By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: November 17, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – The Prince George Regional Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference conducted their first annual Future Leaders’ Gala in honor of Reverend Dr. Sylvia K. Tucker, a Prince George County pastor, humanitarian and noted lifelong civil rights advocate on a local and national level.
The gala was held at the Fort Lee Officers Club late last month, with scholarships being awarded to deserving students in Dr. Tucker’s honor and culminating in being presented with a surprise SCLC Lifetime Achievement Award while being surrounded by family and friends.
Tucker serves as pastor of Loving Union Baptist Church in Disputanta and has also worked as the Director of Pastoral Care and Chaplain at John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell since 1995. Her selfless humanitarian and civil rights accomplishments are beyond impressive, and could literally fill volumes.
The evening’s keynote speaker for the Future Leaders Gala was the dynamic Reverend Dr. James Coleman, Director of Ministry and School of Religion, at Virginia University of Lynchburg. His powerful and moving address entitled, “Undeniable, Unsinkable, Unstoppable,” brought the entire audience to their feet in a standing ovation.
At the gala, the Reverend Dr. Sylvia K. Tucker Scholarships were awarded to Mr. and Mrs. Todd Skipper, the very proud and excited parents of Christopher Skipper of Prince George, and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jefferson, proud parents of Vadaysha Jefferson of Dinwiddie. The parents accepted the awards on behalf of their children as they were both engaged in previously-scheduled events. These two students have excelled academically have demonstrated leadership and advocacy in both of their communities. Because of the numerous donations from churches, businesses, and individual donors in support of the scholarship awards, each student received a $1,000 scholarship.
“I love Reverend Dr. Sylvia K. Tucker because she has been both a mentor and mother to me,” Pastor Tamara Young-Blow, vice-chairman of the Prince George Regional SCLC and mistress of ceremonies for last month’s gala. “She has opened doors of opportunity for me and encouraged me in some of the most difficult seasons in my life. I admire the fact that although she is a history-maker, a pioneer, and a civil rights activist, she is humble, genuine, and loving. I have observed her showing love, compassion, and building consensus with people who may be perceived as her enemies. Even those who are blessed to be in her circle sometimes do not understand how precious a jewel she is to our community and our nation. She is highly-deserving of this Lifetime Achievement tonight, and I thank God that I can call this classy, loving, and prestigious woman, Mom Tucker.”
Some residents that have been patients in John Randolph Medical Center, and their family members looking for guidance, know her only as the compassionate lady chaplain at JRMC with kind and nurturing words when they needed it the most. Many area residents; however, have heard of the peaceful struggles and battles fought by Tucker to give a voice to the voiceless, strength to the weak, and hope to the hopeless. The history-making appointment of Dr. Tucker to chaplain at JRMC made her the first female African-American chaplain in Virginia. In 1994, she was ordained and licensed as a Baptist minister and leads Disputanta’s Loving Union Baptist Church.
“I have spent most of my life working for civil rights for all people, and it has given me great satisfaction and inner peace,” Tucker remarked. “It has always been important to me to stand up for those that could not stand up for themselves and to attempt to make change when change was needed. I am proud to have been a part of great changes in our country and to have worked with great people along the way. I was honored to have participated in marches with Martin Luther King, III; Rosa Parks; Coretta Scott King; Dick Gregory; the Reverend Dr. Curtis Harris, and so many others over the years. These were all national marches that made people aware and did indeed affect positive change in our great country. We have also spoken up locally in the Central Virginia area, and several peaceful protests helped to effect positive change in the ’80s and ’90s right here in Virginia.”
She continued, “I also had the great pleasure of serving on the board of the SCLC, and I served with Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks. Both of these great ladies were wonderful mentors for me. I was so young back then, and their courage, determination, and above all, their kindness and caring, left an immeasurable impression on the direction I took in life. Eventually, in 2007, I became the first female Chairperson of the Board of the SCLC. This was indeed a great honor for me to serve and represent the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the organization that he had founded.”
“Now, I am beyond honored, humbled, and so appreciative, to receive this special Lifetime Achievement Award from that very same organization that was begun by this incredible man of peace,” Tucker closed.
To learn more about the Prince George Regional Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, visit their website at http://pgregsclc.org.
Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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