First Posted: 2/23/2009
LUMBERTON Mollie G. Robinson, a retired educator, led the list of those honored Sunday at the eight annual Black History Celebration held at Sandy Grove Baptist Church.
Robinson received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her years of service to area children, while 10 others were recognized for contribution in such areas as business, medicine, law enforcement, agriculture and education.
These are all role models who contribute to our community and uplift our children, said Abe Marshall, the celebrations master of ceremony. They come from all parts of the county, not just our church.
About 220 people from throughout the county attended the celebration. The theme this year was Believe, Achieve, Succeed.
Since 1926, Marshall told the audience, the second week of February has been set aside to celebrate black history. In 1970, the whole month of February became officially recognized throughout the country as Black History Month.
Sundays celebration included selections by the Sandy Grove Gospel Choir, a dramatic reading by Sathilda Allen, vocal selections by Jean McCall and a dance presentation by Kewanda Merritt. Also the Pinnacle of Praise Dance Team, a group consisting of young dancers, and the gospel singing group Cho-Zen by Faith performed.
An offering was collected in support of the educational scholarships Sandy Grove Baptist Church awards young people each year.
We try to help the dreams of our children become reality, said Paulette Baldwin. With Barack Obama now president, we can truly tell our children that they can be anything that they want to be.
The Rev. T. Shedrick Byrd said that each years celebration gets bigger and better.
Each year goes a little higher in bringing together a tapestry of new talents, he said.
Comparing the celebrations award winners to the leaders in a flock of geese, Byrd called on those in the audience to follow the lead of those who are serving as the role models in their community.
If we are going to rise as a people, we need to get behind these recipients, he said. We need to get behind them and honk until we get to where we are going.
Lifetime achievement winner Robinson was an educator for 34 years. After her retirement she continued to work as a substitute teacher in the Robeson County school system.
According to what I have heard from those at Lumberton High School, she had a better attendance record as a substitute teacher than those teachers who were teaching (on a regular basis), Byrd said.
Other award recipients include:
Mitchell Colvin Jr., Image Award for business. He is the president/CEO-H.M. of Colvin Funeral Home Inc. of Fayetteville and Lumberton.
Rhaven Cooper, Student of Excellence Award. A student at Lumberton High School, she is a member of the North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program, the high school marching band, symphonic band and wind ensemble, and a certified Communities in School mentor. She has been accepted at the University of North Carolina.
Kimberly Jonita Jones, Image Award for law. She is a Lumberton attorney and the first female black attorney to open a private practice in Lumberton.
Phyllis King, Image Award for education. She is a business and information technology teacher at Lumberton Junior High School.
Kelly P. Lampkin, Image Award for public service. He is executive director of Robeson County Group Homes Inc.
Michael McNeill, Image Award for law enforcement. He is the police chief in Lumberton.
Dr. Robin Peace, Image Award for medicine. She serves as chief medical officer of Robeson Healthcare Corporation.
Tiffany Peguise-Powers, Image Award for community service. She is an attorney in Lumberton.
Herbert and Elease Robertson, Image Award for agriculture. Herbert taught agriculture in the Robeson County schools for years, and among his accomplishments was establishing the farmers market in Robeson County. He and his wife of 59 years continue to grow vegetables and sell them at the farmers market.