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Annual MLK Awards Ceremony planned
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Jan. 2, 2007 - East Caney Missionary Baptist Church will once again honor those people in the Hopkins County community who exemplify Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.

The "16th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Ceremony: Celebration of the Dream" will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, which would have been Dr. King’s 77th birthday.

This year marks the 16th year the church has hosted the awards celebration named after the civil rights leader. Two years ago, the event was moved to Hopkins County Regional Civic Center due to the large number of people in attendance.

Those selected are representative of Dr. King’s dream, according to East Caney Pastor M. LaVelle Hendricks.

Carolyn Malone Thomas, a former award recipient, will be the featured speaker. Thomas, a Sulphur Springs Independent School District trustee, has served as a legislative assistant for a U.S. Senator and was also operations manager for the National Rainbow Coalition.

�These purposes have defined her life�s purpose of Christian ministry throughout cities in the U.S.A. and Europe,� Hendricks noted.

Awards will be handed out in 32 categories. This year’s recipients are to include Lillian Fralin, spiritual award; Bill and Vali Brannon, political award; Ashanti Alexander, education; Patricia Vaughn, LVN, medical; Jacqueline Jackson, spirit of service; Allen Hollins Jr., spirit of fellowship; Janice Henley choice of excellence; Margie McQueen, faithfulness; Ann Wright, business; Opal Young, encouragement; Monica Hasley, King’s Kids; Jamieson Hawkins, law enforcement; Frank Jimmerson, spirit of commitment; and Destiny Wade, youth of the year.

�Religious leaders receiving awards include Pastor Gary Choice, social change; Pastor D.L. Ellison, Legacy of the King; Pastor Jeff Jenkins, Pastor of the Year; Good News Christian Center Music Ministry, music; Mitchell Chapel COGIC, church of the year; Rev. Cordel Jackson, spirit of dedication; the Rev. Elgie and Cassie Clayton family, family of the year; and Yvonne Berry, evangelism.

Morning Star Specialty Foods has been named Employer of the Year, and Michelle Gasaway and Rekayla Pryor Employees of the Year. Bobby McDonald was named to receive the enterprise award. Hopkins County Memorial Hospital has been designated to receive the humanitarian award.

Slated to take home the big awards of the year, named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., are KSST personality Enola Gay Matthews and Sulphur Springs News-Telegram photographer Angela Pitts, MLK Media; Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap, MLK Man of the Year; Cassie Edwards, MLK Woman of the Year; Dixie Ponytails Girls Softball Team champions and Level 5 Gymnastics Team, MLK People of the Year; Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell, MLK City Award; and Precinct 1 Commissioner Beth Wisenbaker, MLK County Award.

For more information about the 16th Annual MLK Awards Ceremony, call 903-348-6164.

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