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2 | The Brotherhood Journal


Point of View

Don’t be Colorblind Journeys

Did You Know? Lifelines

Morning Star Recovers from Katrina The Brotherhood Economy

Talking Biofuels The Brotherhood Economy

Kior Breaks Ground in Columbus, MS BUSINESS BUREAU

Where Else You Can Find Us Restoration Ministries

Prison Prevention Program Newly Weds

Community Weddings Future Hall of Fame

Community Couples COMMUNITY

Project T.E.A.M. Feature


Are You Ready for a Fire?

C NTENTS 5 7 8 10

Katrina | 8

13 17 18 22

Restoration | 18

24 25 27 30

Newlyweds| 22 The Brotherhood Journal | 3

4 | The Brotherhood Journal

POINT OF VIEW Don’t Be Color-blind, Just Appreciate the Unique Differences Sometimes people try to express successful conquest of racial prejudices by saying something along this line: “When it comes to people, I am color-blind.” I can appreciate the intent behind that statement. I actually applaud their progress in race relations if, in fact, they have grown to that point. However, if growing in race relationship to the point of “being color blind” is Exhibit A, then I beg to enter “just appreciate the unique differences” as Exhibit B. Quite frankly, I believe that life is a lot more enjoyable if one takes time to appreciate the unique differences in people. I remember a statement made by my brother. It said “it’s not required for an individual to be color-blind because then you can’t find your car in the parking lot if you are color-blind.” Perhaps, one of my least favorite foods is fruit cocktail. I don’t really like fruit cocktail because most of the time you have a bowl of fruit that doesn’t taste like itself. The peaches taste a little like pineapples. The grapes taste a little like strawberry. The strawberry tastes a little like peaches. The canelope tastes a little like grape. The pineapple tastes a little like cherries. All of these fruits are delicious when eaten separately, but for me when you put them all together, you end up with a bowl of fruit where not anything really tastes like itself. I think we need to just relax and say it’s ok to be different racially. I remember a unique speech by Reverend Jeremiah Wright. His subject was, “Different does not mean inferior, it just means different.” Back to fruit again... an apple is not inferior to an orange, we just have to appreciate that an apple is not an orange. I think we all are glad that we know the difference. That way we know to use apples when we want an apple pie. We squeeze the oranges when we want orange juice.

When it comes to race relations, I have believed for a long time that it is not required that one becomes colorblind but just have a healthy respect for the unique differences in people. As Dr. Martin Charles E. Harris Luther King stated Editor & Publisher so eloquently in his dream, he desired a day when people will be judged by the “content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.” As we reflect on Black History and culture, we present a man with a mission, Dr. Dolphus Weary, author of the book, “I AIN’T COMIN’ BACK.” I found an interesting segment in chapter fourteen, where the book deals with the subject of The road to reconciling the races. “At Mendenhall Bible Church we have a predominantly black congregation. But there are a few whites plus frequent white visitors. That has helped all of us to get to know each other in a way that respects racial differences yet overlooks them enough to treat each other as people with dignity. “That brings up a third strategy: we need to get to know somebody who is the object of our racism. If I’m black, I need to get to know someone who is white; not so that I can tell people I have a white friend; but so that I can learn more about whites and about my attitudes towards whites.That’s where growth takes place.” Extracted from the book I Ain’t Coming Back. As it turns out, I believe his three strategies will work for most human relationship issues. u The Brotherhood Journal | 5

BROTHERHOOD Editor and Publisher Charles E. Harris Layout Editor - Nilse Furtado-Gilliam Resource Editor - Travis T. Willingham Advertising and Distribution - Derrick Harris and Steve Foster Graphics Technician - Rodney Miller Staff Writers Dorothy Harris Linda Listenbee Shirley Howell Gloria Howell Crystal Harris Volume 6, Number 1 Fall, 2011 The Brotherhood Journal is a quarterly publication dedicated to inform our members of business, professional, religious, financial, industrial, health, entertainment and community development news of our area. The Brotherhood Journal invites editorial contributions from the members and concerned individuals on any topic, view, or issue. Thoughts expressed in such contributions are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Brotherhood Journal. All submissions must include author’s name, address, and telephone numbers. Letters to the editor: P O Box 1004, New Albany, MS 38652. Contact us by phone 662-534-4366 or by email: 6 | The Brotherhood Journal


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POINT OF VIEW Cont. Perhaps this issue will spark someone’s interest in crossing over racial lines to get to know and appreciate the unique difference in someone of a different race. We just have to keep in mine that “different does not mean inferior, it just mean different.” n Charles E. Harris | Editor & Publisher

JOURNEYS Did You Know? In 1987, Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, an African-American pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, gained worldwide recognition for leading a team in the successful separation of conjoined twins. The surgery lasted 22 Dr. Benjamin Carson hours and was the first of its kind to separate twins joined at the head without fatalities to either infant. Born September 18, 1951 to Sonya and Robert Solomon Carson, he was the younger of their two sons. Ben and his brother, Curtis, grew up in the hardcore climate of inner-city Detroit. Ben was eight and his brother, Curtis, was ten when their parents divorced. His mother had dropped out of school in the third grade. She took on two or three jobs at a time in order to provide for her sons. Sonya got their clothes from the Goodwill and offered to pick corn or other vegetables in exchange for a portion of the yield for food. Her actions, encouragement and faith in God proved to be a tremendous influence on her sons. She taught them that anything was possible if they worked hard enough. And when Ben and Curtis became discouraged, she would always remind him that “you can do what anyone else can do, except better.” Ben told his mom early in life that he wanted to be a doctor. They were on medical assistance, and on many occasions, they would have to wait for hours to be seen by one of the interns.

As they waited, Ben took notice of how the doctors and nurses were going about their routines. He would listen as a doctor would be paged as they waited, and he fantasized that one day they’d be calling for a “Dr. Carson.” At one point, Ben and his brother had difficulty in school, and Ben was at the bottom of his class. He became an object of ridicule by his classmates which caused him to develop an uncontrollable temper. Determined to turn her sons around, their mother, Sonya, limited their TV time and refused to let them go outside to play until they had finished their homework. She was determined that her sons would have greater opportunities than she did. She required them to read two library books a week and give her written reports. Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson is now director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is a philanthropist and in 2008, was recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He, like many others, endured many obstacles to get to the position that he now holds. He credits his personal faith in God, perseverance and his mother’s influence in his education to his success. Now, when making speaking engagements, he always leaves his listeners with the call to think big and allow God, your talent, knowledge and compassion to lead them and just simply “Be nice” to others. I hope you got to watch the movie, “Gifted Hands”, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., which aired on INSP during the month of February. It was an absolute inspiration for all and another reflection in African-American history. n

Linda R. Listenbee | Staff Writer The Brotherhood Journal | 7

KATRINA How One Community Overcame it by Faith

For 101 years Morning Star Missionary

Baptist Church had thrived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with a membership of approximately 700 people. On Monday, August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in our nation’s history, devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast, forever changing the history of Morning Star. 8 | The Brotherhood Journal

Fast forward two years and no work had been done. The church still struggled with insurance settlements which made it difficult to move forward. Then, help finally came from as near as surrounding counties to as far as Pennsylvania. Church members were resolved to not only restore the damaged buildings but to serve the u

community with state-of-the-art facilities. On December 7, 2008, three years after hurrican Katrina, the congregation marched into a brand new sanctuary, family life center, and education building. Through those three very difficult years, the people stayed committed, focused, and true. The anchor still holds thanks to God and the support of Pr.

Harry J. Pilson & The Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church of Alexandria, VA; Pr. John Johnson & The Morning Star Baptist Church of Jackson, MS; Pr. Ray Streets & The Emmanuel Baptist Church of Johnstown, PA. Under the leadership of Dr. Lewis Edward Ragins, Sr., Pastor, the Morning Star community can only look forward to better days ahead. n Nilse Furtado-Gilliam | Layout Editor The Brotherhood Journal | 9

BROTHERHOOD ECONOMY Using Biofuels to Address Energy Crisis 25x’25 Alliance leaders have recently applauded President Obama for his commitment to supporting biofuels as a valuable tool for addressing price volatility of transportation fuels and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Among a number of points he made at a major energy speech at Georgetown University, the President set a national goal of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025, in part by increasing our domestic production of clean, domestically grown biofuels. “We agree with the White House assessment that ‘some of our most effective opportunities to enhance our energy security can be found in our own backyard,’” said Read Smith, a Washington state wheat farmer and co-chair of the 25x’25 Alliance Steering Committee. “The administration’s commitment to expanding biofuels markets and commercializing new biofuels technologies is the latest in a long history of White House support for biofuels. The President has recognized bioenergy as a key component in a larger set of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that that need to be implemented for this nation to create a stable and clean energy sector.” “The President’s remarks underscore the need for a comprehensive energy policy that can maximize all of the land-based contributions offered 10 | The Brotherhood Journal

by U.S. farms, ranches and forestlands to enhance our energy independence, boost our economy and improve our environment, whether it’s bioenergy, wind, solar, geothermal or hydropower,” Smith said. Ret. Vice Admiral Denny McGinn, former commander of the U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet and a member of the 25x’25 Steering Committee said the President is on the right track, stating that no less than our national security is at stake. “America’s energy posture-- with its dependence on fossil fuels, including two-thirds of crude oil coming from foreign supplies-- poses a serious and urgent threat to our nation,” McGinn said. “As we’ve seen in recent weeks, U.S. dependence on foreign oil weakens our international leverage, undermines our foreign policy objectives, and entangles America with unstable regimes.” McGinn urged Congress to follow the President’s lead and pursue policies that vigorously develop the nation’s biofuel supply. “Home-grown transportation fuel that can never run out will help us beat our national addiction to foreign oil,” McGinn said. “Right now, we send more than $1 billion to other countries each day to pay for oil—and much of that money goes to regimes hostile to the United States. Biofuels and other alternative energy sources will help make our nation more secure— militarily, diplomatically, and economically.” n

BROTHERHOOD ECONOMY Pickens Releases Energy Security Initiative Legendary Texas oil and gas executive, T. Boone Pickens, has released the following statement in response to remarks by President Obama at Georgetown University where he outlined his plan for America’s energy security. “Today the President articulated the national security and economic threats associated with our escalating dependence on foreign oil. With the increasing price of gasoline, natural gas is an important domestic fuel at our disposal that can replace foreign oil to power heavy-duty fleet vehicles. Converting heavy-duty trucks and high-fuel use commercial fleet vehicles to natural gas can reduce our OPEC dependence now while we wait for technology to power the vehicles of tomorrow. It is clear President Obama is committed to

weaning America off Middle Eastern oil, securing our own energy future and recognizes the role natural gas can play as a domestic transportation fuel. Recent unrest in the Middle East underscores the need to take action now and I’m encouraged by the President’s promise to secure America’s energy future and national security by reducing our dependence on OPEC oil. The Pickens Plan to encourage more heavy duty fleet vehicles to run on domestic resources is included in the NAT GAS Act which is being prepared for introduction next week in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK), Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK), Congressman John Larson (D-CT), and Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX). The pending legislation enjoys broad bipartisan support. n

Herseth-Sadlin to Join 25x25 National Steering Committee Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, a nationally recognized and respected leader in federal agricultural and energy policy, has accepted a seat on the 25x’25 National Steering Committee. Herseth-Sandlin, a principal at Olsson, Frank and Weeda Law, in Washington, D.C., has dedicated her professional career to advancing public policy important to agriculture, rural economic development, renewable energy and nutrition. She served from 2004-2011 as South Dakota’s at-large Member of Congress, where she served on the Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs and Natural Resources committees. Herseth-Sandlin also was a member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, where she represented the views and strengths of rural America in the national energy policy debate. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from South

Dakota, and during her time in office, she was the youngest woman serving in the Congress. As a member of the Agriculture Committee, Herseth Sandlin helped write the 2008 Farm Bill, which included a number of innovative farm energy programs. She also worked to enact two Renewable Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin Fuels Standards important to the biofuels industry. Herseth-Sandlin, who currently serves on the Board of Directors of the South Dakota State University Innovation Campus, was executive u

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BROTHERHOOD ECONOMY Kior Breaks Ground and Draws Customers for Columbus Biofuels Plant FedEx is the latest company to sign an offtake agreement with Kior, a biofuels plant, slated to begin production in Columbus in 2012. FedEx plans to use oil produced from biomass, mainly wood chips, in its ground fleet. The Hunt Oil Refinery in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Catchlight Energy, a joint venture between Weyerhaeuser and Chevron, also have entered into agreement to use oil produced at Kior, Gov. Haley Barbour announced Thursday, during a symbolic groundbreaking at the Kior site. Work began a few months ago on the Kior site at the Columbus-Lowndes County Port. The facility represents a $190 million local investment with more than $500 million to be invested statewide, as the company adds four more plants in Newton, southwest Mississippi and two additional locations yet to be named. “Initially, the Columbus facility will turn 500 tons of biomass a day into 11 million gallons of oil. The oil can be processed at refineries with other oil or put directly into gas tanks,” Barbour said. The company plans to refine the oil into gasoline and diesel fuel blendstocks at the Columbus facility. “This is an unbelievable accomplishment, and it’s a game changer for our country,” he said. Barbour recalled when the idea was first presented to him. The notion of turning wood chips and agricultural waste into fuel sounded like the alchemists of old claiming they could turn straw into gold. “It’s almost like making gold out of straw,” Barbour said of the technology, which reduces nature’s process of breaking down biomass over the course of decades into a matter of seconds. “It does sound like science fiction, even

Construction workers participating in the groundbreaking ceremony for Kior return to their work. / Kelly Tippett

though I have explained (the process) a number of times,” admitted Fred Cannon, CEO of Kior. “Kior’s process cuts down greenhouse emissions by 80 percent,” Cannon added. “Every gallon or barrel of fuel we make in Columbus is a gallon or barrel of fuel we don’t have to import from another country, some of which don’t like America very much,” he continued. Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders was in the oil and gas business for more than 30 Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour listens to the years before retiring he told Heritage Elementary audience members. His father thought he School Choir perform at the Kior groundbreaking should learn every aspect of ceremony. the business, including driving trucks full of oil to and from Meridian. “I can remember seeing all the pine trees in Kemper, Oktibbeha and Lauderdale County,” Sanders said. u The Brotherhood Journal |13

BROTHERHOOD ECONOMY “I never in my life would have thought trucks would be hauling pine trees in a truck as a liquid, as black gold.” Sanders credited Barbour andColumbusLowndes Development Link CEO Joe Higgins with another successful project, as well as a boom of economic development. “He’s changed our attitude,” Sanders said of Higgins. “We had all the resources here; we just didn’t know how to use it.” Several other state and local dignitaries attended the event including Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, Columbus Mayor Robert Smith, State Sen. Terry Brown, R-Columbus, State Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus, and members of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and Columbus City Council. While U.S. representatives and senators could not attend the event since Congress was in session, Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and Reps. Alan Nunnelee and Gregg Harper shared their remarks via video. “Kior is expected to generate more than 500 jobs statewide and more than 100 locally, in direct and indirect job creation,” Barbour said. A state release said that Kior would create 1,000 direct and indirect jobs statewide.

HOW THE REFINERY WORKS How the KiOR refinery in Columbus will work: · Once wood chips arrive at the plant, it is “processed and conditioned” for conversion into oil. · The wood is fed into a reactor, where it interacts with a catalyst in a process similar to “cracking” at a traditional refinery. · Renewable crude and its byproducts go to a separator, where the crude is separated from byproducts including light gases and water. Crude and byproducts then go to a catalyst regenerator, where the crude and byproducts are separated further. · Renewable crude and byproducts are sent to a product recovery unit where they are cooled and separated. The crude condenses into liquid, while light gases are transferred to a cogeneration facility where they are burned to generate electricity. · The crude will then be refined at the Columbus Kior facility into “gasoline and diesel fuel blendstocks on site using standard refining equipment,” the company said. n Article by Garthia Burnett, News Editor for The Commercial Dispatch. Reprinted with permission.

KiOR and Catchlight Energy Sign Offtake Agreement for Renewable Fuels KiOR, Inc., a next-generation renewable fuels company, and Catchlight Energy LLC (CLE), a 50-50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Chevron Corporation and Weyerhaeuser Company focused on providing liquid transportation fuels from sustainable forest-based resources, announced today that they have signed a conditional offtake agreement for CLE to purchase gasoline and diesel fuel 14 | The Brotherhood Journal

blendstocks from KiOR’s first commercial production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. “This offtake agreement is the latest development in KiOR’s progress to commercialize renewable transportation fuels,” said Fred Cannon, President and CEO of KiOR. “When finalized, our agreement with Catchlight Energy will help bring KiOR’s renewable fuels to market so we u

BROTHERHOOD ECONOMY can help diversify the country’s energy sources.” CLE’s purchase of products is contingent on, among other things, satisfaction of product specification criteria and RIN certification of the products as cellulosic biofuels under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard. The companies have also signed a Testing and Optimization Agreement to optimize the compatThrough video, U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, speaks to officials and those attending the groundbreaking ceremony at Kior. x

ibility of KiOR’s blendstocks with Chevron’s facilities. This is the second offtake agreement KiOR has signed for its Columbus, MS, facility, having announced an agreement with Hunt Refining Company in March of 2011. KiOR expects to begin production at its Columbus facility in the second half of 2012. n At center, y Columbus Mayor Robert Smith and Governor Haley Barbour participate in the Kior groundbreaking ceremony.

Herseth-Sadlin to Join Steering Committee CONT. director of the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation prior to her four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Herseth-Sandlin grew up on her family’s farm and ranch near Houghton in the northeast part of South Dakota. She graduated from Groton High School and attended Georgetown University in Washington, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Government. She received her Law Degree in 1997 from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a senior editor of the Law Review and later served on faculty. She was a law clerk for both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. “As an original co-sponsor of the 25x’25 National Goal Resolution adopted by Congress in 2007, I am excited by the opportunity to move this

initiative forward and achieve the renewable energy future envisioned by the Alliance,” Herseth-Sandlin said. “This opportunity provides a tremendous platform for me to advocate on behalf of those solutions to our energy needs that our farms, ranches and forestlands can provide.” “Former Rep. Herseth Sandlin is among a number of respected leaders that come from a wide array of political, military, academic and civic backgrounds and have recently joined our Steering Committee,” said 25x’25 Project Coordinator Ernie Shea. “Herseth Sandlin has a deep commitment to a new energy future and will be supporting 25x’25’s communications outreach initiatives designed to reframe the national energy debate. She will put a high-profile focus on how clean energy solutions from farms, ranches and forests will drive economic development, improve national security and provide valuable ecosystem services,” Shea said. n The Brotherhood Journal |15

PROACTIVE HEALTH All about Digestive Enzymes Dear Reader, If I were to ask you what digestive enzymes are for, you’d probably raise your eyebrows and say, “Duh! To help you digest food. Get with it, Sherry.” True. But digestion is only the beginning. Many experts believe that enzymes are the single most important supplements that we should take today, even if our collective diets were great (they’re not). Because digestive enzymes do a WHOLE lot more for you than break down proteins, carbs and fats and lessen your “gas emissions.” You see, when you take enzymes with or just after a meal, yes, their main target is breaking down food. It is then that they’re functioning as a supplemental digestive enzyme. But when you take them at least one half hour before a meal, or at least two hours after a meal, they take on a completely different role... They become therapeutic to your entire body. At these times, since your body doesn’t immediately need them for digestion, they are absorbed into the body and lend a hand to all of your organs and systems in various ways. Here are some examples: Proteases, which are the enzymes that break down proteins, can also help support the body in dealing with the following conditions: immune imbalances, heavy metal toxicity (like lead or mercury), inflammatory conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, circulatory disorders, skin problems, constipation, water retention, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Lipases (the enzymes that break down fats) can also assist with these conditions: high cholesterol, obesity, high triglycerides, heart disease, hormonal imbalances, nerve problems, fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies (vitamins A, D, E and K), skin 16 | The Brotherhood Journal


problems (eczema and psoriasis). Amylases (which break down carbs) can also help with: regulating histamine (good news for allergy sufferers), raising blood sugar (for those with low blood sugar or hypoglycemia), depression, panic attacks, severe mood swings and mania, abdominal cramps, diarrhea. To be very clear, everything your body does depends on the actions of enzymes. So the more enzymes that you have to carry out various functions in your body, the more efficient all your “systems” will be. Think of a well-oiled machine; that’s just yet another impressive feature of our newest product, Digestizol Max. Although our primary concern when designing Digestizol Max was to help people suffering from digestive problems, digestive problems were just the tip of the iceberg of what these enzymes can help with! As you know, the mission of Blue Rock Holistics is to develop medical-grade supplements at less than medical-grade prices. As such, in our research we seek out ways to help as many people as we can. With me, it’s ALWAYS about helping others--that is my life’s focus. I helped myself overcome IBS 20 years ago and now it’s all about YOU. A few years ago, when I saw the multitude of ways digestive enzymes assist the body, I knew that we were going to help a lot of people alleviate a lot of problems created by unhealthy lifestyles. u

PROACTIVE HEALTH See for yourself... See how many ways YOU can feel better by giving your body an enzymatic boost of 14 super potent, plant-derived enzymes and 5 botanicals. Get Digestizol Max, use it, then write and tell me how great you’re feeling. It won’t take long. After taking it with the very first meal, you’ll go “Whoa, where’s the pain?!” I can’t wait to hear from you...and I might feature your story in an upcoming newsletter. To your health, Sherry Brescia PS: Warning: If you’ve been eating “anything and everything” for years because you “have a cast iron stomach,” you are going to be in for a big surprise when you run out of digestive enzymes. Because just like women are born with only a set number of eggs and run out (called menopause), all of us are born with only so many digestive enzymes. So when you eat foods that have no enzymes (meat, dairy, boxed, bagged, canned foods, fast food), your body must use its limited supply of enzymes to break down these foods.


And when you run out, you are in for digestive hell like you’ve never known, (reflux, IBS, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, gastritis, etc). And worse, it will never end. When you run out, that’s it. No more. That’s why it’s critically important to eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables and to take digestive enzymes in pill form. So if you hate veggies, you need the very best digestive enzyme supplement you can find. That’s what Digestizol Max is. n

Disclaimer: **The FDA has not evaluated all of these statements.The contents of this email are not to be considered medical advice and are for educational purposes only. If you are experiencing health challenges, always consult your doctor for medical advice and follow it even if it contradicts the contents of this article.**

BROTHERHOOD BUSINESS BUREAU Preview the Brotherhood Journal at the following establishments

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RESTORATION MINISTRIES Four Prodigal Sons That Found Their Way Back Home

The thing that is so scary about life today is there is no guarantee that you will live long enough to have the chance to get back

Parents may sometimes wonder, “Is it still possible that even today prodigal sons can find their way back home?” Well, parents, family and friends who attend Terry Street Church of Christ in Ripley, Mississippi, can answer that question with an emphatic, yes. If you were to visit the church to try to decipher which one is the prodigal son, you will have a difficult time. You see, as you scan the congregation you will have a difficult time picking out the prodigal son from others who perhaps never went down the riotous living pathway.

Pastor Bohanna and Deacons of Terry Street Church of Christ 18 | The Brotherhood Journal

Is he the fellow who greeted you at the door? Is he one of the song leaders? Is he one of the men sitting in the pulpit? Or is he just sitting somewhere in the midst of the congregation? Appearance definitely won’t give him away. In the same vain of trying to judge a book by it’s cover, when you meet them, a first impression assessment could never decipher the depths of their character. For example, can you determine which one is married and is a truck driver and lives in a two story house? Which one is the swimmer and plays the trumpet for a hobby? Which one is the computer whiz and has just opened a new business in town? Or which one is a full time student majoring in heat and air conditioning and is on pace to become a civil engineer? The above narrative, by the way, is just a sampling of the human resources that our nation is locking away daily in disgusting numbers. Roland Colom Jr., James Monroe, Brandon Spight, and Corey Bohanna have several things in common. Among the things they have in common is: they are all ex-offenders. They all desire now for the young people coming up today to not go down the same pathway they took. Each of them are faithful members of Terry Street Church of Christ under the leadership of Pastor Jeffery Bohanna. Prison Prevention Program Terry Street Church of Christ is unique in a number of ways. One thing that it is unique for is a ministry to help prevent future prodigal sons. Each of the ex-offenders now has a u

passion to help steer youngsters away from the lifestyle path that they took. Each of them considers it a blessing that they turned around before it was too late. “The thing that is so scary about life today is there is no guarantee that you will live long enough to have the chance to get back,” says Brandon Spight. The effort to prevent future prodigal sons is structured into a ministry called Prison Prevention Program. Pastor Bohanna has taken what started out as “Friday Night Lights” and revised it to become a prison prevention program. “Friday Night Lights” was held the last Friday of the month, and the purpose was to shed light on the problems faced by today’s youth. We became aware of youngsters who thought they were tough and not afraid of prison; we saw a need for a program. We got around to all the schools in this area, police department, mayor, jail. We had principals, policemen, current prisons, constable, etc. to come in to speak. We had four men on a panel and they told their story. We allowed the youth to ask questions. The whole point of this program is to simple divert our youngsters from going down the road these guys went down. Brandon said, “There is no guarantee that you will live to make it back.”

inconsequential; however, before the participant takes time to think he is now “caught up” in the lifestyle.

Corey Bohanna and his wife Marquita

Riotous living The illustration of “riotous living” was probably best described by Brandon Spight. It seems that all ability to think rationally leaves the person. “I am 31 years old, a husband and father of five. In 1999, I was convicted of armed robbery. I also had a sell charge. The factors leading up to it will be the same thing that brings you back out of it. It’s all about a mindset. A person has to be very cautious about his lifestyle because this is what happens to you. You get so caught up in the things you are doing, and when you are in the midst of what you are doing you don’t think about it.You don’t pay any attention to it. The Journey Over time you pick up a bad habit here and It is amazing how much the individual joura bad habit there and the next thing you know you neys have in common with the account of the prodi- have a combination of bad habits; your life ends up a gal son in Jesus parable in the book of Luke in the disaster.You hear people talking about people smokBible. It seems all four had nothing bad to say about ing the drugs or taking drugs and getting hooked on home. In fact, as one of them recalls when he finally the drugs … but the lifestyle is just as addictive as took time to think about the lifestyle path that he the drugs. had gone down, the lifestyle was out of character for I got so caught up in glamour, the popularity, him. “I wasn’t raised that way”, Brandon Spight says. the perceived power of it, and how fast that money comes and what it can do for you. I become addictLeaving home for a far country ed to the lifestyle.You have a hard time admitting It seems that the modern day journey into that but you are. the far country occurs from the temptation to get Otherwise, if you are a sane person and you involved in a world of distributing controlled subrecognize that what you are doing is wrong, why stances. It also seems that the beginning is small and can’t you stop. I was addicted to the lifestyle. u The Brotherhood Journal |19

I just had a messed up thought process. So my first three and half years into my sentence, I still had the same thought process. I just didn’t see anything that was wrong with what I was doing”, Spight says. Come to himself Just like the prodigal son “come to himself ”, the pattern seems to hold today. To a man, the time finally came when they “came to themselves.” Remarkably as it may seem, the thing that brought them back home was when they took time to think. Roland Colom, Jr.: I never really gave up church. I came to a point where I realized how much I valued my freedom. I won’t take anything for my freedom.

just going to have to fix it. Go back to doing what I know is right. Like in the book of Proverbs, if you train up a child in the way he should go when he get old “he may stray away” but he will not depart from that training. I got to thinking about all of that and that if were to die I would go to hell. Then I had to admit to myself, “Well, I know I was raised better.” So, I actually took the time to stop and think about what I was doing and what I should be doing. That was the turning point for me. There was no life incident. There was no sickness in the family. It was just a realization. It’s a conscious effort and it’s a hard thing to do because the hardest person to be honest with and about is yourself.

Corey Bohanna: “I was convicted of armed robbery, got sent to prison and got out of prison with the James Munroe: “I give God the credit. I went to same mindset that I had when I went to prison. It church when I was in prison. I got along with the took the tragedy of a close friend getting killed for guards. I got along with the prisoners. I made a me to take time to think. I actually took the time to promise to myself and that was: ‘I am never going to evaluate what type of lifestyle I was going to have sell any more dope. I can’t tell what might happen for this future. Was I going to be a free man and in life, but one thing I do know, I ain’t going to sell positive man or was I going to go back to prison. any more dope.’ As my wife would come to see me, I had good examples all around me. In the midst I just made up in my mind that I wanted to do betof my evaluation and considering what my future ter. It really wasn’t that I was scared in prison, but I would be… I found GOD”, Cory Bohanna says. just got the desire to do better,” says James Munroe. The return home Brandon Spight: After about 4 years into my sentence Like the father in the parable their church I began to take stock of myself. I thought about the family has welcomed them back home. u good I had done. I thought about the bad I had done. I finally came to the realization that the decision you make affect more than yourself. I realized all the people I had put through this trouble. There were no sickness or any thing that caused me to think. I literally took the time to sit and think and I told myself.You have screwed up! My thinking was wrong! My actions were wrong! And it was nobody’s fault but mine. Then I had to ask myself: Well, what are Pastor Bohanna and four prodigal sons; (left to right) Corey Bohonna, James Monroe, Pastor Jeffery Bohanna, Roland Colom Jr., Brandon Spight you going to do about it? My decision was I am 20 | The Brotherhood Journal

Profile Roland Colom Jr. Currently divorced and single, has three children. He graduated from Steven D Lee High School Columbus, Mississippi in 1987. He had football scholarship to Mississippi Valley State University but had an injury and had to forego that. He is in school now as a full time student at Northeast Mississippi Community studying Heating and Air Conditioning. After completing his studies at Northeast Mississippi Community College, he plans to continue his education and become a civil engineer. His hobbies include playing basketball.

James Monroe Married to former Silvia Jones; dropped out of school as a sophomore. He is currently disabled. His hobbies are playing the trumpet and swimming. He reports that his hero, Larry Dykes, taught him to swim. He reports that when Ripley got a swimming pool they didn’t have a lifeguard so Larry Dykes was the lifeguard. He went on and got his junior and senior certificate from the Red Cross. He became a lifeguard. He worked as a lifeguard for the city and for the Job Corp. He reports that he goes to the wellness center just about every day to swim.

Brandon Spight Married to the former Tawan McDonald with 5 children. He dropped of school but has his GED. Currently, a full time student with Devire University Online seeking a Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems with a specialty in Business Administration. Recently, opened the Accessory Story business in Ripley. He does several duties at church: deacon, van ministry, sound technician. His hobby is playing video games with his kids.

Corey Bohanna Married for five years to the former Marquita Newsome. Recently name outreach minister at his church and heading up the Prison Prevention Ministry. As a truck driver for five years he recruits some younger guys who are not going to school to start driving. Some make it and some don’t. n Charles Harris | Editor & Publisher The Brotherhood Journal |21


New Beginnings: Marcus Shorter and Sabrina Knox began their new life as husband and wife with an elegant ceremony at the BanCorp South Conference Center in Tupelo, Mississippi. The groom graduated from Foster’s Cosmetology and Barber School as a licensed barber and from Itawamba Community College with a degree in Business Administration. He is currently enrolled at the University of Mississippi in Tupelo majoring in Management Information Systems. He is employed as a student tech at the University of Mississippi in Tupelo. The bride graduated from Northeast Mississippi Community College with a degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. She is employed at the Trace Regional Hospital in Houston, Mississippi, as a MLT. 22 | The Brotherhood Journal

This is Love: Gerrell Keys and the former Casey Foster look forward to years of bliss after exchanging vows at Pleasant Grove M. B. Church in New Albany, MS. The bride is a graduate of Ingomar Attendance Center and is currently attending the University of Mississippi. She is employed at Factory Connection in New Albany. The groom is a graduate of Ingomar Attendance Center and has attended Northeast Community College. He is employed at Ashley Furniture in Ecru, MS. The happy couple currently resides in New Albany, MS.

Forever My Love: Looking forward to a lifetime of love, L’Brien O. Miller and his bride, the former Whitney Hurd, wed recently at Manning Gardens in Guntown, Mississippi. Whitney is a Registered Nurse at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo and Brien is a policeman in Corinth. They live in Guntown, Mississippi.

E-mail us at ceharris@dixie-net. com or call us at 662-534-4366 to be featured in The Brotherhood Journal.

COMMUNITY NEWLY WEDS Soul Mates: Dejis Miller united in holy matrimony with Erica Young during an enchanted double-ring ceremony at Unity Broadcasting- TV 53 in Booneville, Mississippi. The blushing bride is a graduate of Thrasher High School where she was a member of the Lady Rebels softball, basketball, and cheerleading squad. She is currently pursuing a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Mississippi. She is employed as an ABE teacher’s aide at Northeast Community College in Booneville, MS. The proud groom is a graduate of Booneville High School where he was a member of the Blue Devil basketball team. He attended Northeast Community College in Booneville, MS. He is currently working as a material handler at Caterpillar in Corinth, MS. The happy couple resides in Booneville, MS.

HALL OF FAME Mr. & Mrs. James Sanford James Jr. and Betty Lee Sanford celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday, December 26, 2010. Friends and family were invited to the celebration at 5 p.m. at the Batesville Civic Center, Batesville, Mississippi. Rev. J.B. Carter, at the home of Walter and Mary Sanford in Courtland, Mississippi, married the couple December 27, 1970. The Sanford’s live in Courtland, Mississippi. James is employed at Thermos in Batesville. Betty works in private homes and for Attorney Bill Trusty. They are the parents of six children of whom two are deceased, the late Anthony Oby and Reginald D. “Reggie” Sanford.Their other children are Tyrone, D’Shuanta “Rhondie,” Derrick and Terrell. They have 20 grandchildren and a nephew whom they help raise.

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COMMUNITY FUTURE HALL OF FAME COUPLE Enjoying the journey: Wow, How Fast Does 15 Years Go By? The journey that started nearly 15 years ago is still an exciting one today. Dennis and Loretta Dilworth of Corinth are selected as this issue’s “Future Hall

of Fame Couple”. Dennis and Loretta became Mr. And Mrs. Dilworth on November 30, 1996, in Columbus, Mississippi. Dennis and Loretta Dilworth have four children: Dennis Dilworth II, 13; Olivia Dilworth, 11; Destiny Dilworth, 8; Samuel Dilworth, 6. They are active member of Faith Harvest Church of Booneville, Mississippi under the leadership of Pastor Lee Miller. They own their own business, D & D Quality Cleaning. They clean businesses, grocery stores and wash vehicles. Their business also specializes in pressure washing, stripping and waxing floors. They have jobs throughout northeast Mississippi, northwest Alabama and portions of Tennessee. Both Dennis and Loretta work full time jobs. Dennis works as a fountain salesman for Coca Cola of Corinth. Loretta works as a teller at Commerce National Bank of Corinth. She also serves as secretary for their business. “I do 24 | The Brotherhood Journal

all of the paperwork,” says Loretta. They attribute the success of their marriage to being built on the foundation of the word of GOD. They met while attending Northeast Mississippi Community College. Both Dennis and Loretta seem to enjoy the privilege of rearing their children. “Sometime when we are going through some of life’s ups and downs, we will just look at them and they will do something funny and we just forget about whatever it was that we were thinking about”, says Loretta. “We do everything together. We go to the movies, we all go! We go out, we all go! We are a firm believer that we don’t just put our children off on other people. Sometimes me and my wife will go out to eat. But other than that we say if it’s not good enough for the family, then its not good enough for anybody to be going!”, says Dennis. Dennis recently attended a Father – Daughter Banquet with his two daughters. n

COMMUNITY PROJECT TEAM Can we educate our African American male The organization grew to approximately 107 students? Yes, we can. One community gives us volunteers. As the community prepares for the upglimpse of the possibilities. coming school year, it is hoped that the project can Shockingly, it was learned that approximately get an earlier start and accomplish even more. 75% of the African-American male students who According to Reverend Patrick Head, Dropentered the Tupelo Public School District in the out / Attendance Officer Tupelo Public School Disninth grade would not graduate four years later. trict, Project T.E.A.M. is now kind of dormant but Only 25% of them would graduate. he hopes to get an earlier start this up coming year. “In fairness, some of them may take an addi- During the summer many of the volunteers tional year. Some of them may get their GED, but a get busy with other issues in their lives, but he still large percent of the 75% would never actively work the dropout issues begraduate. Those were the number cause that is front and center of his job. we were looking at”, says Dr. George The good news is that the relatively Noflin, who at the time was Assisshort duration of the concentrated eftant Superintendent of Tupelo Public fort demonstrated that, yes, it can be School District. done. We can educate our black male The community action that teenagers. It just takes organization, developed from that discovery docutime and effort. ments and gives a glimpse of the The analysis of the data to determine Rev. Patrick Head possibilities of what could be if there were a which students were at risk of failing, sustained effort. already dropped out and which were on A community group organized to support pace to graduate was impressive. black male students in the Tupelo Public School This data allowed the Project T.E.A.M. volDistrict. The community group was called Project unteers to attack the deficient areas with the skill T.E.A.M. of a surgeon, after setting a goal to help as many Project T.E.A.M. was born over a lunch seniors that had a chance to graduate. meeting between TPSD Assistant Superintendents The Project T.E.A.M. committees identified George Noflin and Fred Hill and the Community several things that could be in their way in order to Development Foundation member Orlando Pannell pass. It could be a subject area test class that they at Down Home Cooking in Verona, Mississippi. were not passing or a senior project. The group The three men discussed the disproporbegan to pinpoint specific students and specific areas tionate number of black male students who were in which they needed assistance. dropping out of school, getting suspended or being The committees tried to address the needs of assigned to the district’s alternative school. the identified areas. The committees assigned dif They talked about what they could do to ad- ferent people to different students based upon the dress the need and conceptualized an organization in need to the student and the skills of the mentor. which black men in the community would mentor Continue reading on pg. 28 u black male students. The Brotherhood Journal |25

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FEATURE Dr. Dolphus Weary: From “I Ain’t Coming Back to Leading His Community As noted in his book, “I Ain’t Coming Back,” after leaving Mississippi to attend high school in California, Dr. Dolphus Weary did not plan to return to his native state to face the problems of racism, poverty and injustice that plague many communities. In 1967, Weary was a part of the last junior graduating class of the Pine Woods Community College where he played basketball. Alongside his teammate Jimmy, he received a scholarship to play for the L.A. Baptist College (LABC). The young teammates were under the impression that their college of choice was already integrated and left with no fears to California. He jokingly adds: “We thought every place in America was integrated except Mississippi.” Weary and his companion were the first African American students to attend that small private college. “It was a culture shock,” he said. “We were in a city of approximately 14,000 people and it took us three months to find another black person.” As the basketball season progressed, Weary’s team started a winning tradition on home games. The team went on to win 62 consecutive games, turning the players into campus celebrities. “Because of that celebrity status, no one talked about race. It was not an issue to them, but it was to us,” he added. Weary remembers the LABC’s president at

that time introducing him as a basketball player and not as a student. “Even though they didn’t talk about it, we knew there were rules. The president himself told us if we tried to date a white girl he would send us home,” he added. Weary felt that more African-American students needed to be recruited to attend LABC in order to change that way of thinking. By the following year, six black students had joined the LABC student body, inlcuding his future wife Rosie. After graduating from college, Weary went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Religion Studies and felt the desire to move back to Mississippi to be a part of a solution to the problems he was eager to run away from in his youth. “By then, black people started to move into the neighborhoods around us and I received many invitations to take over the ledaership of budding AfricanAmerican churches,” he said. “My friends told me: ‘Why are you going back to Mississippi if you can thrive here in L.A?,” said Weary. At the same time, friends in Mississippi would tell him to stay put since he was lucky enough to move up north. But Weary chose to rely on the positive voices that told him to be a good example to young people and a community leader. After he made his transition and became a notable speaker in the area, many people approached him throughout his engagements and u The Brotherhood Journal |27



told him he needed to write a book. He was reluctant for many years to do so because he didn’t think he had anything to say. “In those days there were not many black writers, so many of us felt like black people had nothing to say,” he added. Weary says the main motivation to finally write “I Ain’t Coming Back” was to encourage others to make a difference in their own communities. Weary believes that especially now, with an African-American president, minorities can believe in themselves much more and young people should strive to do their best to live a life that would impact others. His message to the young black community is: “Take responsibility to do your best, no matter how bad the situation is, ask yourself what you need to do to be your best at school or wherever you go. Somebody may see you at your best and decide to help you along the way,” he said. “Don’t give up, don’t take the easy way out.” For those seeking a career in sports or entertainment, Weary suggest developing a solid plan B that would still elevate you in case plan A doesn’t work out. He believes that building relationships is an important part of life. When asked about social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and what they do for relationships, he expressed that while those sites are here to stay and are great tools to share information, he feels that they contribute little to nurture true friendships. n


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THOROUGH EDUCATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES: T.E.A.M. The new community group organized to support black male students in the Tupelo Public School District. Action Plan -T.E.A.M. stands for tagging, educating, advisory, and mentoring. Committees were set up according to the action plan. There was a committee for tagging, educating, advisory, and mentoring respectively. Fruits of the labor According to Rev. Patrick Head, the team analyzed the data and determined that there were sixty (60) black male senior students who were not going to graduate. “We were able to save forty five (45)”, says Rev. Head. “I think we made a pretty good dent in the number of students who did graduate who would have failed. I think if we had done nothing, then nothing would have happened”, says Dr. George Noflin. This change demonstrates the value of the intervention. What if this were a sustained effort over the entire twelve years of public school? President John F Kennedy once said, “Some men see things as they are and ask, Why? I dream things that never were and ask, Why not?” n Charles Harris | Editor & Publisher


FEATURE The 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Unity Breakfast Dr. Dolphus Weary was recently the keynote speaker at the Unity Breakfast that celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for the past 17 years. The event was hosted by the President, Office of Diversity & Equity Programs, and the President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities at Mississippi State University. Dr. Weary is President Emeritus of Mission Mississippi, a racial reconciliation movement that encourages unity in the body of Christ across racial and denominational lines. He currently serves the organization as Director of Development and the major donor fundraiser. “Someday I’m leaving Mississippi and I ain’t never comin’ back,” was Dolphus’ dream (I Ain’t Comin’ Back is the book titled after his life story). Dolphus did leave in 1969 and became one of the first black students ever to graduate from the all-white Los Angeles Baptist College with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Biology. In 1971, he received a Master of Religion Education Degree (M.R.E.) from Los Angeles Baptist Seminary and a Master’s in Education Administration (M.Ed) from the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1973 Dolphus was ordained to the ministry and in 1997 he received a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2007, Dolphus was honored by Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, PA with a Doctor of Humane Letters and recently he received a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) from Northwest Baptist Seminary, Tacoma, WA, where he was also honored

as Alumnus of the Year and received the Inaugural Leonard Morris Award for Public Service and Integrity. Dolphus, additionally, serves as a member of several national and local boards of directors, advisory boards and committees. A few include Belhaven College, Catholic Charities, (CCDA) Christian Community Development Association Advisory Board, (IVCF) InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, (KMB) Keep Mississippi Beautiful, MRLC (Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference), Transformation Jackson, and William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation Advisory Board. Dolphus and his wife Rosie are the parents of three children: Danita, a pediatrician who lives in Natchez, MS; Ryan, a communications graduate of Belhaven College; Reggie who went home to be with the Lord in June of 2004. n Charles Harris | Editor & Publisher The Brotherhood Journal |29

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Prison Ministry resource from Restoration Ministries. October 2011 edition. Dr. Dolphus Weary, Dr. Benjamin Carson, CE Harris, Nilse Gilliam...