by Colston Newton
There are a lot of people who make solid, positive contributions to their communities but who are never recognized for their efforts. The “Unsung Heroes” awards awarded annually by the First Baptist Church and the Northumberland County Community Center Organization are designed to rectify that lack of recognition. Saturday, 25 younger men from Northumberland County were celebrated at a banquet at the church’s O.A. Brinkley Hall.
“We are here to celebrate 25 young men who through God’s mercy, determination and hard work have become role models,” the Rev. John Fontaine, pastor of First Baptist, said in his greeting to the crowd that filled the tables set up around the hall.
After James Long described the purpose of the occasion, Fontaine led the crowd in a rousing rendition of “This Little Light of Mine” and Clarence Dameron said a blessing for the chicken, ham, green beans and mashed potato meal all the guests were served.
After dinner, Gerald Howard joined Long in making the presentations.
The men honored were:
Avery Darnell Ball, Northumberland High School (NHS) graduate, 1996, who works for the Department of Juvenile Justice in Chesterfield.
Christopher Ball, Lancaster High School (LHS) graduate, 2014, who serves as minister of music at First Baptist and for other organizations. He is also a member of the Mid-County Rescue Squad.
Arthur L. Bea, NHS graduate, 1987, owner of Bea Detailing LLC in Callao and an employee of Lutron Electronics.
Jesse Bea, 1998 high school graduate, Developmental Disability case manager, Hanover County.
Paul Bromley, NHS graduate, 2001, attorney for the New York City Department of Education Office of General Counsel.
Larry O. Coleman, left school to work construction with his father. Now owns C&C Construction.
Derrick Crockett, NHS graduate, 2008. Entrepreneur and Forever Unique Productions.
Antonio Diggs, NHS graduate, 2010. Involved in a number of businesses including ADE Property Management and Maintenance.
Joshua Diggs, NHS graduate, 2013. Operations Supervisor UPS North Chesterfield.
Justin Diggs, NHS graduate, 2013. Operations Supervisor North Chester.
Weldon Dobyns, Jr., NHS graduate, 2013. Haynie Farms, Reedville.
Kyle Elmore, NHS graduate, 2013. Newport News Shipyard.
Montrel Gibson, NHS graduate, 2010. Hometown Rentals, West Point, Va.
Darrel Green, NHS graduate, 1986. West Rock, West Point, Va. (US Army 8 years)
Shawn Hicks, Rappahannock High School graduate, 1998. branch manager, Woodforest National Bank.
SFC (ret.) Andrew Hudnall, NHS graduate. Retired from Army National Guard, Virginia corrections system. Operates martialarts school.
Kevin Keeve, NHS graduate, 1985. Deputy, Northumberland County Sheriff’s Department.
Lezar Nickens, NHS graduate, 1985. Claims Department, GEICO Insurance.
Tyrell Antonio Nickens, LHS graduate, 2003. Eastern Virginia Medical School police officer. Founded and continues “Ty’s Friends”, a support organization for the needy.
DeAnte Palmer, NHS graduate, 2008. Employed by Phillips Health Care.
Michael L. Parker, NHS graduate, 2008. Sergeant, Northumberland County Sheriff’s Department.
Jarnell Peet, NHS graduate, 2001. owns “Keep It Moving”, transporation and truck services.
Gabriel Sweet Smith, NHS graduate, 2009. Wellness Coach, Northumberland Family YMCA.
Alonzo Sutton, NHS graduate, 2015. Employed by Chesterfield Sheriff’s Office.
The Rev. Ullyses Turner, NHS graduate, 1986. Pastor, Beulah Baptist Church, Lively; program director, Employing Youth for Positive Change; Behavioarl specialist, Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck.