Brothers and sisters, the time has come once again for our annual Freedom Fund Banquet. 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the venue has changed. The Talladega County NAACP will hold its annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Family Life Center.

This banquet not only enables us to better serve our community, but it also helps us to reach out to our young people in this county. 

The history of the NAACP is well-documented. The true movement lies in the faces of the diverse multiracial army of ordinary women and men, from every walk of life, race and class working together to awaken the consciousness of a people and nation. 

The NAACP continues to fight for the rights of all individuals. Your generous contributions last year made it possible to award 12 deserving 2018-19 city and county graduates scholarship awards totalling $4,000.

 Our theme this year is: “When We Fight Together, We Win!”  

Our guest speaker will be the renowned the Rev. Dr. Randy B. Kelley. 

Only once before did we have a politician as our guest speaker, and that was Gov. Robert Bentley. 

Kelley is an activist pastor and a political organizer. He was born in Birmingham and graduated from Leeds High School. While serving in the United States Army, he specialized in race relations, substance abuse prevention and combat infantry training. Kelley graduated at the top of his class as Distinguished Instructor Training Graduate at Fort Ord, California, and Distinguished Leadership Academy Graduate in Wiesbaden, Germany.  

He received several awards for his leadership and teaching abilities in training combat soldiers in the Republic of Korea. While teaching in Korea, his classes were visited by 13 generals and the secretary of the Army. 

Kelley graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor of Science in sociology and psychology. He obtained a master’s degree from Gammon Theological Seminary and a doctorate from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, where he was elected student body president.

Kelley has served as an adviser of the Jacksonville State University Masonic Order and as a former instructor at Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University.

Kelley’s accomplishments and achievements over the years include but are not limited to the following: vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus; vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party; vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference; inducted into the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College, Atlanta; former talk show host of “Tell It Like It Is” on radio stations in Gadsden, Birmingham and Anniston; former NAACP and Southern Christian Leadership Conference president; former Alabama NAACP state board member; former Gadsden City Council member; and convener of the Race & Religion Team of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

He is pastor of Goodsell United Methodist Church, Lanett, Alabama, and Powell Chapel United Methodist Church, Lafayette, Alabama. 

Kelley is married to Gelaine Kelley, and they are the proud parents of a son, Jabriel, and daughters Jamillah and Jamaya.

We are seeking your financial assistance by making a donation or buying an ad or sponsor tickets. Individual tickets are $30 each, and a table of eight persons is $240. We would greatly appreciate you purchasing one or more tables for your organization.

Ad costs: Full page (color) $150, full page (black & white) $100, half page (color) $100, half page (black & white) $50, patrons giving $49 or less names will be listed. Deadline for all ads is Sept. 23. Ads must be copy ready. 

Please contact Virginia Bell, 256-362-0095 or myself, 256-493-0525, for tickets or additional information.  

-- The Rev. Hugh Morris is president of the Talladega County NAACP.