A luncheon to honor ‘one who touched the world’

Nearly 500 meet for food and fellowship

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Luncheon photo gallery
* Youth Extravaganza photos and video
‘Don’t let the dream die’
MLK Gala honors ‘Daddy the carpenter’

ELLERBE — Nearly 500 people packed the Family Agape Center beside Sydney Grove Church of Deliverance Monday afternoon in Ellerbe.

The purpose was unity, and Bishop Arlester Simpson, 41 years the pastor at the Ellerbe church, summed it up quite nicely. Simpson seemed humbled that Ellerbe, “a small town with a big heart,” had been chosen to again host the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Luncheon.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com A little thing like being 100 years old didn't stop A.B. Little from dancing when recognized by Master of Ceremonies Bruce Stanback.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
A little thing like being 100 years old didn’t stop A.B. Little from dancing when recognized by Master of Ceremonies Bruce Stanback.

We are here, he said, to honor someone “who touched the world.”

The theme for this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday festivities was “Awakening His Dream,” and if the rousing speeches and live performing arts from Friday and Saturday, and the moving ecumenical service at First United Methodist Church on Sunday, hadn’t gotten to everyone in the crowd — the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. / J.C. Watkins Choir helped fill the gap with “Give Me a Clean Heart” and more. The choir was, for a second straight year, under the direction of Dr. Brooksie Harrington.

From the very young to, well, the opposite end of the spectrum, members of the audience put their hands together in praise of the work completed. That included Hoffman resident Arnor Bea “A.B.” Little, who in 2014 celebrated turning 100. When she was recognized as a founding member of the MLK steering committee, she was so moved she stood and danced a little jig, completing 360-degree turns and waiving to the crowd.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Barbara Stroman, co-chair of the Essay and Poster Committee with Dobbins Heights Town Councilwoman Angeline K. David, was enthusiastic with the response from students in Richmond County Schools and their participation in this year’s events. Students wrote more than 100 essays and another 200-plus posters were designed, said Dr. Cindy Goodman, superintendent.

Stroman said that speaks well of the community — and it also might help push a beginning artist in the right direction.

“You never know,” Stroman said.

The featured speaker was Rockingham attorney Bellanora McCallum. Her speech was followed by a presentation from Curtis Ingram, a key member of the event’s steering committee. The event was closed by remarks from J.C. Watkins, chairperson.

Remaining schedule of events

* Through Jan. 23 — Poster exhibits at Leath Memorial Library in Rockingham

Filed in: Ellerbe/Norman, Featured News, Hamlet, Hoffman, Latest Headlines, News, Religion, Rockingham

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