by Amanda Smith
Wesleyan College's Lane Center for Community Engagement and Service awarded its annual Servant Leadership Award to six community leaders on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1pm at the Taylor Hall Amphitheatre on the Wesleyan College campus, located at 4760 Forsyth Road in Macon, Georgia. Honored were Herbert Dennard, Sr., Cliffard Whitby, David and Teresa Little, Karen Middleton, and Reverend Ronald E. Tony, Pastor of Lizzie Chapel Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia.
The Lane Center seeks to honor outstanding community leaders each year who exemplify the philosophy of servant leadership. Lane Center Director, Dr. Rhonda Green-Barnes, was inspired to start the Servant Leadership Awards Ceremony in 2009 as a means of exposing Wesleyannes to individuals within the community who are doing great things in a selfless manner. She believes exposure and interaction with these leaders will encourage Wesleyannes to model the leaders’ attitudes toward service and their dedication to excellence. "Honorees of the Servant Leadership Awards Program possess extraordinary influence," said Dr. Green-Barnes. "They serve with an enormous sense of purpose and their work reaches across color, gender, and cultural lines to propel people toward common goals while tackling real problems with sincere passion to create solutions. These Servant Leader Honorees focus on meeting the legitimate needs of others and do not seek recognition or fanfare," she continues. "They use their skills and leadership abilities as an opportunity to serve and empower those around them to do the same."
Members of the Lane Center's Selection Committee work with Dr. Green-Barnes to select ordinary people from the community who are doing extraordinary things quietly and effortlessly. As they go about doing their work, they are subsequently blessing and making the quality of life better for those around them.
Lane Center's Honorees this year include:
Herbert Dennard, Sr.
Herbert Dennard, Trailblazer, Civil Rights Activist, Owner and Publisher of The Georgia Informer newspaper since 1982, formed, with a small group of others, the Macon Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
Rev. Ronald E. Tony
Reverend Ronald Toney, Pastor of Lizzie Chapel Baptist Church, Overseer of numerous ministries that include Manna (addressing neighborhood concerns) and HELP (Haitian Empowerment of Life Project), Visionary of the connotative meaning of ministry and community working together
David and Teresa Little
Minister David and Educator Teresa Little, Founders of Destined for Greatness, a mentoring program for disadvantaged youth that uses music and the arts to promote healing
Land developer and community organizer Cliffard Whitby, President & CEO of Whitby, Inc. and Promoter and Advocate for the power of diverse people uniting with community resources to accomplish great things
Karen Middleton, Director of the Family Investment Center and Overseer for the Buck Melton Community Center, Advocate for locating resources for people in need
The Awards were presented by Dr. Green-Barnes, assisted by Wesleyan College President Ruth Knox, Provost Vivia Fowler, Katherine Hutto (Lane Center Advisory Board President) and Eleanor Lane (Wesleyan College Alumnae and Benefactor). The Awards Ceremony featured Master of Ceremony Pastor Jamil V. Willis (Living Sanctuary Fellowship Church) as well as Praise Dances and the Celebratory Lighting of the Kinara with the Principles of Kwanzaa. Wesleyannes Wyneka Curry and Brooke Bosley, Lane Center’s Servant Leader President and HMS 299 Class Representative, respectively, gave the Welcome and the Occasion.
"We honor this year's awardees with deep respect," said Dr. Green-Barnes. "This annual celebration confirms the fact that when we serve others, we are accomplishing a much greater good far beyond the mind’s ability to comprehend."
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