by Jerome Wright
For 60 years, the Annual International Tea in support of The LeMoyne-Owen College has signaled the advent of another season of faith-based fundraising for the Memphis-rooted HBCU.
And so it was again last Sunday (Jan. 21.) with a full house of LOC supporters drawn to Metropolitan Baptist Church.
The Tea is an important partnership between area churches and LOC, regarding advocacy and financial support for the 156-year-old college. Participating churches prepared foods from different countries.
The LeMoyne-Owen President Dr. Andrea Lewis Miller thanked the audience for their participation, offering an additional heartfelt thank you to International Tea Chair Dr. James L. Netters Sr., senior pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Westwood, and co-chair Rev. Anthony Henderson of Beulah Baptist Church.
“Thank you for your continuing leadership to make this annual International Tea a reality and outstanding success,” Dr. Miller said.
She noted that Dr. Netters, a LeMoyne-Owen alumnus, has served as the chair of International Tea for more than 50 years.
Dr. Miller continued, “I also want to thank the many pastors, and members of each congregation represented here today. I am overjoyed, humbled and sincerely grateful for the continued outpouring of affection you have bestowed upon LeMoyne-Owen College.
“We cannot continue to move forward and educate tomorrow’s leaders without your unyielding support. Members of the clergy and faithful, God-fearing people like you are our most valued partners.”
Alta Lemon, 93, a member of Beulah Baptist Church and a member the Tea’s Finance Committee, was honored for 60 years of service to the Tea.
The International Tea was founded by the late Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, who, according to Dr. Miller, “understood the invaluable role and tradition the faith community has played in the life of Historically Black Colleges and Universities like LeMoyne-Owen College.”
Churches that set up booths featuring international cuisines were Greater Whitestone MB, Jamaica; Beulah Baptist, Costa Rica; Mt. Vernon Baptist, Kenya; First Baptist Mt. Olive, England; Greater Middle Baptist, Honduras; Metropolitan Baptist, China and Second Congregational, Nigeria.