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Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church
Published: 15 January 2019

On Jan. 19  and 20 Portland’s historic Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church and its vibrant community will host the annual Drum Major Celebration.

This two-day commemoration consists of the Salute to Greatness awards and scholarship luncheon, held on Jan. 19 from 12 to 2 p.m. at New Song Community Church Fellowship Hall on the corner of NE MLK Blvd. & NE Russell St. 

Mr. Lakayana Drury, Social Studies teacher at Rosemary Anderson (POIC) High School and Executive Director of “Word is Bond” will deliver the keynote address. The following community leaders will be recognized: The Rev. W. Mark Knutson, Augustana Lutheran Church; Andrew & Hermann Colas, Colas Construction; Michael R. Booker, Sr., The Miracles Recovery Club; Musician & Artist Michael Allen Harrison; Sam Sachs & Noho Marchesi of Breaking Bread/Breaking Barriers; the Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA); and Educator & Community Activist Mrs. Joyce Harris. The following senior high school students will be honored and receive scholarships: DeLaSalle North Catholic: Ganiyat (Gigi) Karimu; Helensview: Elijah Hudson; Jefferson: Sarah Steele; Rosemary Anderson (POIC): Kenneth Kimmons; Roosevelt: Tosha Kitungano; and Second Home: Gavin Fortner.

On Jan. 20 at Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, 3138 N. Vancouver Avenue in Portland from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Ambassador Attalah Shabazz, eldest daughter of the late Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz; at-large lifetime Ambassador for Peace appointed by the prime minister of Belize will be making her first Portland appearance as the keynote speaker. The theme is: “Now is the Time!”

Mayor Ted Wheeler and other public officials will give greetings as will inter-faith leaders and the Pacific Youth Choir under the direction of Mia Hall will render music.

Vancouver Avenue is one of Portland’s historic venues and the only church in Oregon where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed the “Beloved Community” in November 1961 as part of his trip to the Pacific Northwest during the Civil Rights Movement. The public is encouraged to attend both programs and donations of $25 per event is encouraged or $45 for both.

All donation proceeds go to the Drum Major Scholarship Fund to support future awards. To secure a ticket contact the Church directly at 3138 N. Vancouver Avenue. Tuesday-Friday 1-6 p.m.; by calling (503) 282-9496,  www.vafbcpdx.org, or at the door on the day of the event.


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