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AMEC St Pete
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Sunday 10:30am

Pastor Kenny Irby

Rev. Irby’s Spiritual life is rooted in Christian service. Presently, he pastors the flock at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg Fla., and is passionate about teaching the Good News of Jesus the Christ around the world. He is known throughout the Tampa Bay area for his outreach ministry to men and youth across the state of Florida.

He is in his eleventh year of service as an Episcopal Officer currently leading as The Sons of Allen (SOA) Men’s Ministry Director for the Eleventh Episcopal District.  He’s noted for his involvement in the creation of The Media Ministry Committee, which he chaired for four years, creating a distinct and memorable identity for the electrifying 11th. (There Is a Place for You).

Recently, he launched a new middle school academic enrichment and mentoring program: The Write Field, sponsored by Poynter, in partnership with the The Tampa Bay Rays, The Tampa Bay Times, Pinellas County Schools and the St. Petersburg Police Department and supported by the Sons of Allen and several community partners. The program has been celebrated by the American Graduate Project as one of the Top 10 programs in the nation for reducing the drop-out rate.

In his spare time, Irby enjoys teaching, gardening and basketball (more watching than playing these days). He offers guidance on numerous boards including: World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) North America,The Cr

oss and Anvil Human Services, TheFriends of Happy Workers Day Nursery (10-year member), the Executive Board for the Suncoast Boys & Girls Club, The Pinellas County Schools: 5000 Role Models program (10-year member), Big Brother/Big Sister Program, and co-founder of the Men and Women in the Making, which he and his darling wife created in 1992.

He served the Turner Chapel AMEC family in Palmetto, FL for 5-years, the Irby Family Ministry inspired the Saint James AMEC family in South Clearwater, FL. for 3-years. There he is credited with instilling new hope into the youth church, energizing the Bible study with a commitment to spiritual disciplines, leading the congregation to focus on Justice Ministry via the Faith And Action for Strength Together (FAST) interfaith community group and rebuilding the holy altar. Prior that he rebuilt the historic Mount Olive AMECcongregation and building in rural Rubonia, FL.  Their works included leading the church from “holes to holiness” by building a loving family atmosphere, teaching the Gospel, preaching the Word of the risen Savior and meeting the needs of the community.  Bishop McKinley Young granted this first pastoral assignment in October 2004.

Rev. Irby is Senior Faculty, Director of Community Relations & Diversity Programs at The Poynter Institute--- an international school for journalists based in St. Petersburg, FL. In that role he travels widely amplifying the voice of the visual journalists and he is a frequent motivational and spiritual speaker. He brings to this position 30+ years of experience as a photojournalist, picture editor and visual manager: all of which are useful as Poynter endeavors to build integrity and excellence in the photojournalism field. His work and contributions as a journalist, mentor and educator are have been acknowledged with numerous awards, judging and speaking engagements.

He is a devoted family man, crazy about his wife of 30 years, Karen Juanita, their four daughters: Dr. Kimberly, 42 (adopted niece), Minister Kennetra, 27, Kara, 25, and Kachira, 21.


Quote for today

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil 4:13

Weekly Services

Sunday, 9am Church School

               10:30 Worship Service

Tuesday, 7:00pm Bible Study

Wednesday, 12:00 noon M.W. Bible Study

Thursday, 6:00pm & Youth Church



10:30 Worship Service



7:00pm Bible Study



12:00 noon M.W. Bible Study



6:00pm & Youth Church

Welcome to Bethel AMEC

The illustrious history of the AME Church is one rooted in faith. Originating in 1894, the heartbeat of "Methodist Town" was built in 1922. It is the first and oldest predominantly African American church in the city of St. Petersburg, FL and has taken many steps of faith. The AME Church is a tremendous anchor of hope in the Tampa Bay community.  

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