Holmes Chapel Presbyterian Church to host annual Dr. MLK Youth Breakfast
Drew County Branch #6042 of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will sponsor its 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Breakfast on Saturday morning, January 18 at 9 a.m.
The breakfast will once again be held at the Holmes Chapel Presbyterian Church Christian Family Center, located on East McCloy Avenue. This, according to Brenda Binns, the NAACP Breakfast Chairperson.
“This is our 18th year for this event and once again, we are sending out the call to all the people of our communities, especially young people,” said Binns. The NAACP will cover the cost of any young person who chooses to attend the breakfast. We are asking all adults to pay a minimal fee of $5.00 for a delicious start to the morning. We are looking forward to an informative and entertaining tribute to Dr. King.”
Guest speaker for the breakfast will be Rev. Shay Gillespie, pastor of the Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church of Wilmar. Gillespie will also be accompanied by Mount Tabor’s Young People’s Choir and Mount Tabor’s Inspirational Choir.
Gillespie is no stranger to the organization as he served for 18 years as chairman of the Drew County King Celebration. He was the Breakfast speaker in 2010 and was recognized by Drew County Branch #6042 as an NAACP Lifetime Member in 2011. Gillespie graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1978. He was the first black student to serve as sports editor of the student newspaper and yearbook. In his honor, the Shay Gillespie/Phi Beta Sigma Scholarship has been endowed at UAM.
In the late 1980’s, he became the first black department editor in Southeast Arkansas, serving as the sports editor of the Advance Monticellonian. In the spring of 1990, he joined Clarance Brooks Sr. in becoming one of the first two blacks ever elected to the Monticello City Council. From 1990-2001, he served as founder and advisor of a community youth organization called “Young People Thinking Ahead, (YPTA.) During that period, he directed a total of over 1100 young people in grades 4 through 12.
In 2006, he became a published author with his book entitled,”…And A Little Child Shall Lead Them.” During that same period, he recorded a live CD sermon entitled, ”It’s Church Time.” He is currently the host of a weekly broadcast ministry called the, “Full Hour of Gospel Power,” as well as a daily broadcast called, “A Few Soul-Soothing Seconds for Salvation.”
During UAM Homecoming 2010, he was honored with the UAM Achievement & Merit Award. He is chairman of the UAM African-American Alumni Association and a member of the Omicron Omicron Sigma Graduate Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. He is a member of Bartholomew Masonic Lodge #28 of Monticello. He and his wife Sherrie, have been married for over 31 years. He and his wife are members of UAM’s Centennial Circle. For 16 years, he and his wife have been owners of Head of the Class Childcare & Learning Center. The business is a corporate sponsor of UAM Athletics and AAU Basketball. In 2008, Head of the Class was selected by the Chamber of Commerce and MEDC as Monticello/Drew County Business of the Year. In 2009, Rev. & Mrs. Gillespie were chosen as Man & Woman of the Year.
Vera Tenner, a member of Mount Tabor, will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the breakfast. Pledge of Allegiance will be led by ReNyah Vincent and Alexis Woods of Mount Tabor; Prayer will be led by Bradley Dallas of Revival center Church of God in Christ; Scripture will be read by Jonathan “PJ” Deshazer of Pilgrim Rest A.M.E. Church; Welcome will be delivered by Kennedy Brown of Shady Grove A.M.E. Church of Monticello; Blessing of the Food by Rev. D. J. Buffington, pastor of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church; Introduction of the Speaker by Rev. Atley Johnson, associate minister at Mount Tabor; Membership Appeal by Brenda Binns; Acknowledgements & Presentations by Tommy Daniels, president of NAACP Branch #6042; Closing Prayer by Rev. Dr. Alford Branch, pastor of the Holmes Chapel Presbyterian Church and Breakfast hosts; and Benediction by Rev. Gillespie.
“Again, we’ve got an excellent time planned,” said Binns. “Take the time, come out and help us honor Dr. King.”