By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Saturday the Millington Lions Club was back where it all started.
The rainy conditions couldn’t dampen the atmosphere inside the New Living Well Worship Center at the corner of 7996 Wilkinsville Road. The smiling faces brighten up the mood for the Lions Club’s 65th anniversary celebration at the site that gave birth to the civic organization in Millington on February 24, 1953.
“It was in this building,” Millington Lions Club President Linda Overstreet said. “This was the original Lion’s Den. You couldn’t be a Lion unless you were a business owner, a lawyer or a doctor and male. I couldn’t be a Lion back then. But there have been many, many changes.”
The building was known as the Millington Baptist Church 65 years ago. Men like PW Reed, Joseph Maxwell and Bobby Maxwell brought the Lions to Flag City after the organization began in 1917.
The Millington version held meetings in the then Millington Baptist Church, and on Friday nights transformed the building into a community center for the youth to have parties. The Lions Club hosted patience in their doctor offices to assist with sight and hearing issues.
“We provide sight and hearing services for those in need from glasses, hearing aids to eye procedures for those in need,” Overstreet noted.
The Millington Lions Club serves Munford, Atoka, Burlison, Drummonds, Brighton, Millington and Frayser. The group currently meets at Olympic Steakhouse second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:30.
Saturday’s special gathering included Mayor Terry Jones’ wife Mary delivering the proclamation on behalf of the City of Millington for the Lions Club. Special guests to speak at the ceremony were Maxwell’s sons Barry and Chuck. Their brother Darrell couldn’t make it.
Matthews’ family was represented as well with Paul and Dr. Barret Matthews.
“We’ve come full circle,” Overstreet said. “I was just thrilled when I came and talked to the Pastor’s brother-in-law Pete Brown. He met me up here and I asked if he would talk to the Pastor about allowing us to do this. And she said yes. The church has been awesome host for us. This is just an amazing day for the Lions Club.”
Current members of the Millington’s Lion’s Club are President and Treasurer Linda Overstreet, Vice President Vicki L. Green, Secretary Christy White and Past District Governor/ Lion’s Club International Foundation Coordinator Al McNeely, Caleb Butler, Cody Childress, Jonathan Crisp, Lynn Jones, George Krzewinski, Marilyn Loeffel, Carrie Marcinko, Ashley McCraw, Mitch Overstreet and Dessie Reed.
The founding fathers of the Millington Lion’s Club were NP Badgett, Dr. Paul James Batson Jr., H Leo Brown, Dr. AJ Cates, Ura Crenshaw, W Scott Cunningham, Andrew J Denne Jr., John P Douglas Jr., William t. Flynt, William V Forsthe, Earl T Griffin, Louis Haddad, Phillip Hadad, Raymond R. Hamilton, LC Jackson, TH Jackson, Kenneth J Jordan, W F McKelvy, Joe C. Matthews, Bobby Guy Maxwell, CT Mitchell, Elvin G. Oliver, Leo Perser Jr., Charles W. Pruitt, Morris N. Raney, Sam L Rawls, Dr. E Loyd Reed, John W Roberts, John L Robinson, Vance Edward Sewter, JH Sepp, R Coleman Smith,Harold Spilka, James C Thompson, Woodrow Wages and Lacy M. Whorton.
By Thomas Sellers Jr.