Nancy and I attended the Freedom Fund Banquet at the Ramada Inn in Moline last Saturday night. It was sponsored by our Rock Island Chapter of the NAACP.

An important part of the evening was honoring six community members and an organization for their service. I realized that over the years at least four of these persons have touched the life of our church as well.

Judge Thomas Kilbride was honored. Before he was a judge, when he practiced law in Rock Island, he aided the Community Caring Conference with legal representation for some 19 years and I recall him providing legal assistance to the church as well when we needed some direction. We were ready to pay for his help, but he gave the advice without billing us.

Rev. Melvin Grimes was honored. He has been a colleague over the years, and he along with his late father were partners with the Church of Peace in community efforts.

Linda Golden was honored. She is a teacher at Thurgood Marshall Learning Center, and was a partner with the YouthBuild Program that taught kids something about the building trades as they constructed houses. This was part of Rock Island Economic Growth, and the church work camps helped in some of these projects as well.

Vince Thomas was honored. Vince was instrumental in saving Arsenal Courts when the city wanted to tear it down to remove poor people. Reorganized as Century Woods this is where many of the members of our African Light Pentecostal Fellowship reside. It is a resource to our part of town.

Nancy and I saw many friends at the event. One of the benefits of twenty years at the same church is to have built relationships over time.

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