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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Dobyns-Bennett Indians (Douglass Tigers) versus the Greeneville Devils (George Clem Wolverines) Tribute Game


A file photo of the DB Indians dressed in the Douglass Gold and Blue playing Tennessee High in the DB Dome.  This year's Tribute game with Greeneville on January 27th will be in the old Sullivan North High School Gym at 2533 North John B. Dennis Highway, Kingsport

Get out your Douglass Tigers pom-poms!  It's that magical time of year when the Dobyns-Bennett High School basketball program plays homage to the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Tigers.

This year's Tribute game will be against a very familiar nemesis... the Greeneville Devils.

The Dobyns-Bennett Indians will be dressed in the gold and blue colors of the Douglass Tigers and the Greeneville Devils will be dressed in the blue and gold of the George Clem Wolverines.

Please mark your calendar for Friday night, January 27, 2023.

Tip-off is 8 PM.  The price for admission is $6.00 per person.

Because of repair work on the DB dome on Legion Drive, the game will be played at the old Sullivan North High School, 2533 North John B. Dennis Highway, Kingsport, TN 37660.

More news to come shortly, including the cost of the home game.  Please put on your calendars to attend!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Douglass Alumni Meeting Canceled


Because of bad weather forecasted, the regularly scheduled meeting of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board for Saturday, January 14, 2023 has been canceled.  

The next regularly scheduled meeting is for Saturday, February 11, 2023 in the Eastman Board Room, 2nd floor, V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Tower, 301 Louis Street, Kingsport.

--- Douglas Releford, president

     The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, Inc.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2023 Holiday Events in Kingsport


"I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear" - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., SCLC conference in Atlanta, 1967

Those words from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ring true today, 55 years after the famed civil rights leader was shot to death 500 miles on the other side of Tennessee from Kingsport.

The first Dr. King parade in Kingsport in 1968 was to remember and commemorate his teachings of non-violence only days after he was assassinated in Memphis.  Since 1986 and once a year since, people from all walks of life have gathered with community leaders to walk in Kingsport to honor Dr. King's legacy.  Bad weather postponed last year's Holiday commemoration, but this year's is scheduled for Monday, January 16th.

"Marching feet announce that time has come for a given idea.  When the idea is a sound one, the cause is a just one, and the demonstration a righteous one, change will be forthcoming."  "Non-violence: The Only Road to Freedom" -  essay by Dr. King, 1966

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade is scheduled for downtown Kingsport on Monday.  The yearly theme has always been "The End of Racism can come through the Love of Christ," but this year, there is an urgency to the teachings of Dr. King, says Parade Organizer Bishop Ronnie Collins.  With all the shootings and killings in America in the past year, he says "this year's theme is 'In 2023, Choose to Love and Not to Hate.'"  

"There's a reason why the word 'unity' is part of the word 'community,'" says Bishop Collins.  "It all comes from love, love for our city, love for our neighbor, love for those less fortunate and above all, the love for Christ.  We have got to get back to that love."  

The parade will assemble at 11:15 AM on Monday at the corner of East Center Street and East Sevier Avenue in Kingsport.  The event begins promptly at noon, proceeding down Center Street to the old city hall at Center and Shelby Streets.  Everyone is invited to march.

"Bring your car, your float, your bicycle, your feet and most importantly your spirit," says Bishop Collins.  "The parade is open to anybody who believes in the Love of Christ and the Love of Community with inclusion, diversity, equality and equity, as Dr. King believed in."

"I heard the late civil rights icon Representative John Lewis of Georgia once say 'we may have come here in different ships, but we're in the same boat now,'" Bishop Collins says.  "Only Dr. King's teachings can bring us back to that one togetherness of spirit that we need."

The parade is sponsored by the Tennessee/Virginia Fellowship Against Racism (TVFAR) and the East Tennessee Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship.


"I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits" - Dr. King acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, 1964

Immediately after the parade on Monday, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Luncheon will be held at 1 PM in the Riverview Community Room on Wheatley Street in Kingsport, located beside the pickle ball courts and Head Start.  Because of the weather and Covid, last year's was a drive-through event, but this year will be the customary dinner inside.  "Because the King Day holiday is a day of service in communities," says organizer Johnnie Mae Swagerty, "awards will be presented to those who have made a difference in helping people in the past year.  It's a prelude to the celebration of Black History Month in February."

On the menu this year is barbeque and chips from Broad Street Barbeque in Kingsport, with water provided by Healthy Kingsport.  The luncheon is free of charge.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Luncheon is sponsored by the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, the New Vision Youth/South Central Kingsport Community Development, Inc., Kingsport Parks and Recreation and KHRA.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that" - "Loving Your Enemies" sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama 1957

This year's Candlelight Vigil in Dr. King's memory will be held at the Shiloh Baptist Church, 712 East Sevier Avenue in Kingsport at 6 PM Monday night.  The lighting of candles has become a tradition that wraps up the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday every year in Kingsport and this year is no different.  "Community leaders will light individual candles in honor of people, programs, organizations and agencies who have shared the benevolence that Dr. King always preached about," Swagerty says.  The public is invited and is free of charge.

The event is sponsored by the New Vision Youth group and the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Bishop Collins says, the march, the luncheon and the Candlelight Vigil are where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dreams for society still live.  But they live in our hearts every day of the year.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Beyond in Johnson City


On Saturday, January 14th at 8:30 a.m. there will be a Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast held at the Wesley United Methodist Church. The phone number is 423-461-8830.

On Sunday, Jan. 15, beginning at 11 a.m., St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Elizabethton will host Minister Teresa Bowers Parker as guest speaker for the church’s Martin Luther King observance. Father Tim Holder, priest and pastor of the church said, “It is a fitting and beautiful statement about our city and our faith that in a church built by slave peoples making bricks on site and then laying them to raise this House of God in 1861-1865, that we here today celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of the Love of Jesus for all of us.” Traditional spiritual songs which were prominently used in King’s civil rights struggles will be sung.

On the entire day of Jan. 16 MLK Day, there will be literary and performing arts, a blood drive and a community dinner at the Carver Park Recreation Center. The phone number is 423-461-8830.

Going from Jan. 16 through Jan. 20 will be a Martin Luther King Jr. Student Art Exhibit at the McKinney Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. There will also be a reception at the McKinney Center for the art exhibit on Jan. 20 from 6-8 p.m. The phone number is 423-753-0562.

On Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m., the Seekers Book Club will have a reading on “How the Word is Passed” by Clint Smith at the Langston Centre.

On Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m., the Langston Centre will also present a movie and discussion on “Tower Road Bus.” The phone number for the Langston Centre is 431-434-5785.

On Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. a Community Building Roundtable will be held at Jubilee World Outreach Church.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Douglass Alumni meeting this Saturday


The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association will hold its regularly-scheduled board meeting, weather permitting, on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

The meeting will be held at 1 PM in the Eastman Board Room, 2nd Floor of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, 301 Louis Street in Kingsport.

2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration in Kingsport

After the parade at 1:15 PM, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Luncheon will be held in the Riverview Community Room at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center, Wheatley Street, Kingsport.

At 6 PM, the annual MLK Candlelight Vigil and the lighting of candles for service to the Kingsport community will be held at the Shiloh Baptist Church, 712 East Sevier Avenue.




Barbara Jean Johnson remembrance


GATE CITY, VA - Barbara Jean Johnson, 91, Gate City, VA passed away, Friday, January 6, 2023, at her residence.

Barbara was born in Gate City, VA, on April 6, 1931, to the late George Washington and Fannie Annis (Wolfe) Rogers.

In addition to her parents, her foster parents (who raised her) Broadus and Mary Coley; brother, George Parret Rogers, Sr., Phillip Lee Rogers, and William Rudolph Rogers; Foster mothers, Aunt Geraldine Wolfe Dobbins, and Aunt Lakie Caldona Wolfe Fugate; nephews, Aaron Mickey Rogers, George Parret Rogers, Jr.; foster brother, Allen Curtis Dobbins, Sr.; niece, Fannie Patricia Rogers Pope; sister-in-law, Ola Beatrice Rogers; uncles; Esme Howard Dobbins and Joseph Fugate; close friends, Fannie Lynn Johnson Spriggs, Margaret Shoemaker, Pinkie Horton, Berniece Waterson, and Margaret Muncey (Peg); and former husband, Johnnie Johnson; and too numerous aunts and uncles to mention, preceded her in death.

She is survived by her foster sister, Rochelle (Richard) Maxwell; sisters-in-law, Ethel Payne Rogers, Dayton, OH and Nell Bowers Dobbins, Washington, DC; nieces and nephews, Carmen Rogers, Newark, NJ, Anthony Rogers (Marsha), Colonial Heights, TN, Stanley (Ruby) Rogers, Gate City, VA, Phillip (Rhonda) Rogers, Blacksburg, VA, Lena Rogers, Kingsport, TN, Dawn Hardin, Dayton, OH, Felicia (Ed) Williams, Dayton, OH, Howard (Jessica) Swan, Kingsport, TN, Kermit (Kiera) Swan III, Roanoke, VA, Mykel Tre Maxwell, Gate City, VA, Matthew Harris, Denver, CO, Courtney Dobbins, and Allen C. Dobbins Jr.; and a host of great nieces, great nephews, cousins, other family members, and friends.

The family will receive friends from 11-1 p.m., Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at the Gate City Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00p.m., in the Gene Falin Memorial Chapel of the funeral home with Rev. Rochelle Maxwell and Pastor Steve Templeton. Music provided by Donnie McCoy, Willie Anderson, Bob Payne, James Wood, & 4 Him.

Graveside services will follow the service at Holston View Cemetery, Weber City, VA.

An online guest register is available for the Johnson family at

Gate City Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Barbara Jean Johnson.