Our community is saddened and offers prayers to the families of Michael Bell and Rodergas Taylor who were killed in a terrible auto accident Friday, April 2nd near Minute Mart in Forest. Our prayers are also with the two men, DeMarco Johnson and Chris Watson, who were injured in the accident. Please keep the families of Bell and Taylor in your prayers. Evans Memorial Funeral Home has been entrusted with final arrangements for Bell, and Dean’s Funeral Home has been entrusted with final arrangements for Taylor.
We are sorry to learn of the March 26th transition of Father Brian David Kaskie. He was a graduate of Forest High School, MS State University and St. Mary of the Lake University. Father Kaskie was ordained as the first native-born Roman Catholic priest from Scott County on June 6th, 1992. He served churches in Madison, Natchez, Jackson, McComb, Magnolia, and Chatawa. Our prayers are with his family especially his mother, Patricia, and siblings, Michael, Rogers, Kathleen Risher, Mark, Julianne France, Kristen Hagan, and Daniel.
We are sorry to learn of the March 18th transition of Jesse Turner Morris, Jr., a civil rights activist and the first executive director of the MS Food Network. He was SNCC field secretary, co-founder of the Poor People’s Cooperation, and director of the Emergency Land Fund. Our prayers are with his family especially his children Earl, Orlando, Omar, Tiyi, and Jessica.
A beautiful memorial Graveside Service was held Saturday for Mrs. Grace “Missy” Spann at the Pilgrim Rest Cemetery in Brandon. Pastor Ava Harvey officiated and delivered her eulogy. Please keep her family in your prayers, especially her children, Sarah, Tommy, and Polly.
Please continue to remember our readers who are facing health challenges, namely, Rudi Burks, Teresa McCurdy Cager, and others who were listed in last week’s column.
Former University of MS General Counsel Erica McKinley was the guest speaker for the 2021 Constance Slaughter-Harvey Chapter of BLSA at the University of MS April 3rd. Kudos to President Gabi Jackson who coordinated the zoom banquet and to the three winners of the $1,000 scholarships. Attorney McKinley is presently employed as Big Ten Conference Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel. She challenged graduates to continue to keep the faith, and expressed her appreciation to Chancellor Vitter and her mentor Constance Slaughter-Harvey, also a graduate of Tougaloo College and the University of MS School of Law.
Congratulations to Mrs. Loyce Collier who was honored by the weekly MS Link as one of MS’s Unsung Heroines for being a faithful soldier in her hometown of Morton and her church at Christian Banner. We salute Mrs. Collier who also worked with her husband, the late Rev. Clint Collier, in his roles as pastor and civil rights activist. She cherishes her role as mother to three daughters, twins Linda and Sandra, Deborah, and two sons (deceased) Paul and Gary. We salute Mrs. Collier!
Congratulations to Morton native Sgt. Henry Minor, Jr. who was honored with a special retirement party by the Olive Branch Police Department Monday, March 30th. After 25 years, Sgt. Minor decided to take a break and enjoy traveling with his family especially his wife, Billistris. Among his job titles were School Resource Officer for Scott County Schools (Morton) and DeSoto County School Districts. He also served as Scott County Deputy Sheriff and DARE Officer for Olive Branch Middle School. Minor is the son of Mrs. Maureen (Maude) Minor and the late Henry, Sr. We wish him much relaxation and enjoyment on his retirement from law enforcement.
Easter Resurrection Sunday services at St. Michael Catholic Church were conducted by Colombian Father Raphael Pisso who shared the meaning of the Resurrection. He said that if we believe in the Resurrection, then we need to smile more and exercise tenderness to one another. Resurrection is not complicated – it is Love. We are stronger when we join hands. As reflected in the Resurrection, we, too, are capable of compassion, mercy, and love. Don’t be afraid to love, and in the simple things of life, we are called to display the tenderness of God.
During Resurrection Sunday at Lynch Chapel U. M. Church, Pastor Shirley Wilder’s message topic was “Because He Lives.” The Scripture reference was Matthew 28:1-10; and service was in person, Facebook, and teleconference. Rev. Wilder asked for special prayers for the families of Michael Bell and Rodergas Taylor, and reminded us to continue to practice CDC guidelines. She shared that Jesus is a perfect Savior and without sin. We are nothing and God gave us the opportunity to believe. Jesus paid the price... He was crushed and died for our sins… Jesus never waivered and did what His Father asked. We have forgotten the Word of God and must realize that God is in control – He sent the perfect gift – His Son. We can live knowing we can find peace. In her usual style, she closed with a musical rendition of “Because He Lives.”
Little Rock M. B. Church Resurrection service was via YouTube, and devotion was done by Pastor Sheldon Thomas. The sermon theme was, “I’m in the Need of a Blood Fixing.” Scriptures referenced were Hebrews 10:20-21 and Revelations 12:10-11. It was a man, woman, and tree (Adam, Eve, and the forbidden tree) that got us in trouble. It took a man, woman, and a tree (Jesus, Mary, and the cross) to get us out of trouble. Every day we are faced with three enemies: sin, Satan, and self. The Bible declares, “They overcame by the Blood of the Lamb.” The Blood never loses its power! Thank God for the empty Cross, the empty clothes, and the empty tomb! HE IS RISEN!!
We enjoyed visiting with Johnny Harold Ward, 1968 graduate of North Scott High School. Mr. Ward annually visits his siblings during the Easter holiday. Safe travels back to Milwaukee to Mr. Ward and his sister, Brenda Ward.
Scott County Jackson State University Alumni Association President Albert Gray reminds readers that the JSU Meeting will be held Thursday, April 8th at 5:30 at the Forest Services Center (in person and via teleconference).
Our readers are invited to attend the 27th and 28th Pastor’s Appreciation Program Sunday, April 11th at 11:30 at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Bishop Billy C. Williams, Sr. and First Lady Zeola Williams will be honored. Elder Charles Singleton will be the speaker. For additional information, contact Mother Bettie Robinson at 769-274-5363.
A special birthday greeting to Morton Alderwoman Oneida Hollis Laster who will celebrate her special day April 10th! Roseann Lynn celebrated her birthday April 2nd with families and friends in North Carolina.
Birthday greetings to babies born between April 16th and 20th, namely, Annie Ward Lowery (16), Brienna Payton, Vonda Carter McClendon, and Jaylon Hord (17), Lisa Webster and Charles Moncrief (18), Tenisha Murrell, Tynranna Bailey, and Devon Trest (19), and Lurrie Harrison (20).
Answer to Women’s History Month Quiz Teaser # 612: Vice President Kamala Devi Harris graduated from HBCU Howard University and Hasting College of Law, and served as a California Senator and State Attorney General. Congratulations to Sheilia Y. Brown for the correct response.
Diversity Month Quiz Teaser # 613: From what country did the first Virginia captives, later to become enslaves, come?