Community Honors the Life and Legacy of Mr. Vernard Murrell

Beautiful floral arrangements and plants were visible during the family hour and Homegoing Celebration for Mr. Vernard Murrell. The Homegoing Celebration was Thursday, January 26th at Little Rock M. B. Church with Pastor Sheldon Thomas officiating and delivering his eulogy. Program participants were Revs. Walter Patrick, Willie Thomas, Anthony Robinson, and Smith Butler, Deacon R. C. Williams, Mattye C. Evans, and his son, Leonard Murrell. Mr. Murrell was a man who wore many hats, including farmer, contractor, church pillar, singer, PRVWS District (Reservoir, Pearl River Industrial Commission)1993-2012, Founder/President of Community Group 15, NAACP, Past Worshipful Master for Masons, and Past Joshua for Heroines of Jericho. Our prayers are with his family especially his wife, Mrs. Laura Elizabeth Sibley Murrell, and children, Leonard, Myra Davis, Evelyn Hampton, Marvin, Charles, Stephen, Leslie, and Terriceda Crusoe; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Final arrangements were entrusted to Holifield Funeral Home.

Our prayers are with the family of Mrs. Annie Pearl Reed who was memorialized January 29th at Mapp Funeral Home Chapel. Rev. Rochelle Wright officiated and delivered her eulogy. Program participants were Rev. Jeffrey Stingley, Mesdames Marcia Stingley, and Janice Lofton. Our prayers are with her family, especially her mother, Mrs. Carrie Mae Wash; her son, Michael Reed; grandchildren Jeremy and Deshawn Harris, and Mikerria Reed; and special cousins Shirley Kincaid (Slaughter Library Relay for Life Team Member), Dorothy Townsend, Doris Townsend, Linda Patrick, Maurice Patrick, and Willie Townsend. Final arrangements were entrusted to Mapp Funeral Home.

We are sorry to learn of the transition of Mr. Ellis Clark whose life will be honored Saturday, February 4th at 11:00 in the Evans Memorial Funeral Home Chapel. Mr. Clark’s visitation is Friday, February 3rd from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. and a family and friends’ hour from 6-7:00 at Evans Memorial Funeral Home. Final arrangements are entrusted to Evans Memorial Funeral Home.

Our prayers are with the family of Soror Eris Jordan, retired educator, who passed Saturday, January 28th in Meridian. Please keep her family in your prayers.

We continue to remember our readers who are experiencing health challenges, namely, Julian Parker, LaToya McClendon, Bonnie Russell Hodge, Don Bell, Gail Lee, Kei’Erika Harris, Lawrence Smith, Rev. Floyd McConnell, John “Butch” Wilson, Rev. Willie Ray Pinkston, Thomas Anderson, Kristie Ware, Kaleb Walker (grandson of Charlie and Mary Walker), William Edward, Jr. (father of Susie Jackson Boyd), Virginia Hannah, LeReece Crimm, Lavell Stewart, Cornelius Willis (wife of Joe Isaac Willis,) Carolyn Knowles, Odis Husband, Ledora Benton, Henry and Marquita Patrick, Lucy V. Moore, Kitty Colbert, Sidney Ellis, Sammie Jean Webb, Anderson “Yellow” Stingley, Dorothy Mae Patrick Tigar, London Thompson, Melba Dixon, Mitch and Mary Nichols, Braxton Kelley, Lucille Flex, Laura Jackson, Roseann Lynn, Darryl McCurdy, Brandi Sharp, Beverly Hollingsworth, Eunice Slaughter, Viola Morgan, Jean Bates, Buddy Ellis, Tomi Reed Smith, Tommy Rankin, Charles Laster, and other readers who are facing health challenges.

St. Michael Catholic Church parishioners enjoyed Mass during the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Fr. Adolfo challenged us to recognize our sins as we examine our conscience; and examine why we suffer. We will receive peace when we love and follow the Lord — no one is above sin. In closing his homily, he reminded us that the Beatitudes are markers of when God slips into our consciousness. They are life’s doorways to a deepening sense of God with us. His Scripture references were Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, and Matthew 5:1-12.

We enjoyed the 30th Annual Evelyn Gandy Lecture Series held at the Threefoot Building January 26th -28th in downtown Meridian. According to official count, this was the largest attendance ever. Constance Slaughter-Harvey, Judge Denise Owens and Jennifer Riley Collins shared their perspectives on The Defender, a documentary detailing the role of lawyers during the civil rights movements. Former MC Law Dean Pat Watkins Bennett, a Forest native, and UM Law Dean Susan Duncan were present. MS Supreme Court Justice Dawn Bean participated as did Judges Sharion Aycock, Veldore Young Graham, Deborah McDonald, Virginia Carlton, Cynthia Brewer, Alison Baker, Michelle Easterling, and Faye Peterson. This CLE was hosted by the MS Bar Women in the Profession Section. It was most informative and entertaining, and we look forward to the 31st Gandy Lecture Series.

The Scott County MHV Awards Luncheon was held January 18th and the theme was “We Hit the Jackpot.” MSU Extension Interim Scott County Coordinator Natasha Haynes welcomed those in attendance. Other program participants were Jason Hurdle and Sean Farrell. The lunch was very delicious and healthy. Secretary Book Recognition and Scrapbook Award winners were Morton (first place) and Cluster Club won second place in both awards. The Homemaker Hall of Fame awards went to Cynthia Melton (Cluster), Frisky Roland (Morton) and Shirley Sullivan (Ringgold). Frisky Roland was the Homemaker of the Year, and the Morton Club received the Homemaker Club of the Year. Reading certificates were awarded to the Cluster Club — Dessaree Bradford, Carolyn Macon, Cynthia Melton, Ester Perry, Dorothy Strong, and Connie Wash; the Morton Club — Sarah Huff, Florence Measells, Frisky Roland, Judy Stegall, Helen Watkins, and Kathy Warren; and Ringgold Club — Ann Cotroneo. Thanks to Liz Easterling and Anita Webb. It was good to see Cluster Club member Mary Lofton present and able to attend.

We enjoyed the Legislative Breakfast Monday at the Forest City Hall Meeting Room which was sponsored by the Community Bank family. Local legislators provided an update on legislation.

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service to your community, Alderwoman Cynthia Slaughter-Melton visited Lackey Convalescent Home January 26th. She introduced herself and shared her history with Lackey where her cousin RN Naomi Williams was a resident. She enjoyed discussing local news. Melton said it was like “coming home.” Due to COVID restrictions, visits were not possible until now. She also donated “Bags of Love” to residents and staff, and she is looking forward to her next monthly visit in February.

We enjoyed our visit with Mrs. Nancy Myers, one of the great quilt-makers. She continues to celebrate God’s goodness and blessings. Please keep her in your prayers.

Happy belated birthday to Legacy Change Agent Dorothy Strong who celebrated her special day January 14th at home with flowers, cake, and gifts. She continued her celebration in Atlanta with her children and grandchildren.

Happy belated birthday (January 15) to Legacy Change Agent Charlie Walker who celebrated his day with family. He and wife, Mary Ann Walker, thanked God for his special gift — a return to good health for their grandson, Kaleb Walker.

Happy belated birthday to Rosie Mabry on her birthday celebration January 16th. She enjoyed spending the day with her grandsons and family.

Happy birthday greetings to babies born during the second week in February, namely, Tyailieka Lay, Abdu Clark, Carolyn Macon, Inetta Nichols, Ka”Vontae Phillips, Arkeavies Clark, and Antonia Pinkston (9), Patrinia Massey and Michael Melvin (10), Teselyn A. Melton Funches and Rick Mitchell (12).

Answer to Quiz Teaser # 705: Willie L. Horton, graduate of E. T. Hawkins High School (1963) and Tougaloo College (1967), is in great demand to speak during celebrations of the life and legacy of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an administrator in state government and in the city of Hattiesburg. He is the son of the late Mrs. Henrietta Horton and the late Mr. Joseph Horton, Sr. Mrs. Rosie Patrick provided the correct response.

Quiz Teaser # 706: Which African American represented Scott County and surrounding counties on the Pearl River Industrial Commission for more than 15 years?

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