Legrand to serve as MLK Jr. Parade grand marshal

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Pastor Tommy Richard Legrand Sr. will be the grand marshal for the Martin Luther King Jr. parade and march, set for Jan. 17 in Rockingham. He also will be honored at the MLK Gala at 9 p.m. Jan. 16 at Liberty Place.

Submitted photo Pastor Tommy Legrand Sr. will serve as grand marshal for the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade/March scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 17 in downtown Rockingham.

Submitted photo
Pastor Tommy Legrand Sr. will serve as grand marshal for the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade/March scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 17 in downtown Rockingham.

Legrand was born May 6, 1939 in Marks Creek. He graduated in 1957 from Rockingham Negro High School, now known as Leak Street School. After graduation he moved to Philadelphia, Pa.

Legrand’s first job was as a stock clerk at Bausch and Lomb Optical Company in 1957. He joined the U.S. Army in 1959. While serving in Germany he married Geraldine Allred in 1961. To this union was born 10 children (seven sons and three daughters). They have now been married 53 years and have been blessed with 11 grandchildren.

In 1962 he received an honorable discharge from the Army with the rank of sergeant. Afterwards he went to work for Sealtest Milk Company as a route salesman. In 1965 he was hired as an insurance salesman for National Life Insurance Company. He also worked a second job at night with the Railway Express as a Dockworker.

In December 1968 he moved to Rockingham and began working at Aleo Manufacturing Cotton Mill as a card machine operator. He then went to work for Winn Dixie Food Store in Laurinburg as a stock clerk. After leaving Winn Dixie he was hired as the first Afro-American driver salesman for Pepsi Bottling Company in Rockingham.

In 1971 he was hired as a dockworker for Standard Trucking Company in Aberdeen. Legrand later became a tractor trailer truck driver until 1979. In 1982, he organized and established The Legrand Pallet Company which he is presently owner and operator.

Legrand was called to the gospel ministry on June 15, 1964 at Prayer & Faith Temple Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia. He was ordained to be an elder by Bishop D.A. Burton in August 1968. In February 1969, he started the Temple of Prayer COGIC in the Philadelphia Community of Rockingham. In the summer of 1969 Elder Legrand began street preaching in different areas of Richmond County. In 1970 he started the TR Legrand Evangelistic Tent Ministries conducting tent revivals in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

On Oct. 24, 1969, the Prayer and Faith Temple COGIC was officially established. Legrand was also the assistant pastor at Wells Memorial COGIC in Greensboro from 1984 through 1989. In 1994 a new edifice was built and dedicated and is the current site of the Prayer & Faith Temple church. Legrand has opened missions in Bennettsville, S.C., Lilesville, Winston-Salem, Oxford, Lexington, Fuquay-Varina and his most recent mission in Garner, where he is the pastor of Gethsemane Fellowship COGIC.

Other ministries have been added since the opening of the great sanctuary. Faith Academy Child Development Center was opened in October 2000. It is now Hamlet Headstart. In 2002 he established a tutorial program. In March 2003, the Prayer & Faith Temple Community Food Pantry was opened and has been a great help to families all over Richmond County. In the summer of 2003 the SouthView Community Learning Center opened with nonprofit status.

On Dec. 17, 2010, Legrand was appointed the position of superintendent of the Laurinburg District by Bishop Leroy Jackson Woolard, Jurisdictional Prelate of the Greater North Carolina Jurisdiction. He is a prayer leader for the National Church of God in Christ worldwide and the Greater NC Jurisdiction. He is a world renowned evangelist.

Many lives have been changed and blessed through Prayer Power Ministry where Legrand is heard every Sunday Morning on WKDX-1250 AM Power and Glory Radio Station from 8:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. Blessed oil and prayer clothes are distributed as requested to people throughout our listening audience.

The broadcast is also streamed live on www.wkdx.net to reach those throughout the world. He can also be heard on WPJL-1240 AM Raleigh on Saturdays at 5 p.m.

Legrand helped organize the South Hamlet Progressive Community Group. He is a member of the Richmond County Parenting Coalition. He also is a founding member of the Christian Clothes Closet and a founding member of the Richmond County Human Resource Commission. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP. Legrand also served with Allen and Gloria Maske in the efforts to demolish the Imperial Foods Plant building and worked with the city of Hamlet to construct a memorial park for the victims of the 1991 Imperial Food Plant fire.

Realizing the need to further his education and ministry, Legrand entered Hood Theological Seminary. In 2000 he attended Richmond Community College to study Early Childhood I. He also attended Shaw Divinity School in the Spring of 2004 and on May 7, 2011, Legrand accomplished one of the greatest tasks that he could every do, he graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, with a Master of Divinity Degree at age 72.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Religion, Rockingham

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