Community’s ‘unsung heroes’ honored during annual MLK Jr. breakfast

Dr. C.H. Charlton, who recently retired after serving over 40 years as the pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, was honored with a special award during last Saturday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast, which was held at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Johnson City. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE

By Dave Ongie

The Carver Recreation Center hosted the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church last Saturday morning. The event honored the memory of Dr. King and recognized unsung heroes that work behind the scenes to make our community a better place.

Hundreds of people were on hand to help honor Rev. Vincent Dial, Mary Dial, Donnie Hamilton, Terry Phillips and Dr. C.H. Charlton.

Rev. Dial has served the community in a variety of ways, spending 32 years as a band director and administrator before entering the ministry in 1994. Currently the senior pastor of Bethel Christian Church in Jonesborough, Dial has served on the boards of several civic organizations over the years. Vincent’s wife Mary spent 40 years educating students in the Johnson City School System and also served on numerous education committees.

Rev. Vincent Dial (left) and his wife Mary Dial were among those honored for their work in the community. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE
A dancer with Powerful Expressions of Praise from Thankful Baptist Church performs during the annual event. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE

Hamilton recently retired after a long and productive career with the City of Johnson City. He worked with the Parks and Recreation Department before becoming a training and development manager in the Human Resources department. Hamilton wrapped up his career as the operations supervisor of the Johnson City Transit.

Phillips is a longtime pastor who joined the Johnson City Transit in 2006, where he became the supervisor of student transit in 2008.

Charlton recently retired after serving as pastor of Friendship Baptist Church for over 40 years. He served on Johnson City’s Board of Commissioners and was also the city’s vice mayor. Charlton is also an educator and has penned several books over the years.

Dr. Fereidoon Shafiei, president of the Muslim Community Network of East Tennessee, offers some remarks. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE

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