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Colletonians line parade route to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Despite the frigid wind on Sunday, Colletonians came out to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the county’s annual parade.

The year 2019 marks Colleton County’s 33rd annual MLK, Jr. Parade, which is sponsored by the Walterboro Shrine Club of Arabian Temple No.139.

This year’s parade marshal was the Rev. Charles W. Davenport, 43rd Imperial Potentate of the A.E.A.O.N.M.S., Inc. Rev. Davenport is a lifelong resident of Batesburg. He is married to the former Jannette L. Henry of Winnsboro. They have three children and three grandchildren.

He is a graduate of Twin City High School and the DeVry Institute of Technology. A veteran of the United States Air Force, he retired as a manager from Owens Corning Fiberglass, Inc. (Advanced Glassfiber Yarns), Aiken. He is a senior regional manager with Primerica Financial Services, licensed in debt consolidation, signature loans, life insurance, as well as being a securities broker-dealer. He has also worked as a consultant with Arrow Marketing (The State).

Rev. Davenport is Past Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of South Carolina. He is the 43rd Imperial Potentate of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.E.A.O.N.M.S), Inc.

This year also saw a larger number of parade entries, with approximately 100 different units participating.

The 2019 parade judges were Rev. Bryce Jamison, Pastor of Jones Chapel in Orangeburg, SC; Patricia Grant, Colleton County Clerk of Court; David Smalls, Colleton County Delegation Office; Lynette Fryar, Victims Advocate for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office; Sandra Ferguson, Director of the Veterans Victory House Nursing Home; Janet Smith, Veterans Affairs. Judges had four categories to use in their scoring, with each category awarding a first and second place winner.

Parade entry winners are as follows: For Float Originality- First Place- Wesley Grove UMC, Second Place- New Life UMC; For Commercial Float- First Place- Buckhead UMC, Second Place- Mt. Olive Baptist Church; For Walking Unit- First Place- High Jump Cheer Dance Company, Second Place- Colleton County Allstars; For All Other Units- First Place- Eastside Acres Community, Second Place- Tuskegee Airman Inc., Hiram E. Mann Chapter.

More about the grand marshal:
Rev. Davenport is an inaugural member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of South Carolina Hall of Fame. He was honored to have the class of novices created during the 2018 South Carolina Gala Day named the “Charles W. Davenport Class.”

He is a lifelong member of the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, Leesville, where he served for nine years as chairman of the Board of Deacons. During his tenure, they erected and dedicated a new sanctuary. He has also served as church clerk and was ordained to the gospel ministry by the Friendship Baptist Association. He served as an associate minister at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church. Currently, he serves as the pastor of the Philippi Missionary Baptist Church in Prosperity. Rev. Davenport is the president of the Congress of Christian Education of the Friendship Baptist Education Association.

Some of his numerous civic activities include serving as chairman and vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lexington School District Three for a period of 13 years, former member of the Board of Directors of the United Black Fund of the Midlands, former member of the Board of Directors and Loan Committee of the Anderson Federal Credit Union, life member of the NAACP, and a member of the Twin City Alumni Association.

On May 26, 1999, Rev. Davenport’s name was entered into the U.S. Congressional Record (106th Congressional Record, First Session E1099) “A Tribute for Being A Servant In His Community And Making His Mark On The Masonic Order, His Church and the Local School District.” The South Carolina Senate also honored him for his many contributions to the state and its citizenry. He was a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (which was given under the administration of President Barack Obama) and the Batesburg-Leesville Citizenship Award. The City of Columbia proclaimed June 5, 1999 as “Charles W. Davenport Day.”

Further accolades and achievements for Rev. Davenport are as follows:
• Past treasurer of the Prince Hall Shrine Foundation
• Sovereign Grand Inspector General Active of The United Supreme Council Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA, PHA
• Past Master of Twin City Lodge #316,
• Past Commander in Chief of the C. C. Johnson Consistory #136
• Past Potentate and Past Imperial Deputy of the Oasis of Cairo Temple #125
• Past Chief Deputy of Golf of the Imperial Recreation Department of the A.E.A.O.N.M.S., Inc. Founding member of the Cairo Motor Patrol
• Member of Twin City Chapter #243 Order of the Eastern Star, Ethiopia Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons
• Past Grand High Priest Prince Hall Grand Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons of South Carolina Past General Grand High Priest of the General Conference Holy Royal Arch Masons U.S.A. and Bahamas, Inc.
• Past Grand Thrice Illustrious Master of the Prince Hall Grand Council Royal and Select Masters Jurisdiction of South Carolina
• Past Right Eminent Grand Commander Palmetto Grand Commandery Knights Templar
• Honorary Past Imperial Potentate of the A.E.A.O.N.M.S., Inc.
• Honorary Past Grand Master of Georgia
• Honorary Past Grand Master of North Carolina
• Honorary Member of the Jurisdiction of Virginia and Ohio and Honorary Past Grand Master of Louisiana
• Kentucky Colonel
• Honorary Member of the Fayetteville-Fort Bragg Chapter-Triple Nickels, the 555th Parachute Infantry Association Inc. at Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Christie Slocum (538 Posts)