Annual black history program held Sunday

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The tradition of “Keeping the Dream Alive” continues with the 14th annual Black History Scholarship Program and Banquet on Sunday at the Outreach Endtime Deliverance Church north of Troy.

Dorothy Townsend, Pastor Willie Scott and the United Praise Gospel Group sponsor the program and banquet during Black History Month each year.

“We are extremely excited this year because we have so much planned for the program,” Townsend said. “We anticipate this to be one of the best Black History programs yet. We have so many surprises planned we can hardly wait.”

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Townsend said the Rev. Stanley Gillis, pastor of Lilly Baptist Church in Troy, will be the featured speaker.

“Rev. Gillis desires to teach and help motivate everyone to join hands and move forward toward the prize,” Townsend said. “His message is not to forget the past, embrace it and grab hold of the future.”

Six businesses, past and present, will be honored at the banquet.

“These at-home business all have from 20 to 25 years of service to the community,” Townsend said. “The owners are dedicated and were determined to make a difference by working from their homes. Some are retired and others continue to ‘keep the dream alive.’

“We are very honored to embrace them and hear their stories, their advice and their encouragement.”

Among the business owners to be honored are Jean Guice, James Baker, Jacquelyn Patterson, Ellouise Pennington, Maureen Bean and Walter Steele.

Townsend said a large group of young people is expected to be in attendance.

“We hope they will learn to embrace their past history and realize there is no future unless you know your past,” she said. “Young people also need to learn not to dwell and live in the past but to grab hold of the future and embrace it and do new things in their lives and in their community.”

Townsend expressed appreciation to the Charles Henderson High School business department for all the help and support over past 14 years.

“Mrs. Pat Rogers, the business teacher, has worked with this scholarship program and offered suggestions and selections for those she believes will benefit from the scholarship awards and will continue their educations beyond high school,” Townsend said.

The Black History Scholarship Program and Banquet will include a skit, “Mahalia Jackson,” portrayed by Rosa Carroll of First Independent All Nations Church in Troy.

Special guests at the banquet will be the Rev. McCray and the Spiritual Jubilees, Troy; Shields and Gospel Travelers, Montgomery; Juanita Green, Troy; and The Gospel Giant, Troy.

Emcees for the banquet will be Sheila Deveridge, Johnny Jones and Clarence Scott.

The doors open at 6 p.m.


Jean Guice

About 23 years ago, Jean Guice found herself a single parent, trying to raise three daughters on her own. She knew she needed to work in order to provide the kind of life her daughters needed and the kind of life she wanted for them.

The idea of a home day care began to develop in her mind. Guice decided that was what she wanted to do and she did it.

Jean’s Day Care business is very successful and continues going strong today.

“Anybody, through determination and a well made-up mind can succeed in anything or in any business, just keep the faith in God and in yourself. You can beat the odds,” Guice said.


Jacquelyn Williams Patterson

Jacquelyn Patterson is a product of Troy and a graduate of Trenholm State Technical College and Troy University where she majored in sociology and psychology. She is currently a graduate student at Troy University majoring in adult education with a concentration in instructional technology. She is the administrative assistant in the Human Services and Social Work Department at Troy University.

Patterson has owned and operated Jacquelyn’s Design and Graphics, a home-based service, in her home since 19878. The services Patterson provides are printing, copying, desktop publishing, graphic designs and social printing.


Ellouise Pennington

Ellouise Pennington has lived and worked in and around Pike County all her life.

Her desire was to find a way to stay home and raise her two children.

When she opened Ellouise’s Day Care, she knew it wouldn’t be easy because, at that time, there weren’t many successful home businesses.

With a lot of strength and self-motivation, Pennington enjoyed much success with her home business.

She is retired and often advises others on how to start a business and be successful in it.

Her motto is, “With God, you can make it happen.”


James Baker

James Baker was born and raised in Pike County and raised his children in Linwood.

He found a need for his skills as a mechanic in the Linwood community. He decided to beat the odds and opened his home-based business, Baker’s Mechanic Shop in his front yard.

For 30 years, Baker was known all around as one of Pike County’s best mechanics.

He is retired and enjoying his hobby – horses.

He has a great love for people, especially children. He gladly accepts invitations to entertain with his horse shows and he does it just for fun.


Maureen Bean

Maureen Bean was born and raised in Pike County. She was married and raised eight children. She was one of the first African Americans to open a home-based business in Pike County. Beans Daycare was one of the largest in the county.

Bean is recognized as a respected role model in the City of Troy and was known as one of the best day care providers in the county. Many of the children she mentor who are now adults remember and attest to all of the tender, loving care and teachings that she provided. She believes that her success is based on her faith in God.


Walter James Still

Walter Still graduated from Goshen High School in 1976 and started working with his father in the logging business. He started his own business, Still Logging Co. in 1981.

After 32 years, Still’s business is still going strong. His business is based primarily on word of mouth advertising and a good eye for timber.

In 1992, Still became the first African American to receive his license for a dealer to haul his own wood. Still said God has been good to him and his family and that’s the reason he call tell others about God’s goodness. His motto is “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” He is now the pastor of Springfield Missionary Baptist Church in Ansley.