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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Local Grandparents Day Celebration


Monday, August 29, 2011

Central Pastor Celebrates 2nd Anniversary in Kingsport

Church members, family and friends at the Central Baptist Church in the Riverview Community gathered for a weekend of celebration, as Pastor Ricardo and First Lady Chaka Dorcean observed the 2nd anniversary of their arrival in Kingsport. Events were held at the church on Carver Street on Saturday and Sunday, August 27th and 28th, 2011.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures of the 2nd Anniversary Celebrations for Pastor Ricardo and First Lady Chaka Dorcean at Central Baptist Church.

Our thanks to Donna (Sensabaugh) Morrisette for taking these wonderful pictures, and allowing us to share them with everybody.

Several events commemorated the celebration, including First Lady Dorcean's Night in Central's old sanctuary with Minister Kim Morrison of the University Park Baptist Church of Charlotte as guest speaker.

Visiting church for the Sunday services was the St. James Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia, with the Reverend Kevin Sykes, preaching both the morning and afternoon services.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Wanda McMiller!

Happy 70th birthday to Mrs. Wanda McMiller!

Her birthday party celebration was held Saturday, August 27th, 2001 in the Douglass Room at the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex.

From the family: "Thanks to all who came to share our Mother's 70th birthday celebration with us. We realize that this celebration would not have been successful without your presence."

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the birthday celebration for Mrs. Wanda McMiller.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Betsy Pierce!

Family and friends celebrated the 78th birthday of Mrs. Betsy Pierce on Saturday, August 27th, 2011.

The party celebration with a Hollywood theme, was held at Betsy and Jack Pierce's home on Louis Street in Kingsport.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the birthday party and celebration for Mrs. Betsy Pierce.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Shiloh Baptist Church celebrating 75 years

KINGSPORT — Shiloh Baptist Church will commemorate its 75th church anniversary with special worship services at 10:45 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sunday.

Organized in 1936, Shiloh has been led by six pastors that included almost 50 years of leadership by the Rev. C. Dorsey and the Rev. J. Bratton Gaines.

The congregation has been led by the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Calvert for the past 20 years.

The Rev. Dr. Linda W. Calvert will give the morning anniversary message. Special music will be provided by Mr. Christmas Martin.

Rev. C.C. Mills, Jr. will deliver the afternoon message, and music will be provided by the Friendship Baptist Church, Greeneville.

Dinner will follow the morning service. The church is located at 712 E. Sevier Ave.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Festival Going in Chattanooga


The Chattanooga Times-Free Press did not caption everybody in this picture from the recent Bessie Smith Heritage Festival, held at the museum in downtown Chattanooga the weekend of August 20th.

If you look closely at the person at the right in the above picture with the flowery shirt, it is none other than our own Douglass Sons & Daughters Alumni President Virginia (Jenny) Hankins of Kingsport, strolling along, sampling the music, food, sun and fun of the festival.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Meeting scheduled on benefit pageant

• KINGSPORT — A meeting will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Civic Auditorium to discuss the “Gents to Gentlemen Male Pageant” set for Oct. 15th. Pageant participants will be able to turn in their applications and fees and get information about the event. Contestants will be separated into age divisions, and different awards will be presented for various categories such as Mr. Congeniality, Best Dressed Male, Mr. Smiles, and Mr. Photogenic. The entry fee is $10, and proceeds will go to Berry’s Pharmacy to help the needy pay for health care needs; the Kingsport Ministry to help the needy pay utility bills; and Kingsport Parks and Recreation for sporting equipment, and the Kingsport Community Ministry Center. The event is being presented by Kingsport Parks and Recreation, New Vision Youth and the Taylor-Hamilton Insurance Agency. For more information, call 429-7553 or 246-3817.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Vision Presents College Care Packages

The New Vision Youth Kids are continuing their tradition of giving out freshmen care packages every year.

This year's recipients are Briasha Russell, incoming freshman at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, majoring in exercise science... and Brenton Leeper, incoming freshman at Brevard College in North Carolina, an undecided major, but leaning towards psychology.

The care packages consist of school supplies, laundry products, hygiene items, toiletries and lots of love and support from the New Vision Youth Kids.

This is the 8th year the group has given out freshman care packages to incoming students at the colleges and universities they're attending.

It's Revival Time at Full Gospel

The Fall Revival at the Full Gospel Mission Church will be held September 11th through the 16th, at the church, 740 East Sevier Avenue, Kingsport. The service starts at 7 PM nightly. The speaker will be Pastor Hilda Reavis, pastor of the Jesus Light Mission Church of Mocksville, North Carolina. Everybody is welcome to come out and revival with the folks at Full Gospel, Pastor Geraldine Swagerty officiating.

Grandparents Day Celebration Planned

• KINGSPORT — New Vision Youth and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services Division will hold the 4th Annual Grandparents Day Luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 10th. This free event will be held from noon to 1:30 PM in the East Room of the Kingsport Civic Auditorium. There will be door prizes to the oldest and youngest grandparents and to the grandparents with the most grandchildren. The menu will include 3 kinds of food, including grilled cheese sandwiches, tea and bottled water. The free event is open to all grandparents of all ages. For more information contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553 or the Civic Auditorium at 229-9457.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Distinguished" Awards Presented in Knoxville

It was a night of the best.. from East to West.

For communities and churches, that meant from upper East Tennessee-Southwest Virginia, all the way to Chattanooga.

The 3rd annual Daps Awards Banquet was held on Saturday evening, August 19, 2011, to honor people in the black community, DAPS standing for "Distinguished African-American Pastor, Professional, Student." Candidates are chosen by board members of AHERN (African-American Health, Education, Religion and News, Incorporated.

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2011 DAPS Banquet.

The Reverend Roger Mills, Jr. is president of the organization.

"The DAPS Banquet is designed uplift the churches, whether in Elizabethton, Bristol or Southwest Virginia, on down into Chattanooga," says Rev. Mills. "You hear so much negative news about about African-Americans, and our AHERN board thought it would be nice to have an awards banquet to let people know that we are doing something positive, to combat all the negative news that comes out of the communities."

Proving there is nothing more positive than a good laugh, master of ceremonies Xavier (Tim) Hall kept the audience in stitches with his down-home brand of humor. Hall has a habit of matching humor with the particular audience, and audience members were treated to remembrances of choir practice and church services. He kept it pretty civil for a while, then, coming off the stage, he mingled with the crowd, and for anybody who'd never heard of him before, they left the banquet in a good mood.

The original church ladies themselves, "The Johnson Sisters" also tickled a few funny bones, as they recounted many memorable moments in church. LaSandra Golden, who plays one of the Johnson Sisters along with Louise Quarles, says she got the idea for the sisters because in college, all her friends used to kid her saying she acted like an "old lady." Next month, the pair will celebrate a year of making folks laugh, believing "laughter is good for the soul."

The audience was welcomed to Knoxville by Mayor Daniel Brown, the first African-American mayor of East Tennessee's largest city. Mayor Brown attends the First AME Zion Church of Knoxville. Guest soloist Marion Jones of the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Newport, Tennessee delighted the audience with songs of inspiration and praise. The dinner musician was the Rev. William Reid of the New Hope Baptist Church of Bristol, Virginia.

Guest speaker for the event was the Rev. Dr. Forrest Elliott Harris, Sr., president of the American Baptist College of Nashville. Among the themes of his address to the audience, Dr. Harris emphasized the importance of bring back the single, simple phrase "God is Love." He recalled a time when that phrase was taught to children in nursery and elementary school. Dr. Harris says, the phrase "God is Love" has slipped in its importance, and people around the world don't believe that Christians mean it anymore.

After the program, awards were given out to this year's DAPS winners, along with the President's Awards. Pictures of the winners and the nominees that were present at the banquet, are at the slideshow link above.

"Our goal is to reach out from county to county, from Southwest Virginia through East Tennessee to Chattanooga," says Rev. Mills, "spreading the good news happening in our black communities. If an African-American went out and killed somebody, but another one from the community met the president, more than likely, the one who killed somebody would be the first thing on the news that night or on the front page of the paper tomorrow. That's sad. We're trying to change that trend and let everybody know that we as an organization are doing something to change tha perception."

"News about African-Americans is not always negative."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Numbers on Your Website Photo Views

This past week, there were 28,025 views to the albums in your Douglass Alumni website photo galleries.

Photos that appear in articles under the CURRENT EVENTS category for the past month, rank 9th out of 5,873 contributions in that category to Webshots, our photo server. There were 6,130 views to CURRENT EVENTS pictures just this past week.

Photos that appear in articles under the REUNIONS AND CELEBRATIONS category for the past month, rank 7th out of 30,487 other contributions in that category to Webshots. This past week, there were 2,276 views to those pictures alone.

Photos that appear in articles under the PUBLIC SERVICE category for the past month, rank 71st out of 3,066 other contributions in that category to Webshots. There were 636 views in that category alone for the Douglass Alumni website.

Photos that appear in articles under the FRIENDS AND FUN category rank 545th out of 2,126,068 other contributions in that category. Just this week, there were 2,060 views to the pictures in that category for Douglass website photos.

Folks, these are phenomenal numbers.

Unfortunately, there have only been 168 views to the BUSTING LOOSE JAM AT THE EBONY CLUB BLOCK PARTY video.

For some reason, we don't like videos.

Kingsport Police: Murder Victim was Targeted

KPD Detective Cpl. Frank Light said detectives are following several leads and are working the case ‘morning, noon, day and night.’



KINGSPORT — Police continue to investigate the recent murder of a Kingsport man, reportedly shot in the chest after two men entered his home through a back door in the middle of the afternoon.

Jarrett Hughes, 24, of 937 Dale St., was shot shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 3. Kingsport Police Department Detective Cpl. Frank Light confirmed Wednesday that the incident was not random, saying Hughes was the victim of a targeted attack.

Police report several leads are being followed, with some proving more productive than others. Light declined to comment on a possible motive or identity of suspects, adding detectives are working the case “morning, noon, day and night.”

Light said Hughes was accompanied by another individual when the suspects entered the residence and fired. His mother was also home, according to police, sleeping in a bedroom.

The suspects are believed to have run from the home to a red four-door car.

Aside from Hughes, no one else was injured in the incident.

Anyone with information on the murder is asked to contact Kingsport police detectives at 229-9429.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Dedication

The dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial will be held in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s historic I Have A Dream speech, beginning with a pre-dedication concert at 10 a.m. The dedication ceremony will commence at 11 a.m. and a post-dedication concert will follow beginning at 2 p.m.

Tickets had to be reserved in advance, but public standing areas that do not require tickets will also be available.

“We are thrilled that we will be dedicating the Memorial to Dr. King in the coming months, and the Foundation looks forward, with great pride, to presenting this Memorial – this dream – that we’ve worked to build, to the people. Dr. King, his life, his dream, and his legacy, will be a source of history and inspiration for all people, for all time,” said Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and CEO of the MLK Memorial Foundation.

“I’m very much looking forward to celebrating this momentous event with my fellow Americans and people around the world who understand what this memorial stands for, and the relevance of Dr. King’s message.”

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is the first on the National Mall to honor a man of hope, a man of peace, and a man of color. Located on the Tidal Basin, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial creates a visual line of leadership between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

The memorial will be an engaging landscape experience conveying four fundamental and recurring themes throughout Dr. King’s life – democracy, justice, hope, and love – and features the use of natural elements including water, stone, and trees. A 450-foot inscription wall will feature more than a dozen Dr. King quotes engraved into granite to serve as a lasting testament and reminder of Dr. King’s humanitarian vision. The memorial will include the “Mountain of Despair” and the “Stone of Hope,” which will feature a 30-foot sculpture of Dr. King.

To learn more about dedication plans, including events that will take place earlier in Dedication Week, please visit

The site will be updated frequently as Dedication planning progresses and offer the latest available information. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation is currently collecting personal stories about how Dr. King affected the lives of Americans and people around the world. All are invited to submit memories of working alongside Dr. King, participating in the March on Washington, and more by visiting

General Motors Company will serve as the Dedication Chair and Dedication Co-Chair is the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation. For a complete list of supporters or to make a donation, visit

Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial in Washington, D.C. honoring Dr. King. The ceremonial groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006.

McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company / Tompkins Builders, Inc. / Gilford Corporation Joint Venture serves as the Design-Build Team.

For more information or to make a donation, visit

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Distinguished African-American Pastor, Professional, Student Awards Banquet

(Distinguished African American Pastor, Professional, Student)

Friday, August 19, 2011
7:00 PM - Doors Open at 6:00 PM

Crowne Plaza
401 W. Summit Hill Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37902

Keynote Speaker
Rev. Dr. Forrest
E. Harris, Sr.
President, American
Baptist College
Nashville, TN

Master of Ceremonies
Tim Hall
Kingsport, TN

Honorable Daniel T. Brown
Mayor, Knoxville, TN

Marion Jones
Recording Artist
Greeneville, TN

Dinner Musician
Rev. William J. Reid
Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church
Bristol, VA

The Johnson Sisters
Louise Quarles, Morristown, TN
LaShanurda Golden, Knoxville, TN

AHERN, Inc. DAPS (Distinguished African American Pastor, Professional, Student) of the Month are selected from a list of candidates submitted each month. Each candidates is selected on a 5 point grade scale in each category below:
Academic Achievement
School Involvement
Church Involvement
Community Involvement
Organization Affiliations


Pastor of the Month Candidates must have served as pastor of the same church for three years.

Rev. C. Danny Johnson
Pastor, Thankful Baptist Church
Johnson City, TN

Rev. Churchill W. Moore, Sr.
Pastor, Spurgeon Chapel AME Zion Church
Oak Ridge, TN

Rev. Dr. Willis (W. A.) A. Johnson
Pastor, Lee Street Baptist Church
Bristol, VA

Rev. Dr. Harold A. Middlebrook, Sr.
Pastor, Cannan Baptist Church of Christ
Knoxville, TN

Rev. Charles M. Martin
Pastor, Mt. Olive Baptist Church
Johnson City, TN


Professional of the Month candidates must be in business and/or served in a professioal field for 3 years.

Jackie Charles
Vice-President, Green Bank
Rogersville, TN

Avon W. Rollins
Director, Beck Cultural Center
Knoxville, TN

Willie Anderson
Vice-President, First Tennessee Bank
Greeneville, TN

Paul A. Montgomery
Vice-President, Community Relations & Coporate Services
Eastman Chemical Co.
Kingsport, TN

Darlene Ely
Area Supervisor, Tennessee Dept. of Labor & Workforce
Morristown, TN


Student of the Month candidates must be a High School Senior, College Freshman or Sophomore

Chelsea M. Solomon
Senior, Morristown East High School
Morristown, TN

Ashley Craft
Freshman, East TN State University
Johnson City, TN

Elise M. Jones
Senior, Fulton High School
Knoxville, TN

William Carmichael
Senior, Greeneville High School
Greeneville, TN


Jacqueline Collins-Hudson
Cocke County, TN
Newport, TN

M. Elizabeth Johnson
Jefferson County, TN
Jefferson City, TN

Lillian Leeper
Sullivan County, TN
Church Hill, TN

Calvin Sneed
Sullivan County, TN
Chattanooga, TN


Jeannine Blevins
Morristown, TN

Robert Leeper
White Pine, TN

Marco Ripley
Greeneville, TN

Carlette Russaw
Jonesborough, TN


Bethel AME Zion Church, Kingsport, TN

Bethel United Methodist Church, Morristown, TN

Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, Morristown, TN

Friendship Baptist Church, Greeneville, TN

New Hope Baptist Church, White Pine, TN

New Jerusalem Baptist Church, Johnson City, TN

Phillippi Baptist Church, Elizabethton, TN

Russell Chapel AME Zion Church, Rogersville, TN

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Whitesburg, TN

Toney's Chapel Baptist Church, Morristown, TN


Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, TN

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Board Meeting; August 13, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Members In Attendance: Virginia Hankins, Louetta Hall, Ruth Russell, Linda Bly, Lillian Leeper, Sheila Leeper, Douglas Releford, Andra Watterson, Thelma Watterson, Calvin Sneed, Ozine Bly, Johnnie Mae Swaggerty, Trippy Deal, Vicki Smith.

Meeting was called to order by Virginia Hankins, President

Prayer by Louetta Hall, Chaplain

Previous Minutes were read and accepted

Financial Report – Checking account: total monies $4,992.55 and Savings account- Scholarship Fund has total monies to-date of $4,043.40, $500.00 has been paid out to (1) of the scholarship recipients. Louetta Hall made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report. Motion was seconded by Linda (Peaches) Bly. Motion carried. We have (3) people authorized to sign checks. Doug Releford made a motion that any (2) of the (3) people authorized can sign. Motion was seconded by Thelma Watterson. Motion carried. Thanks were given to Doug Releford, former president for serving and having a great reunion.

Old Business: Pam Sensabaugh, Corresponding Secretary may choose her own committee to update the alumni mailing list. Pam will also send out thank-you cards to individuals/businesses. Money will be allocated to Pam for postage and cards.

Calvin is working on getting live stream up and going again as this was a plus for members that don’t live in the area and/or unable to attend.

Doug stated that after the election and reunion, the previous president would open up the 1st meeting and read the minutes of the last meeting, then pass the torch on to the new president.

Names of scholarship recipients are announced during the reunion and they receive their scholarship within the same year. The checks are mailed to the school of their choice by sending in their acceptance letter.

United Way donated $50 in memory of Mrs. Eula Leeper.

President, Virginia Hankins made an executive decision that Donald Hickman is our Parliamentarian.

Bank of Tennessee has always refused when we’ve asked for donations. Doug made a motion to change to Green County Bank & Savings. Andra Watterson seconded. Most board members were in favor. Motion carried.

New Business: Calvin made a motion to have a yearly golf tournament, based on a suggestion by Frank Horton. Ozine Bly seconded. Most board members were in favor. Motion carried. Yearly golf tournament will be spearheaded by Frank Horton and a member of the Ebony Club.

Signage to be placed around the building will state – Sons & Daughters of Douglass, Inc. Calvin will also put address under the name on the website. All correspondence will go to Alumni mailing address: 301 Louis Street, Ste. 104, Kingsport, TN 37660.

Information was given on becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce for visibility and networking. Most board members were in favor. Calvin made the motion, seconded by Thelma, motion carried.

The Ebony Club was represented by two members: Johnnie Mae Swaggerty and James (Trippy) Deal. We also received a thank-you note from the Ebony Club.

Shiloh Baptist Church is having their 75th Anniversary. Linda (Peaches) made a motion that we purchase a ½ page ad for $50.00. Andra seconded, most board members were in favor. Motion carried.

Next meeting will be a potluck meeting on 9/17/2011 @ 1:00 p.m.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes submitted by: Vicki Smith, Recording Secretary