By Gregory Miley, Speakin’ Out News staff writer and photographer
The annual birthday celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Emancipation Proclamation, sponsored by The Greater Huntsville Interdenominational Ministerial Fellow (GHIMF), was held on Friday, January 15, 2021,7:00 p.m., the Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Harvest, Alabama, where the Rev. Dr. C. Jermaine Turner is the Pastor, was the host church. This year, due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the service was a virtual service, and was live streamed on the GHIMF Facebook page and on Pine Grove Church’s YouTube channel. COVID restrictions limited in-house attendance to a few GHIMF members and members of the Pine Grove Church Praise Team and other Pine Grove Church support members.
Guest speaker for this year was Rev. Michael Clayton Harris, Pastor of the Acts of Faith Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a church that he was called to organize and pastor in May 2007. Rev. Harris is the son of the late Rev. Dr. Michael Neely Harris and Mrs. Sylvia Jones Harris, who was also in attendance. He is a fourth generation preacher, and a third generation “Morehouse Man”, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as graduates of Morehouse College. Pastor Harris’s celebration message was entitled “Good Trouble”, scriptural reference was Nehemiah 4: 1-6. In his message he presented three points: (1) People Must Have Purpose; (2) People Must Have A Plan; and (3) People Must Have Power. Rev. Harris was introduced by the GHIMF President, Rev. Dr. Larry Davidson, Jr.
Music for the occasion was provided by the Pine Grove Church Praise Team and guest singer Antonia Simons.
The Youth Challenge was given by Ms. J. Raquel McCrary, a member of Madkins Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church of America, a graduate of Sparkman High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
The GHIMF Service Award Recipient for 2021 is Ms. Erica Fox Washington. Ms. Washington, a native of Davis, California, is a graduate of Alabama A&M University (AAMU), with a Bachelor and a Master degree. She is the Program Director/Acting Music Director for WJAB-FM, 90.9 radio station on the campus of AAMU, a member of First Missionary Baptist Church, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Huntsville/ Madison County Chapter of the NAACP, Rosa Park Day Committee, Citizens Coalition for Social Justice, and other civic and social organizations. Presenting the award to Ms. Washington was Rev. Dr. H. Wendell Thompson, Sr., and Rev. Dr. Julius Scruggs, Pastor Emeritus of First M.B. Church.
The President of the GHIMF, Rev. Dr. Larry Davidson, Jr., expressed his thanks on behalf of the organization to the Pine Grove Church Pastor, Officers, Music Ministry, Media Ministry, and the entire Pine Grove Church family for hosting this event. He also thanked the community for their continuing prayers and support. The GHIMF Officers are: Rev. Dr. Larry Davidson, Jr; President; Rev. Dr. Mario Ford, Vice President; Min. Dianne Bryant, Secretary; Min. Marie Corbett, Assistant Secretary; Min. Gresha Lewis, Corresponding Secretary; Rev. Katrenia Kier,Treasurer, and Rev. Waymond Smith, Chaplain.