African American Leadership Conference keeps busy schedule

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Sept. 28, 2008 - The first few weeks of October will be a busy time for Hopkins County African American Leadership Conference. The organization has three events slated next month. Two are on the same day and two are sizable programs designed to honor others.

The first event HCAALC has slated is a voter registration drive Saturday, Oct. 4. The "Let's Get It On: Come and Get Registered to Vote" event will be conducted from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Star's Place, located at 501 Fuller St. Free hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be offered for those participating. Sponsors for the registration drive are Tyrone "T-Ray" Ivery, LaTosha Petty, Melvin Syrie, East Caney Missionary Baptist Church Pastor and HCAALC President M. LaVelle Hendricks, Rodney "Dink" Bradley and Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Deacon Freddie Taylor.

Later that Saturday night, HCAALC will present a program postponed Sept. 13 due to predictions of bad weather. The Professor John E. Crook and Deacon Mark Wayne Johnson Choice of Excellence Awards Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Oct. 6, at Cypress District Center, 400 Como St.

The Choice of Excellence Awards is in honor of Mark Johnson, a dedicated member of Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Air Force veteran and "people person" who "went about doing good, being a witness for the Lord and touching lives. It also honors Prof. John Crook, the first black principal at Douglas Elementary School in the late 1950s, and also a faithful and dedicated member of Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist church, and music director for the Cypress District Association.

Appropriately, Morning chapel MBC Deacon J.D. Franklin will act as master of ceremonies at the Choice of Excellence Awards, and MCMBC Deacon Freddie Taylor will give opening comments.

Others slated to perform or speak during the even include: the Rev. Eric Bonner, soloist; missionary Kandi Thomas, Lord's Way C.O.G.I.C, occasion; Deacon George Crook, selection; Sis. Sissy Delgado, East Caney Missionary Baptist Church, introduction of speaker; Sister Sarah Mack, Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Austin and retired New Orleans, La., principal, as main speaker; and remarks from family members.

Hendricks will present Choice of Excellence Awards to Margaret Sanders, Remona Hynson, Silvesta Alexander, Rowena Johnson, Ophelia Evans, Delane Gatlin, Anita Godbolt, Rita Taylor, Christene Askew, Lucy Phifer, Ann Stribling, Debra Davis, Clarine Moore, Felecia Taylor, Kristi Brewer, Delores Miller, Lestene Sewell, Cathleen Johnson, Willie Harris, Cassie Clayton, Tammy Wright, Robbie Newsom, Amy Goldsmith, Lillian Washington, Gloria Franklin, Bobbie Roland, Mary Porter, Sue Ross, Chereasha Godbolt and Demetra Robinson.

The Choice of Excellence Awards ceremony will also include praise and worship. HCAALC asks those attending to please contribute a donation of at least $10 (checks payable to HCAALC) to ensure the continued success of program such as the Choice of Excellence Awards in the community.

Another program HCAALC also will be hosting another awards program in honor of Cherry Grove Baptist Church's long time pastor Curtis Rose, and to recognize others who also tenderly care for and see to the spiritual well-being of their "flock."

"Pastor Rose stood tall for the Lord and loved watching over the flock that God made him overseer. He loved his flock and cared dearly for their spiritual well-being," Hendricks said.

The 1st Annual Elder Curtis Rose Shepherd's Awards Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Cypress District Center. Minister Joyce Moore of Cherry Grove Baptist Church has agreed to give an address on this special day.

"There is no greater joy that comes to one than being called by God to shepherd the flock. After reaching out to others and seeking God, we, the member of Hopkins County African American Leadership Conference, are honored to have the 1st Annual Elder Curtis Rose Shepherd's Awards Ceremony. After speaking with Sister Rose, the Cherry Grove Baptist Church family leadership, and others, they are delighted that we can have a program as a lasting memory to Elder Rose," Hendricks notes.

Among three dozen men and women designated to be honored with Shepherd's Awards are: Mother Blanche Askew, Sister Veronica Dial, Missionary Jackie Jackson, Sister Mynder Kelly, Sister Daphne Ross, Sister Peggy Dial, Minister Chris Goodson, Sister Lillie Young, Sister Lillie Young, Sister Luvenia Finnie, Sister Claudia Boyd, Deacon Dwayne Berry, Sister Merlie Franklin, Deacon John Harris, Sister Barbara Perry, Sister Debra Berry, Deacon Frank Jimmerson, Deacon Dwight Clayton, Brother Chuck Nash, the Rev. Cordell Jackson, Missionary Sandra Lindley, Sister Esther Allen, Sister Merleene Ross, SIster Jennie Relford, Deacon J.D. Franklin, Sister Mary Neal, Sister Doris DeBase, Deacon Clyde DeBase, Sister Josie Jimmerson, Brother Claude Franklin Sister Michelle Franklin, Sister Yvonne Berry, the Rev. Donnie Thomas, Sister Evette Dial, Sister Anna Dean Johnson, Sister Helen Stephens and Sister Erma Wade.

As if those activities next month aren't enough, HCAALC will also be taking applications through Dec. 20 for the 1st Annual Mr. H.I.M. Pageant. Designed to showcase the talents and gifts of the "Handsome, Intelligent and Mature" males in the community. Those interested in attending are encouraged to get their application and $20 fee turned in as early as possible as only 7 applicants will be taken in each of the six categories on a first come, first served basis. Awards will be given to the winner in each category.

For an application or more information about ages 2-6 contact Janice Henley at 903-438-1751 or LaTonya "Bee" Dugan at 903-348-6163; ages 7-14 Yvonne Thornton at 903-885-6373; ages 15-21 call Kawanda Williams at 903-885-0762 or LaTosha Petty at 903-243-0239; ages 22-35, call Chanta Givens at 903-335-0650 or Tish DeBase at 903-335-2741; ages 36-50, call Sandra Lindley at 903-348-2004 or Tyrone "T-Ray" Ivery at 903-335-4710; and ages 51 and up, call Cathy Williams at 903-335-0562. Another contact number is LaTambra Ivery, 903-482-2018.a

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