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Friday, August 31, 2007

The Ebony Club Is Coming Back! All African-American Students Welcome To Join!



One of the most influential clubs in Kingsport's African-American educational community is making a comeback.

After a short absence, the Ebony Club, an organization that shaped the lives of many African-American students at Dobyns-Bennett High School, is coming back, in an effort to remind our young people of their historic past, as well as give them positive guidance for the future. All African-American students at D-B are urged to join this worthwhile organization, and parents are urged to get their children involved in a positive influence as they get ready to meet the REAL WORLD!

The positive influence of the Ebony Club has been evident in former members like Ms. Jocelyn Mills Lyons, the first African-American Principal of a Kingsport City School (John Sevier); Teddy Gaines, the D-B, University of Tennessee and San Francisco 49ers Football Player, now a teacher at John Sevier and assistant coach at Dobyns-Bennett; and well-known author Jeffery Faulkerson, whose soul-searching book "Raising My V.O.I.C.E. (Verbalizing Orderly Impressions through Creative Endeavors)" is coming to a bookstore near you. Watch for stories on these former Ebony Club members in the coming days on the Douglass website!

"Our Ebony Club met once a week," Mr. Faulkerson, a past president of the Dobyns-Bennett Ebony Club says, "to talk about what it means to be black in Kingsport. Through our advisors, teacher Dawnella Ellis and her mom Virgealis, a D-B Guidance Counselor, we learned to have pride in ourselves and to set positive goals in our lives. The positive seeds that were sown in our lives made us respectful of where we came from, and focused on the future, which wasn't as fearful as we first thought."

Since its earliest beginnings back in 1974 and its first Fashion and Talent Show, the Ebony Club, under the direction of its first D-B sponsor, Ms. Elizabeth Dudney, has made outstanding contributions to the community, with yearly themes like "BLUEPRINT FOR SURVIVAL" in 1982.. "BLACKS IN THEIR STRUGGLE FOR EXCELLENCE AND EDUCATION" in 1984.. "AFRO-AMERICAN FAMILY: HISTORIC STRENGTH FOR A NEW CENTURY" in 1985, "THE AFRO-AMERICAN AND THE CONSTITUTION" in 1989, "EMPOWERING AFRICAN-AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS: PAST & PRESENT" IN 1994.

"Right now, a lot of African-American students at Dobyns-Bennett may not really understand their heritage in Kingsport that includes Douglass," Mr. Faulkerson says. "There's a big disconnect between Douglass High School and Dobyns-Bennett High School.. Douglass is a part of their history that they need to understand and then pass it on."

Students that are interested in joining the Ebony Club, should contact Asssistant Principal Eric Lyons at Dobyns-Bennett; Coach Teddy Gaines or Principal Jocelyn Lyons at John Sevier Middle School, or Dawnella Ellis at home on East Sevier. All are former members of the Ebony Club.

SPECIAL NOTE: When the Ebony Club starts back up, you'll find its activities and achievements posted on the Douglass Alumni Association website. There's also an effort to have Ebony Club Alumni Reunions, similar to the Douglass Alumni Reunions. The young people of the Ebony Club are the NEW "Sons and Daughters Of Douglass," that are sent out into the world with positive attitudes and goals to achieve.. to hopefully someday return home to Riverview and South Central Kingsport as scholars and influential citizens, able to pass on the Douglass Family Spirit that they, and we all, were raised with.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A New Hope: Kingsport’s Riverview Community Gets Fresh Start

The Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for its new HOPE VI and Fresh Start office on Lincoln Street

Nora M. Taylor Alexander, the original owner of the building in the 1950s, looks over the new Fresh Start hallway.


Fresh Start helps public housing residents build skills, find employment and gain independence.


KINGSPORT — A notable landmark in the Riverview community and recent trouble spot for the Kingsport Police Department has been transformed into a new facility that aims to help local residents achieve home ownership.

The Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon for its new HOPE VI and Fresh Start office, located at 1140 Lincoln St. Fresh Start is the community supportive services (CSS) arm of the KHRA and helps public housing residents build skills, find employment and gain independence, said Maria Catron, CSS coordinator for the KHRA.

“The purpose is to provide our residents access to intensive case management on an individual, household basis, to look at what challenges and barriers they may have, and to help them move toward self-sufficiency,” Catron said. “We try and see what services are available to meet the needs that residents have.”

Catron said Fresh Start works with over 40 service providers in the Kingsport area to help public housing residents with challenges involving transportation, education, employment and child care. Providers signed on include the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency, First Community Bank, the city of Kingsport, Northeast State Technical Community College, the Kingsport Child Development Center and the Kingsport Area Transit Service.

“We do an overall assessment with each family, and then we look to see how we can facilitate those services that are available with service providers who have agreed to work with the HOPE VI project,” Catron said.

The building housing the Fresh Start office has had a more than 50-year history in the Riverview community. The building began as a Dairy Mart in the mid-1950s, then changed to Harvey’s and later to Club 229. The Kingsport Economic Development Board purchased the building in 2006 for $200,000 after a shooting.

Over a three-year period, the club had been a trouble spot for Kingsport police, including two reports of shots fired, five shootings, one rape, seven assaults, seven disturbances and three reports of disorderly conduct.

Mary Beatty, president of the Riverview tenants organization, is pleased with the change in the building.
“It’s a lot better than what it used to be because you didn’t know whether to sit on your porch or go in the house because bullets don’t have eyes,” Beatty said. “That was the way it was before HOPE VI got it.”

Last October, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the KHRA an $11.9 million HOPE VI Revitalization grant. In addition to funding the creation of the Fresh Start office, the money will be used to build new mixed-income housing units in the following manner:

• Replacing the 92 public housing units at Riverview Apartments with 32 homes (24 singlefamily houses and eight duplex units). Relocation efforts are expected to be complete by year’s end, with demolition beginning early next year.
• Building 24 affordable home ownership units in the Sherwood/ Hiwassee area. Demolition and construction are scheduled to begin this fall.

Catron said more than 100 families from the Riverview and Sherwood/Hiwassee area are enrolled in the HOPE VI program. All of the residents from Sherwood and Hiwassee have been relocated, and demolition should begin soon. Around 30 families in the Riverview community are slated to be relocated by Christmas, with demolition work beginning next year, Catron said.
The relocated residents have gone to other private rental units, other public housing units or to Section 8 housing, Catron said.

After demolition takes place in Riverview, a new development on Lincoln Street would take place to house satellite offices for the Boys and Girls Club, the KPD substation, the Weed and Seed office, and Carver Library — all of which are currently in the Riverview Apartments complex.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bethel "Celebrating the Work of Love"

The Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, Reverend Dr. M Arkite' Pierce, Pastor, has several events coming up, that loyal Followers of Christ are invited to.

Beginning Wednesday, August 29th, come hear the Reverend Lester Lattany preach the Word Of God to the faithful, and also on Thursday the 30th, and Friday the 31st.

Saturday, September 1st promises to be a busy day. There's a "Saturday Fest" with food and fun from 10 AM to 3 PM. Then, Saturday night, come join the faithful for a live concert featuring "We 5," "Men at Work," "Genesis Second Generation," "Steppers," "Praise Dancers" and others. The singing starts at 6 PM.

Then, the Bethel Homecoming '07 commences on Sunday morning at 11 AM, with the Reverend Kingsley Blay preaching the Gospel. Dinner will follow the service.

It's Revival Time In Tennessee!


Revival Time is coming to Kingsport!

The Reverend Harold K. Lester, who pastors the Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church in Chattanooga, will be the gueat speaker, during the upcoming revival sponsored by the Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance.

The event will be September 9th through the 12th at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Kingsport. Each night's events begin at 7 PM at the church.

Reverend Lester has preached all over the country, including several pastorships in Ohio, and whose Chattanooga church is about to embark on a huge expansion, says his sermons don't involve a lot of flash.. it's just good ole-fashioned Bible Gospel preaching like you grew up with.

Combined choirs from local churches will provide the spiritual music nightly. Anyone interested in lending their voices to the Lord, are asked to come to practice August 30th and September 3rd at Shiloh.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Douglass Alumni Associations Officers


Introducing.. your new 2007-2009 Douglass Alumni Association Board Officers!

As is standard procedure after every Douglass Reunion, the Alumni Committee meets during a regularly-called gathering to install new officers for the new term.

Douglass Releford returns to the post he held a few years ago as President of the Douglass Alumni Association. Andra (Puddin) Waterson is the Vice President of the Association.

Other officers are Sandy Wilmer, Treasurer, and our Recording Secretary is Thelma Watterson. Corresponding Secretary is Vicky Woods Smith, and Ethel Ruth Russell returns as our Chaplain. Although not an officer (and always behind the scenes), Calvin Sneed will continue to host and operate the Douglass Association's website to distribute news and information for the alumni, the citizens, neighbors and the descendants of Riverview and South Central Kingsport.

At the meeting, the outgoing officers received a standing ovation from the committee, for a job well done the past two years. In her final financial report, outgoing Treasurer Virginia Hankins told the group that after all deposits were made into the Association account, and all expenses were paid, the Douglass Alumni Association ended the term $2,210.44 in the black, which was acknowledged with applause from the group.

During old business discussed at the meeting, the subject of our future new offices was updated. The Douglass Alumni Association will still have its new base within the halls of our Douglass High School in the near future when that building is renovated as part of the HOPE VI program. We will also have new computers, a copier, furniture and a conference room to conduct business from. Also discussed was the proposal to get federal non-profit status for the Association; President Releford is pursuing that at an accelerated pace. The non-profit status would be a designation of the Douglass Alumni Association under the 501-3C Section of the IRS Code, which allows tax-free donations from individuals and Kingsport businesses. We welcome this designation so that our friends and neighbors in the Kingsport Community can help our neighborhood programs grow.

As a group, the committee also wants to encourage participation by Alumni and also residents of Riverview and South Central Kingsport in the activities of the Association. We and our descendants are all "The Sons And Daughters Of Douglass" and the family values we were all taught, serve as a model for future generations.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sisterly Love Upcoming Event

You are cordially invited to the Sisterly Love Luncheon and Legends In White Ball, that's coming up at the Meadowview Conference and Convention Center on Saturday, September 15, 2007.
On that Saturday at 11 AM, the Ladies Luncheon will be held, featuring Laynette Alley.
The Legends In White Ball will be at 7 PM that night, with hor d'oeuvres served, and music from DJ Express.
Please show support for this worthwhile endeavour in our community!
For more information, please call 423-378-5028 or 423-378-4575.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Funeral Services For Hoover Sensabaugh

KINGSPORT — Herbert (Hoover) Sensabaugh, 76, 909 Dale St., Kingsport, went to be with the Lord early Tuesday morning (Aug. 14, 2007) at Holston Valley Medical Center.
He was born in Dante, Va. and was a member of Long A.M.E. Zion Church. He later moved to Kingsport, where he retired from Eastman Kodak Company. Hoover played sports while in school and he continued to enjoy sporting events the rest of his life. He loved spending time with his family and friends and his grandchildren were his pride and joy.
Mr. Sensabaugh was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel Sensabaugh and Cora Sensabaugh Jackson; two brothers; one sister; and one grandson, Jamaar Sensabaugh (2000).
He leaves to cherish his memories, his wife of 55 years, Mrs. Jeanetta
Sensabaugh and daughters, Ms. Carolyn Bond, Mrs. Kathy ( Wi l f o r d )
Gaines and Ms. Jacqueline Sensabaugh; two sons, Mr. Kim (Becky) Sensabaugh and Travis Sensabaugh, Kingsport; brother, Mr. Cleathur (Boots) Sensabaugh, Kingsport; sisters, Mrs. Lillie Ruth (James) Mabry, Dante, Va., Mrs. Helen (Willie) Bland, Mrs. Dorothy (Marvin) Sherfield, Akron, Ohio, Mrs. Martha (Clarence) Redford, Roanoke, Va., and Mrs. Margaret (Robert) Johnson, Kingsport; five grandsons; one granddaughter; two great-granddaughters; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family will receive friends from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at Central Baptist Church, 301 Carver St.
Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at the church with the Rev. Roy Mabry officiating.
Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Mr. Herbert (Hoover) Sensabaugh and family are in the care of R.A. Clark Funeral Service Inc.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Shiloh, Kingsport Visits New Monumental, Chattanooga



On the occasion of the Pastor's 39th Anniversary, the Shiloh Baptist Church Family from Kingsport were the guests of the New Monumental Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Dr. and Mrs. Virgil J. Caldwell were honored for their 39 years of church service, and Pastor and Mrs. Kenneth Calvert and the Shiloh Church Choir were featured in the 11 AM service at New Monument.

Even in the Time Of Jesus, our Savior Preached The Word through many difficult times. Centuries later, the power went off in the Brainerd neighborhood in Chattanooga on this Sunday, and with that went the lights, sound system and air conditioning at New Monumental. But that did not stop the Word Of God from being spread effectively by Reverend Calvert, or Songs of Inspiration being sung purposefully by the Shiloh Choir. At the conclusion of the service, Dr. Caldwell commented that, without the amplified sound system, he was returning to a time in the Bible of the Preachings from the river side into the wilderness, "and the faithful Heard the Word and came down!"

The anniversary witnessed by Shiloh, also featured many other testimonies and musical selections, including a moving saxaphone solo "I Know You By Heart," performed by Ryan Caldwell, one by Dr. Caldwell's grandsons, and an inspirational selection on the drums by his youngest grandson, six year old Christopher Caldwell Drake.

Bethel Group Finds "New Vision" in Bahamas


Front Row L to R: Onna Camp, Savion Camp, Nelson Overbey, Terrell Leeper, and Shakonna Carpenter.
Back Row L to R: Noah Davis, Xena Hugg, Olivia Hugg and Shyonda Long.


Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church in Kingsport is celebrating the first place award won by the New Vision Youth this summer on a Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas.

The New Vision Youth placed FIRST among twelve acts in all in competition aboard the Carvinal Cruise Lines ship "The Celebration," by performing "The Praise Dance." New Vision Youth received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the performance.

The cruise, from August 2nd to the 6th, from Jacksonville, Florida to Freeport, Bahamas and then on to Nassau, brought children from all over the United States, and the New Vision Youth tell me, their most exciting moment was doing the dance for the other kids. Xena Huff remembers going on a Banana Boat, swimming, sightseeing, and shopping. Others remember the two-headed sting ray and the hammerhead shark at the Bahamas Aquarium.

New Vision also sponsored two scholarships this summer.. on May 27th, one was presented to Beth Daniels of Central Baptist in Kingsport, and the other was presented to Jonathan Lollar Perry of the Great Commission Church.

Great Commission Church Divine Influence Youth Rally


The Great Commission Church of Kingsport brought together many students on the baseball field at Douglass, for an old-fashion Divine Influence Youth Rally on Saturday, August 11, 2007.

The youth of our community listened to several guest speakers with one thought on their minds.. Praising the Lord Jesus Christ.

Special music came from the Christian rap group "Atoned," and other area gospel groups.

Afterwards, food and refreshments were served for the children and tiehr parents. The Great Commission Church is located at 1249 Chestnut Street in Kingsport.

Friday, August 10, 2007

King Of The Road


Down to Earth Skate Shop’s Dion Russell, also known as the 'King of the South,’ (also known as Dinky to all of us in Riverview who watched him grow up), performs stunts on his motorcycle recently.

No doubt, worrying his grandmama, Miss Ethel Ruth and giving her a fit!

Eastman Employee Named Recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Leadership Award


By: Nonie Bennah

Paul W. Montgomery, vice president, Talent Management has been awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Volunteer Kingsport Leadership Council. This award recognizes men and women who have adopted the heart of community trusteeship. As a 1996 graduate of Leadership Kingsport, he is awarded this recognition for having made significant and notable contributions toward the betterment of his community.

"I congratulate Paul on this important recognition of his personal and Eastman Chemical Company contribution toward community service and trusteeship. I had the pleasure to work directly with Paul helping coach teens through the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department. Paul has outstanding character. He has a genuine concern for young people and encourages teens to excel and to conduct themselves in a respectable and sportsmanlike manner.

"He's an excellent role model," said Gary Tucker of Eastman Credit Union and representative of the Volunteer Kingsport Leadership Council.

Montgomery has served as a member of the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission, President of the Kingsport Board of Education, President of the Kingsport Branch of the NAACP, President of the South Kingsport Optimist Club, a Paul Harris Fellow of the Kingsport Rotary Club, President of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and as Chairman of the Tri-Cities All America
City Partnership.

He currently serves on the boards of the Barter Theatre, Rocky Mount Museum, King College Board of Visitors, East Tennessee State Foundation and Northeast State Community College Foundation.

Montgomery has been recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential
African Americans in Tennessee. He was awarded the 2003 Baleh-Doak Character Award and the Emory and Henry College Outstanding Community Service Award.

In May, he earned his MBA from King College.

Born in Glade Spring, Virginia, Montgomery joined Eastman in 1991 in the Supply and Distribution Division. He was appointed as community relations representative in 1992. After holding positions of increasing responsibility, he was named director of Corporate Relations and Travel.

In 2006, he was appointed vice president, Communications and Public
Affairs. In May 2007, he became vice president, Talent Management.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Kingsport Native Announces "Raising My V.O.I.C.E."

Jeffery A. Faulkerson, MSSW, Masters-Level Social Worker Announces Release of New Book Raising My V.O.I.C.E.

"Raising My V.O.I.C.E." Tour Coming Soon to a City Near You

Wake Forest, NC ( - Jeffery A. Faulkerson, Founder, President & CEO of PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS Writing, Editing, Consulting, announced today the release of his new book Raising My V.O.I.C.E. (Verbalizing Orderly Impressions through Creative Endeavors). The self-published title, produced and distributed by Infinity Publishing (, is currently available online at

Raising My V.O.I.C.E. is a collection of writings that chronicles Mr. Faulkerson's sixteen-year quest to understand why Americans focus so much on their differences, not enough on their similarities. It is a book that pulls from the headlines of yesterday and today, offering sound advice to black Americans for how they can prosper individually and collectively through their love of God and neighbor.

Ultimately, Raising My V.O.I.C.E. is one man using the power of the pen to prompt serious dialogue about functional families, racial reconciliation, civic engagement and collective prosperity. It also serves as a clarion call for contemporary Christians to take firmer stances for Jesus.

In conjunction with the release of his new book, Mr. Faulkerson will also be touring the country to raise awareness about the thoughts, feelings and behaviors adversely impacting outcomes for black children, youths and their parents. During the Raising My V.O.I.C.E. Tour, Mr. Faulkerson will engage audiences in candid conversations about the issues that bind us. If you would like to book an RMV event in your area, contact PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS Writing, Editing, Consulting at (919) 604-4585 for details.

About Jeffery A. Faulkerson
Jeffery A. Faulkerson is the Founder, President & CEO of PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS Writing, Editing, Consulting, a faith-based social service practice with for-profit offerings in communications/media relations and nonprofit offerings in parent education and support, postsecondary advising and planning, and conference planning, coordination and implementation. A stay-at-home parent since August 2005, he has dedicated himself to "promoting functional families through words and deeds."

The oldest of three children reared by a once-poor single-parent mother, Mr. Faulkerson graduated in 1986 from Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee to earn both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville . He has over 16 years of professional experience in nonprofit administration and direct service delivery to disadvantaged children and their parents.

Mr. Faulkerson has been happily married to his wife Regina for over 14 years, and is the proud father to three-year-old Caleb. He has been a born-again Christian for over 30 years. He and his family currently reside in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

About the Book
ISBN: 0-7414-4156-X ©2007
Price: $14.95
Book Size: 5.5 x 8.5, 142 pages
Category/Subject: Social Science/Sociology of Religion

Visit Jeffery A. Faulkerson online at

Writing, Editing, Consulting

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Special Called Meeting Of The Douglass Alumni Committee

Saturday, August 25th, 2007..
On that day, there is a specially called meeting of the Douglass Alumni Committee, involving the installation of new officers for the school year 2008-2009.
The meeting will be at 1 PM, in the Fellowship Hall at St. Mark's Methodist Church in Kingsport, and lunch will be served.
Old business, plus any new business will be discussed at the meeting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mrs. Anne Price Passing

Mrs. Anne Price

KINGSPORT — Mrs. Anne Louise Price, 82, 818 Brook St., departed this life on Sunday (July 29, 2007) at Bristol Wellmont Hospice House, Bristol, Tenn.
Mrs. Price was born in Rutherfordton Town, N.C. and for most of her life she made her home here in Kingsport. She was a long time member of Shiloh Baptist Church.
Her husband, Mr. Robert Price; a daughter, Ms. Sandra G. Price; sister, Ms. Betty J. Hamilton; and a brother, Mr. George Hamilton, preceded her in death.
Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Shelia P. Gary (David); granddaughter, Ms. Gerie T. Price; grandson, Robert A. Gary; greatgrandson, Mr. Jalen T. Price; sister, Mrs. Mary Livingston; and a host of relatives and friends.
Calling hours will be Thursday from 12 noon until the hour of service at Shiloh Baptist Church.
Services will be conducted Thursday at 1 p.m. at the church with the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Calvert officiating.
Interment will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Mrs. Anne Louise Price and family are in the care of R.A. Clark Funeral Service, Inc.