Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor an
outstanding Man of God, a devoted spiritual leader, and dear friend of
longstanding, Rev. Dr. Emmett S. Aniton, Jr., who will be celebrating
his 40th anniversary as the distinguished pastor of Friendship Baptist
Church in Columbus, Georgia on Friday, May 24, 2019, at 6:30pm.
Emmett Scott Aniton, Jr. was born on March 8, 1940, in Oneonta,
Alabama to the union of Mr. Emmett Scott Aniton, Sr. and Mrs. Estella
Aniton Woods. He attended Southside High School in Etowah County,
Alabama, where he graduated in 1959, before earning his Bachelor of
Theology degree from Selma University in 1964. He entered the United
States Army and completed a tour of duty in Qui Nho'n, Vietnam, and
returned home to Alabama where he matriculated at Alabama A&M
University, earning Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1971.
After responding to God's call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
Rev. Aniton pastored the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Alabama
from 1966 to March of 1979. For more than 12 years, Rev. Aniton was the
shepherd at First Baptist where he ministered to the needs of his flock 
christening babies, baptizing believers, performing marriages, and
consoling bereaved families, while developing and honing his skills as
a church administrator and inspiring preacher.
Then in November of 1978, the congregation of Friendship Baptist
Church called and the Holy Spirit sent Rev. Aniton to Columbus,
Georgia. His pastoral duties began in April of 1979 and he has
faithfully and effectively served for over 40 years. Under Reverend
Aniton's dynamic and spirit-filled leadership, the Friendship Baptist
Church has experienced tremendous growth--spiritually, numerically, and
in its physical facilities. But most importantly, under his leadership,
Friendship has been a beacon of hope and salvation for the congregation through its
many ministries which share the good news of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Yet, Madam Speaker, the outstanding servant leadership demonstrated
by Rev. Aniton did not stop at Friendship Baptist Church. His impact
has been felt in the larger community and beyond. He has served on the
boards of the Pastoral Institute, the Liberty Theatre, the Metro
Columbus Urban League, and the Fourth Street Towers. He has been
President of the Mount Calvary Congress of Christian Education and the
Muscogee County Clergy Association; instructor for the General
Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia Congress of Christian
Education and the American Baptist Theological Seminary (off-campus).
He received the NAACP Religious Affairs Award, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Lifetime Achievement Award, the PUHL (Peace, Unity, Honesty, and
Leadership) Award; and in May of 2011, received an Honorary Doctorate
of Divinity Degree from St. Thomas Christian College in Jacksonville,
Reverend Aniton has achieved much in his life, but none of it would
have been possible without the Grace of God and the love and the
support of his late wife, Mrs. Dorothy Rigby Aniton; his children,
Minister Rhonda Aniton Bell, Emmett Scott Aniton Ill, and Keisha Aniton
Simmons; his grandchildren and other family members. He is an
outstanding mentor, a strong leader, and a faithful servant of God.
On a personal note, I have been blessed by Rev. Aniton's sage counsel
and enduring friendship over the four decades I have known him and I am
proud to call him my friend.
Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join my wife, Vivian, and me,
along with the 730,000 residents of Georgia's Second Congressional
District, in congratulating Rev. Dr. Emmett S. Aniton, Jr. for 40
outstanding years of leadership at Friendship Baptist Church, for over
50 remarkable years of ministry, and for a lifetime of selfless service
to God, the church, and to humankind. To God be the glory for the
things He has done through His humble servant, Rev. Dr. Emmett S.
Aniton, Jr.
116th Congress