Diggs Memorial fetes leaders at BHM program

Diggs Memorial fetes leaders at BHM program
February 19
00:00 2015

Diggs Memorial United Holy Church held a Black History program on Feb. 8 with the theme “Know those that Labor Among You.”

The Rev. Annie Duck was the facilitator and president for the event.  The Rev. Travest Hunter, principal of the School of Excellence of Winston Salem, served as the master of ceremony.

The Diggs youth dance ministry (Kayla Smooth, Diamond and Dallas Martin, Jada Tate)  provided a moving  liturgical ministry.

Evangelist Monique McClenney galvanized the audience with a warm welcome.  The Rev. Sharon Isaiah presented the poem “Life.”

Duck presented certificates of recognition honoring the service of “Unsung Heroes & Herions” from the community who are still alive and are still making contributions to our community. Those included: Ms. Joycelyn Johnson, social worker and former councilwoman of the East Ward.

*Isaac “Ike” Howard, deacon at Shiloh Baptist Church, teacher and former Dallas Cowboys football player.

*Nigel Alston, motivational speaker, columnist and talk show host.

*Yette Renee Matthews-Phifer, composer and director of music at Winston Salem Preparatory Academy (WSPA), and minister of music.

The culminating aspect of the black history celebration was the  stellar performance of the Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy’s High School and Mixed Chorus and Ladies Ensemble, who presented “A Journey in Music from Africa to America.”

Matthews-Phifer and the choir took the audience on a tour in music back to the traditional African-American spirituals of Africa with songs such as  “Hold on,” “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” and “I Want to be Ready.”

The Ladies Ensemble continued the journey, reaching back for traditional songs such as: ” God’s Heaven, Swing low, Sweet Chariot” and closed with an old-time spiritual medley.

The WSPA Mixed Chorus picked up the driver seat and brought the audience up to the contemporary African-American gospel sounds of songs such as: “So Amazing,” and “Strong Finish.”

When the journey was over, the audience felt as though they had traveled the time capsule from the African-American roots of Negro spirituals to the contemporary sounds of gospel today.

The principle of WSPA, Rev. Richard Watts was recognized for his work commitment to making a difference with youth.  The recognition and obvious respect of the WSPA Choir and parents for principle Watts was made clear as he was recognized.

Mother Carrie Miller, culinary president of Diggs Memorial, and her staff were recognized for her leadership and food preparation of the wonderful meal served to WSPA Choir and the community at large.  Pastor Lamonte Williams, along with the officers and members of Diggs Memorial, say they would like to thank the community for supporting the event.

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