Minister Named Outstanding Citizen at Banquet that Focused on Integrity

Minister Named Outstanding Citizen at Banquet that Focused on Integrity

Minister Iziar Lankford, pastor of Southwest Drive Methodist Community Church, was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce.Minister Lankford has been a great asset to the community, after moving here from Houston about 10 years ago. He serves on the Board of I-CAN, the NAACP & Meals on Wheels. In fact, on the day that he received this honor, he had delivered 16 meals to the elderly for Meals on Wheels. Minister Lankford has also served as President of the Ministerial Alliance.{{more}}Minister Lankford helped merge Plum St. United Methodist and Southwest Drive Methodist Church, before he became the Minister of the Southwest Drive Methodist Community Church. In addition to these activities, Minister Lankford has cooked for fed over 200 individuals each Tuesday for the last 3 years at the church.Retired Judge Mary Ellen Hicks was the Keynote Speaker for the event. She spoke about the importance of integrity and she also encouraged the Black Community to come home. Hicks talked of a Retired Judge Mary Ellen Hicks, Robert Lilly, Dr. Terrenia Fitts, Jeremy Jay and Petty Hunter visit after the Banquet. Judge Hicks was the Keynote Speaker for the Banquet. Photo by Floyd Miller day gone by when Black communities were filled with Black businesses. She encouraged those in the audience to start businesses and support one another. Hicks, in reference to our once thriving businesses, asked the questions, “Where are they now? We have to reinvest in our community to make the Abilene Black Chamber proud. Think black, act black and shop black. It’s time for each and every one of us to come home.”Judge Hicks concluded her speech by quoting one of Gil Scott Herron’s poems: “It’s winter, winter in America, and all the healers done been killed or put in jail. It’s winter in America, winter in America, and ain’t nobody fighting ‘cause nobody knows what to save.”Robert Lilly, owner of Know Thyself Books, said “I’d like to have further dialogue with the community concerning Judge Hick’s speech.” Mrs. Vernell Rogers, Mrs. Ellie Truvillion, and Mr.James Francies visit before the start of the Abilene Black Chamber Banquet. Photo by Floyd Miller.Group shot that represents some of the attendees at the Chamber Banquet. Photo by Floyd Miller Ralph Cadet and James Reed at the Annual Banquet. Ralph is new to Abilene and this banquet was his introduction to some citizens of the city. Photo by Floyd Miller Ora Fitts, Nicola Joshua, Debra Peoples, Priscilla Rayford, Marilyn Miller, Dr. Charlotte Akor, Dr. Irene Olabode, Debra Adams, Tonya Hunter, Retired Judge Mary Ellen Hicks, Dr. Terrenia Fitts and Neomia Banks posed for a picture after the banquet. Photo by Floyd Miller