The month of February is set aside for Black History and a time to remember our heritage, reflect and commemorate all the men and women who have sacrificed in order to bless all of humanity. That was the message Rev. Thomas H. Fant, Pastor of Park Place African Methodist Episcopal Church, relayed to those that attended the Park Place 14th Annual Black History Luncheon on Feb. 23, at the Comfort Inn Conference Center. With Brother Marlon Martin, host of Morning Inspiration on WAMO 100, as Master of Ceremonies, guests enjoyed a beautiful luncheon that featured jazz music by Kind of Blue Jazz Band and a keynote address from Evan Frazier, Senior Vice President, Community Affairs, Highmark Health. The luncheon opened with a dance selection by the Hill Dance Academy Theatre.
Each year Park Place honors those who serve the community and the church. This year’s Community Service honorees included: Marita Bradley, Chief of Staff to City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess; Sloane Davidson, CEO of Hello Neighbor; and Dr. Howard Slaughter, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh. The Church Honoree was Evelyn Franklin. Franklin is a trustee, usher and member of the Mary A. Bumry Missionary Society, the Just US Club and serves as the church treasurer. Her career highlight was being the first African American IBM operator, better known as “fast finger” Franklin. Evelyn also celebrated 51 years of marriage to her husband, Barrett, last December. This year’s Christian Service Honorees were Ivanna Eubanks and Richard Norris III. Both were honored for their dedication to the church and the success they have already achieved at such an early age.
Park Place African Methodist Episcopal Church, originally named Frances Virginia Gladden African Methodist Episcopal Church, is the oldest Black church in Homestead.
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