The Rev. Dr. Ronnie C. King, senior pastor, Grace Missionary Baptist Church, was a long-serving chaplain in the U.S. Navy. He is shown here being saluted at FedExForum during a Memphis Grizzlies game. (Courtesy photo)
Rev. Dr. Ronnie C. King, senior pastor, Grace Missionary Baptist Church. (Courtesy photo)

The Rev. Dr. Ronnie C. King, pastor of Grace Missionary Baptist Church, 1203 N. Manassas, will be the guest speaker as the Manassas High School Alumni Association celebrates the 27th annual Unity Brunch benefitting the students of the high school. 

The brunch returns after a two-year hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is set for April 2 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis at 3700 Central Avenue.

Proceeds benefit graduating seniors of Manassas High School.

“Although we’ve not had the brunch for two years because of the pandemic, we are excited to resume our fundraising efforts for scholarships and to fellowship with alumni in an effort to return to some normalcy,“ said Cheryl Rivers, program chairman.

The graduating classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972 will be honored in conjunction with their 50th class reunions.

Born in Coldwater, Mississippi, Dr. King announced his calling while at the University of Mississippi, where he graduated with a degree in political science. He earned a master’s degree in theology from Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology in Dallas.

In the U.S. Navy, King served as a chaplain and earned a master of science degree in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University, National War College. In Quantico, Virginia, he delivered the eulogy for Frederick Clinton Branch, the first African-American officer of the U.S. Marine Corps.

An author, King’s book – “My Golden Nuggets: Life Changing Devotions and Meditations” – was published in 2011.

Tapped by the Rev. Dr. Coleman Crawford Jr. as  his senior-pastor successor, he stepped into that role full time when Mr. Crawford died in March 2017.

During the Unity Brunch, there will be an emphasis on creating a safe, healthy environment. Participants must present their vaccination cards upon entrance. Cell phone snapshots are also accepted.

Anyone that has not been vaccinated must present a PCR Test Record with negative COVID test results taken within 48 hours of the brunch.