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St. Mark Church celebrates Black History Month, honors six local ‘Dream Keepers’

Star Staff ReportSt. Mark Herbert Lester speaking St. Mark honorees St. Mark Makayah Thomas St. Mark Sister Karen Payne St. Mark Trent McVay horn

St. Mark M.B. Church, with pastor Keith L. McGee in Drummonds, hosted it’s Eighth Annual African-American History Observance “Celebrate the Dream” Sunday morning at the church located at 3220 Wilkinsville Road.
St. Mark recognized six award winners this year from the Greater Memphis area: Keepers of the Dream honorees Dr. Lai Brooks, Dr. Reginald Coopwood, Deanie Parker and Thomas Sellers Jr., and Dreamers of Tomorrow Award recipents David McKinney and his wife Dr. Shanea McKinney.
The McKinneys were recognized for their accomplishments in the legal and medical fields. The couple also launched One Smart Pet Food Company, the first and olnly African-American owned pet food company certified as a “Pick Tennessee” vendor by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
Brooks, a native of Fulton, Ky., is now a successful medical professional in Memphis practicing in pediatrics.
Coopwood is the president and CEO of the Regional Medical Center in Memphis. Parker led a nonprofit organization founded to build and manage the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Stax Music Academy in Soulsville USA. Sellers was recognized for being the first Black editor in The Millington Star newspaper’s history and for his 10 years of service with the paper in the community.
Helping conduct the ceremony were Sister Johnnie Alston with the welcome, Sister Karen Payne with “Did You Know,” Dr. Herbert Lester with the message of the day, Trent McVay playing the horn, and Sister Tamara Sneed presenting the awards.

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