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  • May 6, 2015

Black history program honors local residents - KJAS.COM: Local News

Black history program honors local residents

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Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 4:51 pm, Tue Feb 10, 2015.

The third annual "Pillar of the Community" Black History Celebration was held on Saturday here in Jasper and 8 Pillars were announced and recognized.

They included Jessie Carl Limbrick, who has been very involved in many community events over the years, such as the construction of the Westlake and Indian Creek Park on Farm to Market Road 2800, Gwendolyn Bryan Adams, who was one of the first black students to cross racial barriers and attend an all white school in the mid 60's, Kenneth Brooks, a long time employee of the Texas Department of Transportation, who has served on various boards and committees, including the Jasper Economic Development Corporation and the Reverend Paul Hadnot a local minister who has also been involved in the community.

Others selected included Sarah Ratcliff, who owned the former Sarah's Cafe, on South Main Street, which is said to possibly be the first business in Jasper owned and operated by an African American, Reverend Kenneth Lyons, who has served for many years at the pastor of the Greater New Bethel Baptist Church and moderator of the Lone Star District Association, along with Bobbie Dacus Ford, who was Jasper's first black nurse and Caroline Levias, who serves as Director of Special Education at the Jasper Independent School District.

Dr. Larry Brown served as master of ceremonies for the event, which was held at the Lone Star Center, on Burch Street, and guest speaker was Wanda Adams, who is a member of the Houston City Council.

"The Man Who Made a Difference Award" was presented to the late Julius Ezekiel Spikes, better known as "Zeke", who owned and operated a donut shop here in the Jasper Area for many years.

In addition to owning a bake shop, Mr. Spikes also operated a janitorial business, and was an expert tradesman and entrepreneur until his death in 1986.

Mr. Spikes' award was presented to one of his sons, Sherman Spikes, a 1971 graduate of Jasper High School, who now lives in Houston.

"The Pillar of the Community" program is organized each year by Wretha Rawls Thomas, who is the founder of the celebration.