The flowers are peeking out from everywhere

  • Friday, April 4, 2014

Curtis Gamble, Abie Ladson, and Jerome Palmer, and the old refurbished Choppee High School marker.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God one Lord.”

Deuteronomy 6:4

Hopefully you have had a wonderful week. I know the pollen has been falling, and let us pray for the allergy sufferers. We hit an almost record high temperature on Tuesday, just lacking one degree. It was really hot, but I wasn’t complaining. The flowers are peeking out from everywhere, the birds are singing, the grass is green and lawns are ready for mowing. I believe it’s finally spring.

Greater St. Stephen AME Church cordially invites you their Usher’s “Strut” on Sunday, April 6 beginning at 4 p.m. Rev. Eddie Gamble, Jr., pastor of Mt. Olive and Ebenezer Baptist churches will be the guest speaker. They want you to come and join them and have a glorious time in the name of the Lord. Brother Richard McCullough is the president, and Rev. Carl L. Anderson is the pastor.

Retired presiding elder, Lee M. Seward was the guest speaker for the missionary services at Mt. Zion AME Church in the Bloomingvale community on Sunday, March 30. Mt. Zion is also the home church of Elder Seward. His message was a timely one and asked the question: “What are you waiting for?” Others on program were Licentiates Jackie Darby and Benjamin Sanders,along with Sister Ada Seward Sheffield, missionary president, Angiel Grayson and yours truly, presiding. Rev. Herman Ford, Jr. is the pastor.

We are thankful to Mrs. Silverteen Mitchum and the Williamsburg County School Foundation for the invitation to attend their third annual Hall of Fame Scholarship Gala. The gala was held on Friday, March 28 at 7 p.m., at the Kingstree Senior High gymnasium with the theme: “Making the future bright for our students.” The hosts for the program were Ann McGill, morning news anchor for WCSC TV 5, and her husband, businessman, Gregory McGill. Music was by Kingstree Senior High School Jazz Ensemble with Mr. Fred Fulton,director, and special musical guests was The Claflin University Concert Choir, with Dr. Isaiah McGee, director. The honorees to be inducted were Dr. Samuel M. Davis, graduate of C.E. Murray High School, and now assistant professor of orthopaedics and spine surgery, Emory University Medical Center, Atlanta Georgia; coach John McKissick, graduate of Kingstree Senior High, and now athletic director and head football coach of Summerville High School in Summerville; Mr. Edwin Pasley (posthumously) humanitarian, community leader, and volunteer of Greelyville; Dr. Veronica Scott-Fulton, DNP, MPH,BSN,BA,NEA-BC, graduate of Kingstree High School, now VP of operations and patient care services, Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville, FL, and U.S. Marshal Kelvin Washington, graduate of Hemingway High School, and now United States marshal for district of South Carolina. Ann McGill and her husband, Gregory were also graduates of Battery Park High School. Dr. Yvonne Jefferson- Barnes is superintendent of Williamsburg County School district. Monies received from the event will support the Williamsburg County Public School Foundation Scholarship Fund.

You are invited to a special musical presentation on Saturday, April 19 at Mt. Zion AME Church in the Bloomingvale community, directed by yours truly. The program will feature choirs of the church along with soloists and guests. Music will be played by the ministers of music brothers Thomas Alford, Larry Brown and Willie Singleton. There will also be a special praise dance tribute. Please come worship with us. The program will begin at 6 p.m.

Dr. Evelyn Murray Drayton will be the guest speaker at Mount Carmel MB Church on Saturday morning, April 19, at 9 a.m. Sponsored by the breakfast committee. Rev. James Carraway is the pastor.

Curtis Gamble, Jerome Palmer, and Abie Ladson, all have one thing in common; they are graduates of the old Choppee High School. As a matter of fact, Abie was a member of the first graduating class in 1959, not only that; Abie was also president of his senior class. Along came Jerome and Curtis in 1960. The school marker was initially built for the class of 1958-59. It was a proud symbol then, and still is today. The marker was built by the masonry class under the direction of Mr. Wendell Kelly. After Curtis graduated, he attended college, then was gone for many years, but,he kept the love for his high school in his heart.

The original Choppee High had merged with Pleasant Hill High to become Carver’s Bay High School,and the building was now renamed Choppee Complex, but the school marker was still in place. Curtis visited it and decided that it could use a face lift. He spoke with Abie and they checked with Ms Beth Goodall of the County who told them that the place where the marker sat would eventually become a parking lot, and if they wanted to save it, it would have to be moved. That was a couple of years ago, and in 2013 they were told they could put it in back near the concession stand. Donations came from the classes of 1959 and 1960, and from anyone that attended Choppee during its over 43 years of existence. They were financially supported by alumni of Choppee. Curtis and Jerome did the wonderful work. They poured the slab in 2013. The marker and its shelter was done this year. The work will be totally completed with the arrival of two benches that are to be delivered.

As I joined the men at the site, I could feel the pride they had and have for their Alma Mater. They did want everyone to know that this is a part of a larger planning committee, and the idea grew out of the class of 1959 and 1960 planning reunion committee.The project as far as construction, was spearheaded by Curtis. The total planning time was approximately three years. I asked them what the completion of this meant to them. First of all, they wanted me not to focus so much on them, but to all who were involved. Jerome said he knew something needed to be done, and was glad that he was a part of the work. Abie said that this is historical, and that the marker will always be there as a permanent sign and tribute. Curtis was pleased with the work and wanted to thank everyone there and not there.

What a wonderful way to remember days gone by, lives that were touched, and a final work completed by hearts and hands of love.

Please remember to pray for the sick and shut in, the bereaved, those in nursing homes and hospitals, our men and women on the battlefield, victims of natural disasters, the elderly and those who live alone, the homeless and the hungry, and for each other. May God bless you, and give you peace until we meet again.


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