New Rochelle, NY
100th anniversary celebration of Macedonia
February 16, 2013
marked the 100th Anniversary of Macedonia
Baptist Church, and on Friday, March 1st, the
church and the Mount Vernon community joined
together to celebrate the historical occasion at
the luxurious Glen Island Harbour Club in New
Rochelle – Westchester's premier banquet
As the hundreds
of guests arrived and entered the prestigious
club, dressed impeccably for the black tie
affair, they all knew they were about to
participate in a once in a life time
extravaganza, led by the church Pastor, Rev.
Darren M. Morton, and their legendary former
longtime pastor in attendance, Rev. Dr. Richard
H. Dixon, Jr., Pastor Emeritus.
kicked off with an incredible cocktail hour
consisting of several open bars and an
impressive assortment of sumptuous delicacies to
As the crowd grew
and the chatter intensified, there seemed to be
electricity flowing in the air over the
historical significance of what was transpiring.
The legion of people appeared anxious to be
summoned to the grand ballroom to commence the
long awaited historical celebration.
When the call to
enter the grand ballroom finally came, the
guests were simply awed by the lavish appearance
of the large room. They were immediately put
into a state of relaxation as they listened to
the wonderful musical sounds of The Gate Band.
The long program
kicked off with opening remarks from Deacon Paul
Bratcher, followed by the Invocation – provided
Rev. Keith Price, Associate Minister at
Terry had the honor of introducing the Mistress
of Ceremonies, the attractive and personable,
Liz Black, who relaxed and humored the hundreds
in attendance with her bubbly and cheerful
Black is a
well-respected New York City, tri-state area
on-air personality. You can hear her refreshing
voice and feel her anointed spirit every Sunday
morning as she hosts “Sunday Praise” on 107.5
WBLS, New York’s only 24 hour gospel radio
introduced the Praise United Repertory Ensemble,
under the direction of Sister Nereida
Richardson, many stood up and gave them a
rousing applause. As always, the performance by
the popular group was impressive.
Prior to dinner
being served, Black asked Macedonia’s Pastor,
Rev. Morton, as well as Rev. Dixon to approach
the podium and address the audience. As they
both walked towards the podium, the crowd became
electrified when they saw Rev. Dixon walking
gingerly to address them, with a big smile on
provided a very brief speech and drew much
applause, and was followed at the microphone by
“We are humbly
grateful that you are here to share in our
celebration this memorable and historic evening.
It will be an evening to remember for years to
come, filled with elegance, excitement and joy.
For a century, Macedonia has been a pillar of
faith and champion in causes for social justice,
having had Rev. Dr. Rinico Nelson and Rev.
Richard H. Dixon, Jr. serve as pastor for over
40 years each. This evening is an opportunity
for church and community to come together in
celebration of our partnership for 100 years. To
that end, you are an integral part of our church
history and your presence here tonight makes the
celebration complete,” said Rev. Morton.
The dinner was
simply incredible, and consisted of three
impressive entrees to pick from, followed by
mouth watering dessert and coffee.
When dinner was
over, the long list of dignitaries in attendance
were introduced, followed by comments from Mayor
Ernest D. Davis, who presented Rev. Morton a
Proclamation and Rev. Dixon with the Key to the
After Mayor Davis
concluded his speech and presentation, a
procession of Macedonia members entered the room
carrying posters, each poster dated and
describing historical events that took place at
Macedonia in the last 100 years.
Prior to the
introduction of the Keynote Speaker, numerous
elected officials spoke, each presenting
proclamations and awards to Rev. Morton.
entertainment was provided by Vanessa Bell
Armstrong, who has a style reminiscent of Aretha
Vanessa Bell Armstrong,
has been belting out R&B-flavored contemporary
gospel since the '80s. A native of Detroit and
mother of five, she got her start working with
Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Her two selections drew a
standing ovation from the appreciative and
gospel savvy audience.
Rev. Joyce Somerville, Macedonia’s Assistant
Pastor had the privilege of introducing the
keynote speaker, Rev. Ronald Grant, Pastor of
Shiloh Baptist Church in Hudson, NY, which is
At the conclusion
of Rev. Grant’s speech, there was a historical
reflection about Macedonia provided by
Earnestene Dixon, First Lady Emeritus, followed
by a Centennial video presentation.
Prior to the
ceremony ending, Rev. Morton provided closing
remarks, followed by Rev.
Joyce Somerville and the Benediction.
historical event at the
could not have been made possible without the
dedicated work of the Anniversary Committee, led
by Doretha Lanier, General Chairperson, and
Barbara Howell, General Co-Chairperson. Also
contributing to the success of the event was the
Colgate Palmolive Company, who provided a
The Mistress of Ceremonies was Liz Black