Honoring a heart for service

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By Erin Hill

On Palm Sunday, members of United Gadsden met at New Bethel A.M.E. Church to present their “Making a Difference” Awards to seven public servants.
The Rev. Lee Plummer, Kimblin NeSmith, the Rev. Gwen Carroll-Simmons, Elder Tyrone Smith, the Rev. Eddie Allen, Pastor Julius Harris and Chief Glenn Sapp were recognized for keeping Jesus’ mandate to go into all the world and serve.
Judge Kathy Garner, who was the mistress of ceremonies and a 2015 recipient, said each of the honorees are not only making a life and a name — they’re also making a difference.
“When you’re so used to serving, it’s hard to sit and be honored because you’re not called to be served.  You’re called to serve,” Smith said.
Harris, who pastors New Jerusalem First Baptist Church in Havana, said he is humbled that someone would stop and just say thank you.
Sapp also said he was humbled to be receiving the award, especially during a time when police officers are being looked down upon.
United Gadsden also raffled off bus passes during the service.
New Bethel A.M.E. Pastor Charles Morris encouraged everyone at the service to give back.  He said well done is always better than well said.
“If you have no goal in mind, you’re sure to reach it,” Morris said.
Morris said public officials also must be held accountable.  He said no longer can Gadsden County continue to fall at the bottom of the rankings when it comes to health, education and economic development.
“The time to demand that accountability is at the ballot box,” Morris said.
Each of the recipients were given seven minutes to speak on the seven last words of Christ:
• Plummer — “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:33-34
• Nesmith — “Amen, I say to you, this day you shall be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43
• Carroll-Simmons-”Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your Mother.”  John 19:26-27
• Allen — “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” Matthew 27:45-46
• Smith — “I thirst.” John 19:28
• Harris — “It is finished.” John 19:29-30
• Sapp — “Into your hands, I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:44-46