the position and is currently Director of Sales for New York City’s WABC and WNBM radio stations. Such a diverse background is important, as the elder Mason left big shoes to fill: a celebrated civil rights leader who marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. during his more than 40 years presiding over Northeast Baptist, he inspired generations of prominent pastors to include Pennsylvania State Representative and radio personality Rev. Louise Williams Bishop, the Rev. Sarah Hyman, the late Rev. F.L. Donaldson and late Rev. Michael Edwards.

Mason steps into the pulpit at Northeast Baptist at an exciting and pivotal time. “My dad was the ‘People’s Pastor’,” Mason says of the senior theologian. “He truly cared for his congregation. As a church we will continue to be a family that cares about the socioeconomic conditions of the people in our church and in the community,” he vowed.

Mason’s efforts coincide with transformative work he’s doing within the greater African American community. Last year Phi Beta Sigma partnered with the White House on its landmark initiative My Brother’s Keeper. Through I Am My Brother’s Keeper, the fraternity’s official response to President Obama’s call-to-action, Phi Beta Sigma—with support from the March of Dimes and other national charities — has pledged to help transform the lives of thousands of Black men and boys and their families for generations to come through the execution of a comprehensive 10-point plan. The unprecedented plan includes providing $1 million dollars in scholarships to Black men; training and educating 5,000 Black men to be better fathers; and targeting congressional leaders in at least 10 states to support legislation around gun control and addressing police brutality.

It also coincides with the work he’s doing on his own time. Since 2013, the husband and father of two young sons has invested in Camp New Joy, a spiritually guided retreat in rural Virginia designed to help improve the lives of thousands of Black and Brown boys. As founder and chairman of the board Mason has been hard at work raising funds to continue building on the more than 20-acre property. Destined to become the nation’s first 100-percent free camp for at-risk boys and teens ages 10 to 17, his goal is to partner with churches, schools, fellow fraternities, sororities and other community services organizations to identify youth and pull them out of the inner city and into the countryside. There they will have the opportunity to work with trained teachers and mentors in workshops aimed at building self-esteem, personal confidence and interpersonal skills.

101st International Founders Day & International Month of Giving

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Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. held a Prayer Vigil at a historic church in St. Louis, organized a Youth Summit and hosted a Luncheon for young St. Louis residents at a renowned boys’ and girls’ center, and adopted a local business, burned during the unrest, to help rebuild Ferguson while its members across the country participated in the National Day of protest in Washington, DC and several other cities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 17, 2014)–Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (PBS), one of the nine African American Greek-Lettered organizations, is leading the charge from Protest To Action in the recent wave of injustice following the deaths of young African American in the United States of America. The 100 year old organization is proud of the courage and commitment of its leadership, who refuse to be caught in the nuances and analysis of what is the most appropriate manner in which service organizations are supposed to protest injustices in the communities they served.

On the national day of Protest, PBS and its graduate chapter, Kappa Sigma, held a Prayer Vigil at the historic Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in St. Louis, organized a Youth Summit and hosted a Luncheon for young St. Louis, Missouri residents at the renowned Herbert Hoover Boys’ and Girls’ Club Center, and adopted a local business of 28 years, Juanita’s Fashion R Boutique, burned during the unrest, to help rebuild and restore the area. The Fraternity was proud to see PBS members from across the country participate in the National Day of protest in Washington DC and several other cities.

“We didn’t want to just protest. We didn’t want to just lie down on the streets. We wanted to get up and take actions,” said Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He enthusiastically added, “This is not about having a fit, it’s about starting a movement. This is a movement Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is proud to be involved in at this time in our history.” Mason further added, “As this community heals, it is going to take all of its citizens’ commitment and support in the rebuilding efforts, we are committed to be proactive partners for action in this community.”

Residents of St. Louis packed Pleasant Grove Baptist Church to pray, read scripture and hear an outstanding Praise Team sing inspiring Gospel songs. Speakers at the event included Bishop Courtney Allan Jones of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church; Mary Breaux Wright, International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Jerryl T. Christmas, the attorney for Vonderrit Myers, a young man recently killed by a St. Louis police officer; and Jonathan A. Mason. Members of PBS then travelled to the Herbert Hoover Boys’ and Girls’ Club where a Youth Summit and Luncheon were held.

After the luncheon, which was staffed by members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (ZPB) graduate chapters Phi Nu Zeta, the center’s gymnasium was filled with members of the local PBS collegiate chapter, Gamma Eta, the other local ZPB graduate chapter, Xi Zeta, St. Louis young residents, members from other African Americans Greek-Lettered organizations, parents of the young attendees and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity members from across the country. The Youth Summit featured several presentations, including Mustafa Abdullah of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who educated the audience how to interact with police officers when they are engaged on cities’ streets. Other speakers also included Jerryl Christmas, Esq., Honorable Jimmie M. Edwards, former police officer Steven L. Harmon, Esq., police officer and PBS member Brandon Henry and Ashley M. Jordan, a police officer.

Carter D. Womack, Past International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. issued the “Call To Action” and “What’s The Bottom Line” charges. He encouraged the audience to move from attentive listeners to active participants in educational role-playing exercises. ‘Who’s Who In Black St. Louis’ books were given to each member of the audience.

Passing through the areas where the Ferguson, Missouri unrest took place, while travelling to the community of Dellwood to hold a Prayer Vigil at the burned location of Juanita’s Fashions R Boutique, was eye-opening for the fraternity’s visiting members. After viewing a few of the burned businesses, PBS members and the community members held hands and prayed in front of Juanita Morris’ business of 28 years. PBS leadership committed the organization to assisting Ms. Morris in the rebuilding of the business at the same location. At the end of a day of PBS ‘Action Now’, the organization can be proud of the courage and committed demonstrated by its leadership.

As the fraternity marks its centennial anniversary, PBS has committed to its partnership with the White House initiative, My Brother’s Keeper. PBS launched its initiative called, “I Am My Brother’s Keeper.” This initiative is slated to mentor young men, provide educational assistance to schools across the country and host job fairs during its national conferences. The Fraternity is committed to uplifting and strengthening the next generation of young men of color.

Since its founding in 1914, the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. has promoted a noble culture of service to the community. Members of PBS have committed to promoting leadership and embodying the values that will create a new era of successful young people is, above all, in the spirit of fraternity.

President Mason on Imus in the Morning – On the Situation in Ferguson

President Mason on Imus in the Morning – On the Situation in Ferguson

Click HERE to listen to President Mason on Imus in the Morning on WABC Radio speak about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and what Phi Beta Sigma plans to do in the community.