Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mrs. Amelia Rogers Passing

BIG STONE GAP, Va. — Mrs. Amelia B. Morris Rogers, 98, entered into eternal peace on Wednesday (Jan. 21, 2009) at the home of her niece, Sylvia Simpson Hutchinson.
Born to Edgar and Sophia Beatty Morris on May 22, 1910 in Jonesville, Va., she lived most of her life in Big Stone Gap, Va. The fifth of six children, she was preceded in death by sisters, Charity M. Martin, Mary M. Talford and Florence M. Simpson; and brothers, George L. Morris and Charles E. Morris, in addition to her husband, Elbert Rogers.

After graduating from high school at Swift Memorial Junior College in Rogersville, she made her living as a seamstress and in family domestic services. She met and married Elbert Rogers and, in the latter years of their lives, they resided in Bristol, Tenn. After the death of her husband, she returned to Big Stone Gap where she made her home until her death.
“Aunt Amelia” was a quiet woman who would help anyone she could and met life’s challenges with strength, fortitude and faith. She was a member of Mount Herman Presbyterian Church and of the Bristol, Va. Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Mrs. Rogers are her nieces, Mrs. Sylvia S. Hutchinson (Edward R. Hutchinson, Sr.), Dr. Miriam DeLois M. Fuller, Jefferson City, Mo., Mrs. Angela M. Crockett (Russell Crockett), Philadelphia, Pa., Ms. Crystal Morris, Miami, Fla. and Mrs. Marva M. Connor, Brooklyn, N.Y.; nephews, Dr. Charles E. Morris, Jr. (Dr. Jeanne B. Morris), Normal, Ill., and Dr. Joel M. Morris (Betty S. Morris), Adelphia, Md. In addition, there is a host of grand-nieces and grand-nephews and their children.
The family wishes to express their deep appreciation for the loving care that “Aunt Amelia” received from the nurses and staff of Total Home Care Hospice, Heritage Hall Nursing Home, special cousins and friends.
The family will receive friends at Holding Funeral Home in Big Stone Gap on Monday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Aunt Amelia’s going home celebration will be conducted at 3 p.m. Monday in the funeral home chapel with the Rev. Mark Harkness of Acworth, Ga.
Interment will follow in Oakview Cemetery in Big Stone Gap.
Memorials may be sent to Mount Herman Presbyterian Church, c/o Mrs. Juanita Dinkins, 618 Powell Avenue, Big Stone Gap, Va. 24219.
Condolences may be sent to

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

•Winter weather Can’t Dim Glow From Candlelight March in Wise




WISE — On the eve of a historic presidential inauguration, a cold nose and frigid toes were merely part of the party in Wise on Monday.
Temperatures dipped toward the low end of the teens while snow flurries kissed exposed cheeks. Smiles and laughter danced to candlelight up Main Street as about 75 celebrants of Martin Luther King Jr. Day marched as well for Tuesday’s inauguration of Presidentelect Barack Obama.
“I’ve just been excited about it, just like the rest of America and the rest of the world,” said Sandra Jones, coordinator of Black History Month at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, sponsor of the 13th annual MLK Day observance and candlelight march.

David Grace —

“Martin Luther King’s dream has come to pass. Now, there are still things that need done. But the election of Barack Obama speaks volumes for America and for the world,” she said.
Jones has participated in all 13 MLK Day observances in Wise, and coordinated the last 11 events that begin with an all-comers dinner at the First Church of God, followed by the annual candlelight march to further activities at Wise Baptist Church a few blocks away. She said her brother, the late Junius Jones, who marched with Dr. King in the 1960s, would have loved what is happening in America today.
“Shoot, he would be wild,” she said. “And if possible, he would have been right in the midst (of Obama’s inauguration).”
Peggy Goulet of Big Stone Gap moved to the area in 2005 and hasn’t missed a UVa-Wise sponsored King candlelight march in Wise since.
“Oh, man. This being the first year to inaugurate a black president is a wonderful celebration of what Martin Luther King fought for and believed in,” she said. “So tonight is very special with Martin Luther King’s birthday and the inauguration together. I must say we have a lot of work to do, but by the grace of God we will arrive there at the same place. That’s what we’re working for.”
Wise Primary School fourthgrader Kristen Brickey, 9, of Wise was talking the other day with her grandmother, Pat Bevins of Wise, about Abe Lincoln, “and then we just started talking about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks and Barack Obama,” she said.
“You don’t think kids are listening,” said Bevins. “And then you find out, oh they are, all right. That’s why we’re here tonight, living history.”

Pastor Ronnie W. Collins of Kingsport, general overseer of the regional, state and district directors of protocol and international overseer of special services and program participants for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, was featured speaker for Monday’s program. Obama’s election and MLK Day observances seem almost ordained from on high, he said.
“We look at it as Martin Luther King’s dream now manifested. It’s something I, myself, did not think would happen in my lifetime — a black president,” Collins said. “It has come to pass as Dr. King said, that we would judge one another by the content of character rather than color of skin. And that’s exactly what happened in this election. This is just fantastic. It’s a great time, and a great day.”
Rachel Bailey, also a 9-year-old Wise Primary fourth-grader, said what she has learned about King “is that it makes me feel really good that black people took a chance to be free. What he did took until now but gave (Obama) a chance to be president.”
Rachel’s grandparents, Kathryn and John Kennedy of Wise, took her to Washington, D.C., two years ago, and she stood in the exact spot where King gave his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech.
“It was really amazing,” she said. “I can’t believe I could actually stand in a famous place. I actually dreamed of doing that.”
Other youngsters participating in Monday’s events were 6-yearold Noah Lawson and his brother and sister, 4-year-old twins Kaleb and Kayley.
“This is the first year for the twins. I’ve had Noah here before, though,” said their mother, Jessica Lawson of Wise. “With the inauguration, this is a major historical event this year. I just got certified as a teacher in Virginia, and I think it is important for our children to learn our history and why things happen.”
Jones said the local MLK Day observance has been a success for 13 straight years, but none quite so meaningful as this one.
“I think it’s grown tremendously,” she said. “There is a oneness, not just in this community but we have people come from Tennessee and Kentucky. Oh, and there is oneness all over America, all over the world tonight. Who cannot but believe that, and know that it’s true?”

Johnson City Residents Turn Out For Own Inaugural Ball

• JOHNSON CITY — Inaugural parties in Washington surely could not exceed the level of excitement inside a Johnson City party hall Tuesday night as about 650 locals gathered to celebrate what many consider the most historic moment in America. The Celebration of Hope and Change, sponsored by local Democrats, opened the doors at 6 p.m. at The Russo Orleans on Sunset Drive and was the only known organized presidential inauguration party for miles around, coordinators said. Attendees included people of all ages and political involvement. Friends Dee Hupp, Kathy Ayers and Delanna Reed said they wanted to attend the celebration because it represents such a monumental time in history. “This is the second best thing we could do,” Hupp said. “I couldn’t go to Washington. ... It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate this with so many people who are excited and happy to be unified again.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hawkins County Martin Luther King Day-Inauguration Day Events

January 19, 2009

11:45 AM, 5th Annual Memorial March from the Hawkins County Courthouse, Rogersville, Tennessee to the Russell Chapel AME Church on Hasson Street.

12:30 PM Memorial Service begins, featuring the "Martin Luther King Anthem" written and sung by Marie Lyons Robinson.
Celebration sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance

January 20, 2009
The Allendale Mansion, 444 West Stone Drive, Kingsport
6 PM - 7 PM Light refreshments
7 PM - 8 PM Dinner
8:30 PM - Eddie the DJ (Eddie Cox)
Celebration hosted by Tony & Carolyn Harris

Sunday, January 4, 2009