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NAACP hosts MLK prayer breakfast

GATESVILLE – Rickie Saunders, president of the Gates County Branch of the NAACP, has initiated an international membership recruitment campaign throughout its jurisdiction.

“We are launching this membership drive in order that the NAACP will continue to ensure our political, educational, social and economic equality of minority groups and citizens of their rights,” said Saunders.

He added there are many reasons why every man and woman should become a member of NAACP; the first being that the organization can eliminate racial prejudice among citizens of the U.S.

Saunders said the NAACP also removes all barriers of racial discrimination through the democratic process, and it seeks to enact and enforce federal, state and local laws securing civil rights.

“The NAACP informs the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and seeks its elimination,” said Saunders. “The organization also educates persons as to their constitutional rights and takes all lawful action in furtherance of these principles.”

Saunders added that membership is the life-blood of the NAACP, and he asked for the support of churches, sororities and fraternal organizations in donating for the purpose of funding the “Mother of the Year” and “Humanitarian” awards and the Legal Defense Fund.

In furthering their membership drive, the Gates County NAACP will sponsor a “Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast,” at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 14. The event will take place at Nebo Family Life Center, located on US 258 south of Murfreesboro. The dress is casual.

A donation of $12 per person is requested to attend this special event.

The event will feature three special speakers including the Rev. Dr. Charles Foster, the first black Mayor of Elizabeth City.

Dr. Foster holds a Master’s Degree in guidance counseling from Virginia State University, and a Doctor of Divinity. He is a disabled veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart Combat Infantry Presidential Citation for his part in the Korean War, and he has served as a U.S. Postal Clerk, a high school teacher, the Assistant Director of Financial Aid for ECSU, Director of the University Center at the University, Director of Career Placement and he is a part-time History Instructor.

He is also an Assistant Grand Chaplin of the World Elks Order, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Eastern Star Masonic Lodge, the American Legion and the NAACP among many other memberships.

Dr. Foster is also the pastor of Holy Trinity Community Church in Elizabeth City.

Another special guest, Frankie J. Davis, will be the former lead singer of the “Soul Stirrers,” traveling all around the world with them from 1986 to 1995.

He was also the lead singer for the Arthur Crume and the Original Soul Stirrers of Chicago.

Davis began his singing career at the age of five at Pleasant Grove Holiness Church in the Pughsville neighborhood of Suffolk, Va. His grandmother, the late David Anne Riddick was the Evangelist and his grandfather, William Riddick, was the Pastor at the church.

At age 13, Davis was baptized at New Hope Baptist Church in Pughsville and it was the time he realized he wanted to become a Gospel singer.

He sang throughout his school years at various talent shows and with local quartets. He was never shy and his voice rang out with confidence and he went on to perform with many famous groups including the Heavenly Angels, the Mighty Echoes, the Mighty Pearly Gates, the King David Harps and Voices of Hope, which he originated.

Saunders said the Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church of Goldsboro, William J. Barber II, will be the keynoted speaker at the event.

Married with five children, Rev. Barber was ordained into the ministry by the N.C. Region of the Christian Church in 1989. He has served at the Fayette Street Church in Martinsville, Va., and in 1992 was called to pastor Greenleaf Christian Church.

A Cum Laude graduate of NC Central University in Durham, Rev.

Barber has many degrees and awards to his credit including his Doctoral degree from Drew University in Madison, N.J.

Among many other accomplishments, Rev. Barber was appointed by Gov. Jim Hunt to serve as the Executive Director of N.C. Human Relations Commission. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Duke University.

The Rev. Dr. Barber is the President of the N.C. State Conference of the NAACP. He professes to be a “country preacher with a conviction for social justice, prophetic ministry, deliverance, and a heart of love for all those in need of the good news of Jesus Christ.

For more information on the NAACP’s Prayer Breakfast, or to learn how to join, call Saunders at 465-6510.