Brooklyn’s Fenimore Street United Methodist Church Women on Saturday bestowed special honors on 10 past presidents during the group’s gala 60th anniversary luncheon at El Caribe Country Club on Strictland Avenue in Brooklyn.
The honorees were: Dr. Marguerite Thompson, Mildred Hurlock, Glenner Strachn, Esther Atherley, Dukelyn Howe, Doreen Thomas, the Rev. Heidi Thomas, Marlene Ferguson, and Myrtle Peele and Avis Ellison (post humous).
The group also paid special tribute to Thompson, Hurlock, Muriel Johnson and Vivien C. Godfrey, publishing their respective biography in the souvenir journal.
“On behalf of our officers and members, I thank you for joining us, as we are ‘Celebrating the Past and Strengthening the Future’”, said current president Shanae Als, of Barbadian parentage, echoing the anniversary theme.
“We are, indeed, excited about what God is doing for us, and look forward to all that He has in store, as we look to Him for guidance and wisdom,” added Als, who received a Congressional Citation from Brooklyn Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (9th CD).
“As we take this time to celebrate our foremothers, past presidents and progress, I ask that you take the time to explore and remember your journey to see just how blessed and highly favored you are,” Als continued.
In her message, Dr. Thompson, the founding president, said members of Fenimore Street United Methodist Women “promote and deliver” service initiatives in education, health, environmental stewardship, global poverty, economic security, social justice, human rights and internal leadership for external service “through awareness, advocacy and action.”
“Our United Methodist Women unit prides itself in having a diverse membership, and continues its legacy by having a membership of great leaders and an array of professionals,” Thompson added.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Maxine Nixon, said that “for six decades, the UMW (United Methodist Women) of Fenimore Street UMC (United Methodist Church) have played a major role in fulfilling and advancing the vision and mission of the UMC.
“Our group of women represents the largest unit in Brooklyn, New York, and we are proud of this distinction,” she said.
In her message, “Who is Calling You?” the Rev. Alisha L. Gordon, the keynote speaker, urged patrons to “decide which voice is calling us right now.
“In light of 60 years of service, the women had the right voices,” said the Executive for Spiritual Growth, UMW. “The past reminds us of the historical way that God has shown itself.
“People will try to convince you, even 60 years later,” she added. “Like Samuel (in the Book of Samuel), we have to learn to discern who’s calling.
“We’re talking of 60 years of service,” Rev. Gordon continued. “We must be able to answer the question and (discern) what voices are calling for the familiar path.”
The souvenir journal notes Dr. Thompson’s dissertation, which was “uniquely involved with the urban archeological dig, Weeksville in Brooklyn.
“This historic site has been very dear to her heart,” it says, adding that Thompson also “founded and directed the Weeksville Young Ambassadors Exchange Program, started at the Fenimore Street United Methodist Church.
“This group touched over 2000 students and families around the world,” the journal says.
Godfrey also recently celebrated her 90th birthday, with some members of the Fenimore Street United Methodist Women joining with family and friends to celebrate the significant milestone, according to the journal.