The Annual Prince Hall Affiliation luncheon of the Order of the Eastern Star will be this coming Saturday, July 14th at Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center. This year Venus Chapter 61 honors Rev. Robert D. James, Sr.; Kathryn B. McCroskey; Rev. Ernest Newsom and Albert Richardson, Jr. The deadline to purchase tickets is Wednesday (7/11/12), and the number to call is 615-556-7189. Tickets are $15.
(Above L-R) Kathryn McCroskey, Rev. Ernest Newsom, Rev. Robert James, Sr., and Albert Richardson
Mrs. Kathryn McCroskey is a native of Rutherford County. She is the daughter of the late Rev. George and Gracie Wade. She was educated in the Shiloh School and Holloway High School of Murfreesboro. Her spiritual background has her involved with different churches as a pianist; she serves on the Mother Board, Sunday school teacher. She is always helping others by showing love and respect to everyone she meets.
Mrs. McCroskey has been a faithful employee of the Boulevard Terrace, where she served over 42 years prior to retiring this year. She is the President of the Shiloh Community Club, and she has been involved with many community organizations. She was honored by the Elk’s Lodge for being one of the 100 Special People in Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee; she received Member of the Year Award for 1991 and 2000 for the Tennessee Healthcare Association of Tennessee as well as the Employee of the Month at Boulevard Terrace.
Kathryn has been married to Aaron McCroskey for 53 years as of June 16, 1959, and they are the proud parents of four children: Delbert (Linda) Wade, Douglas (LaBora) McCroskey, Aaron Jr. (Deniece) McCroskey and Felicia (George) Wade. They have nine grandchildren: Quiane, D.J., Quinton, Chante, Mia, Carlos, Adrian, Darian and Elijah.
Mr. Albert Richardson is a native of Rutherford County. He is the son of the late Albert Richard, Sr. and Mrs. Edith Richardson. He is the father of one son, Cory.
Mr. Richardson attended school in Rutherford County. He gives special thanks to his parents for teaching him how to respect others, as he knows that in his day, it was the community that helped rear him in the right direction.
Over forty years ago, Mr. Richardson joined Walnut Grove Missionary Baptist Church, where he has been a faithful member under the leadership of Rev. Richard Sibert. Mr. Richardson serves as a deacon in the church and he is a true witness as he shares his testimony about his illness and how God had brought him through difficulties and the feeling of giving up.
More than ten (10) years ago, the enemy attached his body. He experienced continued tripping and stumbling. One day his back and legs went out, but he thought it was problems from a previous car accident. After having extensive tests, the doctors diagnosed him with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The doctors went on to explain to him that he only had months to live. He was totally devastated, which he became weak in his faith. However, he remembered his mother coming to him with some powerful words, “Where is your faith?” For him, that was a wake-up call, which he stated that brought him closer to the Lord.
According to Mr. Richardson, he learned how to walk again, but he never stopped praising the Lord. Through his faith and believe in the Lord, he sings his praises through songs, such as “Living Testimony,” “I’ll Trade a Lifetime” and “Hide Behind the Mountain” are just a few. Furthermore, Mr. Richardson stated that out of 27 people in the ALS Support Group, he is the only survivor. He continues to thank God for good parents, family and friends, who kept pouring positive into him and he was able to pour into others.
Rev. Robert James, Sr. is a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He and his wife (Barbara) of 46 years, have two adult children: Robert, Jr. and Andrea and they are the proud grandparents of Skyla, Campbell and Brooklyn.
Rev. James graduated from Holloway High School in Murfreesboro. He received his B.s from Fisk University and a Masters in Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University. He spent nine years in the NFL, playing for the Buffalo Bills. After returning to Murfreesboro in 1978, he taught and coached in the Rutherford County School System for twelve years. For the past twenty-two years, he had served as an Assistant Principal at Riverdale High School until his retirement this year.
In 2002, Rev. James accepted God’s call to come into the ministry and to take a leadership role in His Kingdom building. He served as an associate pastor at Key United Methodist Church, but in 2003, the Tennessee Annual Conference appointed him to pastor St. John United Methodist Church, where he continues to serve.
Under his leadership, the church has added three classrooms; two handicapped restrooms, and a storage area. In addition, a paved parking lot has been added to the physical facility. He continues his ministerial training through yearly classes, while leading worship services, teaching a weekly Bible study group, visiting the sick and working with mission programs. Rev. James openly proclaims that he is “available” to be used by the Lord.
Rev. Ernest Newsom is also being honored. This Presbyterian minister was formerly the chaplin at the Alvin C. York V.A. Medical Center. He is currently the minister for the Sudanese Presbyterian Church that serves all of Middle Tennessee, and is located in Gallatin.