Members and guests of Gaines Chapel AME Church held their annual celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation Sunday afternoon, January 4. The proclamation was issued January 1, 1863, declaring slaves to be free. This year marks the 151st year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Rev. Dane Robinson presided over the service in the absence of Gaines Chapel pastor the Rev. Joseph Williams.
Following the prelude by Bro. Willie J. Grissett, Minister of Music, everyone joined in singing “Lift Every Voice,” the Negro National Anthem. The Rev. Humphrey Shuford offered the prayer with the choral response, “He Is Lord.” Minister Isabell Brazell presented the Scripture – Psalm 100.
A selection by Gaines Gospel Choir was accompanied by Urla Boggan and Willie J. Grissett.
Bro. Isaac Rice gave the welcome and Patricia Mason gave the occasion.
Greetings were presented by several dignitaries and members of the community. They were as follows:
* Ministers in the Community – Rev. Dane Robinson
* City of Atmore – Mayor Jim Staff
* Escambia County Educators – Board of Education Chairman W.J. Grissett
* Businesses – Louie Turner
* F&AM Mason – Worshipful Mason Teddy McNeil
* Order of Eastern Stars – Worthy Matron Mildred McKenzie
* Neighborhood Garden Club – Deloise Gandy
* PCRC – Barbara Poole-Harris
* Ladies of Essence – Betty Holly
Representatives for the Escambia County Commission and Concerned Citizens were on the program, but did not attend.
Following a selection by Robert White, Theresa White read the Emancipation Proclamation.
Deacon Sam Holley introduced the guest speaker Oversee Darryl North, pastor of Empowerment Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, Atmore.