Bethel A.M.E. Annual Women's Day Celebration

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Bethel A.M.E.Annual Women's Day CelebrationThem e:Steadfast and Faithful Women1993Beth e l African M eth odi st E pi scopal C hurchC hampaign, Illin oisThe M ini stryT hi.! Rev. Sl even A. Jackson, Past orThe Rev. O.G. Monroe. Assoc, Minis terT he Rl. Rev. Jam es Haske ll Mayo l1 ishop, f7011rt h Episcop;l ) Di strictT he Rev. Lewi s E. Grady. Jr. Prc . i di n g Elder

Cover design taken from:Book of Black Heroes, volume 2Great Women in the Struggle,byToyomi IgusVeronica Freeman EllisDiane PatrickValerie Wilson Wesley

Lucy ,Jess Blake GrayLucy Jess Blake Gray is an entrepreneur, public servant and Bethel AM.E. Churchmember for 62 years.She was born January 2, 1914 in Paris, Illinois to Frank and BerthaFredrica (Manual) Blake. Mrs. Gray joined Bethel AM.E. Church in 1932 and has beenwillingly involved in several church activities. She was a member of the Choir for 32years, was a member of the Calendar Club, and also held membership in the He/pingHand Club. Mrs. Gray formerly served as chairperson for Women's Day. Currently, she ispresident of the Lou Anna Riley Missionary Society, a member of the Board of Trustees,past president and current member of the Willing Workers Club, and a member of boththe Church Women United and the Wesley Women Society. Mrs. Gray worked at Kaufmans and Kuhns Department Stores as a salesperson forthirty-six years. She owns and operates Gray's Antique Shop in Champaign. Her community service includes organizing the first block club in her neighborhood. She holdsmemberships in the following organizations: Champaign County Development Cooperation (CCDC), University of Illinois YW.C.A., Antique Study Group, Champaign HistoricalMuseum, Cunningham Children's Home, and Champaign County Board of Realtors.Mrs. Lucy Gray was married to Louis Gray, and is the mother of Steve.Ruth A Gray, pioneer. community leader, retired home maintenance professional andfaithful and devoted church worker, has been a member of Bethel AM.E. Church formore than 48 years. Mrs. Gray was born December 13,1913 in Elkville, Illinois. She isthe second of seven children born to Christopher and Bessie (Ferrel) Stratton. Mrs. Grayjoined Bethel AM.E. Church in 1945. She serves as a class leader, is sick chairpersonfor the Willing Workers Club and Bethel Church, and is a member of the Lou Anna RileyMissionary Society. Mrs. Gray is responsible for distributing The Upper Room to theentire membership, including the sick and shut-in. She is a former member of the Choir,Helping Hand Club, Calendar Club and the Trustee Board. Mrs. Gray earned the distinction of serving as the first black precinct committee woman in Urbana. She worked as apatron of Gamma Chapter (undergraduate chapter at the University of Illinois), of AlphaKappa Alpha Sorority, purchasing needed items for Gamma House. Mrs. Ruth A Gray's experience in the work force includes working as a WPA kindergarten assistant, culinary artist and home maintenance professional.She is married to Millard Gray and is the mother of Shirley.

Wilda Quincy HerndonWilda Quincy Herndon, retired health professional, community service volunteer, pioneerclub member, and faithful and steadfast worker in Bethel A.M.E. Church for more than 43years, was born on May 31, 1913 in Okolona, Mississippi. She is the fourth of five children born to Joe and Susie Hursey White Herndon. Ms. Herndon joined Bethel A.M.E.Church in 1950 under the charge of Reverend Elsie Taborn and has been steadfast andloyal in her service to the church. She served as Founder's Day and Women's Day chairperson, and she has been a narrator for several church functions. She was a steward formany years and is now a steward-emeritus. She was also a member of the CalendarClub and the Fleur de Lis. In 1953 Ms. Herndon was named Church Woman of the Year.She was also crowned queen of the 4th district of the African Methodist EpiscopalChurch.Ms. Herndon's work experience includes being a vocalist with a local orchestra broadcasting from WDZ radio in Tuscola, singing for "coke hours" at Prehn's (now ThunderbirdRestaurant), and working as an elevator operator in the Champaign City Building. Shelater trained as a medical technologist at Burnham City Hospital. This training led to Mrs.Herndon's 25 year career as a lab technician at McKinley Hospital, University of Illinois.She was the first lab technician hired at the Frances Nelson Health Center. To her credit,the first drapes and examination table for the Frances Nelson Health Center weredonated by Ms. Herndon. She also volunteered at Carle Hospital for ten years.Ms. Herndon's community activities include organizing the Royalettes, a club of civicminded women dedicated to serving both the black and white communities. She alsoserved as vice president of the local chapter of the NAACP, board member of the Champaign Urbana Kindergarten, and a Red Cross Gray Lady. She also works with theLeague of Women Voters.

i udia MiiC.0Claudia Mae Glover Suggs Pickens is a loving mother, devoted club member, fundraiser, community worker, and faithful member of Bethel A.M.E. Church. She is thedaughter of Samuel and Emma (Peacock) Glover and was born May 11, 1906 in Monticello, Georgia. She is the second of five children. Mrs. Pickens came to Bethel in February, 1921 from an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Monticello, Georgia.She has served the church in many capacities. She has been both a long term memberand past president and of the Usher Board, where she ushered for sixteen years; pastpresident and member of the Helping Hand Club; and member of the Calendar Club. Forseveral years she served food to bereaved families at the church. Mrs. Pickens was agreat fund raiser, accepting the crown on behalf of the Usher Board for raising the mostmoney at the Church's program; served as co-host of the Teenage Show; and assistedwith style shows for Bethel.Her community work includes working as a patron for Gamma Chapter (undergraduatechapter at the University of "Iinois), of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, purchasing neededitems for the AKA's house; and providing housing for University of "Iinois black studentsseveral decades ago. Mrs. Pickens was elected and served as Worthy Matron of Deborah Chapter #27, Order of the Eastern Star, (Prince Hall Affiliation) in 1938. She receivedan award in recognition of her dedicated service to Deborah Chapter #27.Mrs. Pickens is th,e mother of Eugene.

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Annual Women's Day Celebration Theme: Steadfast and Faithful Women 1993 Bethel African Methodi st Epi scopal Church Champaign, Illinois The Ministry Thi.! Rev. Sleven A. Jackson, Pastor The Rev. O.G. Monroe. Assoc, Minister The Rl. Rev. James Haskell Mayo l1 ishop, f7011rt h Episcop;l) District The Rev. Lewis E. Grady. Jr. Prc. i ding Elder . Cover design taken from: Book of Black Heroes .

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