24 influential African Americans from Hopkins County to be honored this evening at Cypress District Bldg.
From Staff Reports
Feb. 25, 2007 - East Caney Missionary Baptist Church's celebration of Black History Month will go out on a high note this weekend with the events slated.
The J.D. Franklin 24 Influential African American Program honoring 24 African Americans determined to be the most influential in Hopkins County. The program begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in Cypress District Building, 400 Como St.
This year marks the second year the program has been held at the Cypress building.
To be honored this year as the most influential African Americans of Hopkins County are: Deacon Tommy Clayton, Lamar Elementary Principal Rowena Johnson, Sister Stephanie Conley, Brother Lawrence A. Spigner Jr., Missionary Sandra Lindley, Sister Elizabeth Shaw, Sister Tabatha McQueen, Deacon Rickey Godbolt, Missionary Lucy Phifer, Sister Rita Taylor, Sister Betty Thompson, Sister Vanessa Alexander, the Rev. Chris Spivey, Mother Nora Wheeler, Mother Clara Bridges, Sister Sandra Askew, Pastor D.K. Young, the Rev. Rufus Nash, Sister Gloria Franklin, Sister Ramona Hynson, Deacon Clyde Alexander, Deacon John Harris, the Rev. Joyce Moore and Sister Arlene Lewis.
Deacon Rickey Godbolt of Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church will be the keynote speaker at the J.D. Franklin Influential African Americans Program, honoring "those who have given so much to us."
Earlier in the day Saturday, five park benches were dedicated at Pacific Park near the H.W. Grays Building an honor of five African American men "whose lives have contributed to the uplifting of the community.
The late Dr. Marion H. Wheeler, a pastor, teacher and civic activist was among the five honorees. Also paid tribute with a bench were Dameon Lewis, a Sulphur Springs High School graduate and professional football player; J.D. Franklin, the first African American mayor of Sulphur Springs, who is also very active in Columbia Lodge #81; professor John Edward Crook, an educator; and Donald Wayne Washington, U.S. Attorney.
ECMBC's Black History Month celebration will conclude Sunday morning with a special morning worship service hosted by County Judge Cletis Millsap in the second floor courtroon of Hopkins County Courthouse. The service is being held in the courtroom to represent the "real justice which originates from the Throne of God." East Caney Pastor, Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks, will conduct the services.