A celebration of community

February 02, 1997


Staff Writer

RANSON, W.Va. - The scene in the kitchen basement at King's Apostle Holiness Church of God was a bit frantic Saturday afternoon, as volunteers rushed to fill cartons with barbecued ribs, fried chicken and other delectables.

"Pizza Hut doesn't have anything on us," said Kevin Dozier, 37, of Charles Town, W.Va., as he prepared to send another order out the kitchen. "We deliver."

Dozier was one of many local people taking part in this year's Black History Program. The event, in its second year, featured food, music and community awareness.


The church's Multicultural Group sponsored the daylong kickoff to Black History Month.

"I love seeing the different things people have to offer," Dozier said.

The program came after a group of church members sought a way to bring the community together, said Gladys Davenport, treasurer of the group.

"We decided there was a void in the community," she said.

In response, the group has sponsored social and educational programs. Saturday's event featured speakers from various backgrounds and walks of life, offering both secular and spiritual messages to an audience that crammed into the church basement throughout the afternoon.

"We must go back to the family foundation," Charles Town City Councilman Tim Robinson told the audience. "Without God and family, we have no future."

He urged people to get out and make a difference in their families, communities and churches.

"We have sat back too long doing nothing," Robinson said.

Scott Bradford-Doleman, an admissions counselor at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., preached the importance of a college education and preparing young people for higher learning.

He said it pains him to see so many black youths fail academically, even though, in many cases, it is society that has failed them.

"As a community, at some point, we have to take care of our own," the Charles Town resident said.

Those attending Saturday's daylong event said they enjoyed the chance to spend time with people they ordinarily don't see. "I'm just enjoying getting out and meeting people," said Tyler Payton, 38, of Charles Town.

Dozier said he would like to see the spirit of togetherness evident in Black History Month last all year. "It's all the time,'' he said. "It's not a month. It should go on all the time.''

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