Thomasville Times Enterprise


June 25, 2014

Bernice Thomas honored by church

THOMASVILLE —  Bernice Thomas was honored as First Missionary Baptist Church’s Woman of the Year for 2014 at the church’s annual Women’s Day event on Sunday.

Troyla “Troy” Washington, WALB Thomasville bureau reporter, served as keynote speaker. She was introduced by Karla Heath-Sands, WALB anchor.

Thomas is a charter member of the Thomas County Branch of the NAACP. She is the widow of Curtis Thomas Sr., local civil rights advocate and longtime member of First Missionary Baptist Church.

Some 20 members of Thomas’s family, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attended the service.

The Rev. Jeremy Rich, church pastor, said, “(Ms. Bernice) Thomas possesses the qualities of grace and dignity as virtues of her life. She has been a source of inspiration for not only myself, but for everyone at FMBC. She continues to be active in every part of the congregation: usher board, choirs, Deaconess and Mothers’ board, and the mission groups of the church. Her service to this church and to this community go on record for having made this community a better place. We share with her flowers while she can enjoy the beauty they give.”

Of his mother, Keith Thomas said, “She loves her church and every ministry and organization within the church. My mother has done so very much for our entire family. Her award was awesome. It came as a complete shock and a total surprise. We were all so thrilled. We still are.”

Said Vicki Henderson, “Troy's speech was excellent. She spoke truth in terms of how both to reach and to empower the next generation. I felt that Mrs. Thomas’s recognition as Woman of the Year was very well-deserved in light of all the people she has personally inspired and helped. The entire program was dynamic. I cannot imagine how it could possibly have been better."

“(Ms.) Washington stepped outside of the box. Rather than go the traditional route of using scripture and exposition, she simply spoke from her heart. As usual, our choir sang so beautifully. My daughter and I both noticed that people were moved to tears during our Women’s Day morning service,” Alyce Tillman said.

Said Jasmine Calhoun, “The Women's Day service was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Women from all ages were educated, uplifted and given the call to learn from one another.”

“The Women’s Day Service was just awesome,” said Josephine Mullins. “Troy’s message was pointed and timely. The attendance was wonderful. It was just a beautiful day through and through.”

“It was a blessing for me to witness and be a part of ‘Bridging the Gap,’ “ said Willard Ward. “The speaker’s hands-on examples showed the need for today’s young ladies to hold on and not give up in the face of trials. I enjoyed how (Ms.) Washington both modeled and taught the love of God to the next generation.”

Chairmen for 2014 Women’s Day were Vicki Henderson and Alyce Tillman.


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