Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s brought the crowd to its feet, while LOC students recited, danced, sang and “put on a show” for the capacity crowd attending LOC Sunday, April 12.
The celebration, held this year at Brown Missionary Baptist Church’s new South Campus in Southaven, Miss., is an annual fund-raiser for the college by the faith community that commemorates the history and legacy of the college.
Participants first viewed the artwork, photographs and science experiments of students from the various divisions. At 4 p.m., student performances began, with selections by the college’s African Drumming Ensemble, Gospel Choir, Concert Choir and Whittaker Singers.
Other performances included a praise dance by junior Nechawn Johnson, and a dramatic presentation by sophomores and juniors in the Kashmir Society, dubbed Quality 2.0, which resulted in the crowd chanting “quality.”
The Baptist Ministerial Association Male Chorus performed before radio personality Michael Adrian Davis introduced the featured artists. The crowd sang along with Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s, especially during the performance of the familiar “Cooling Waters.”
LOC Sunday also served as a tribute to Board of Trustee member and host pastor of Brown Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. Bartholomew Orr, and president Johnnie B. Watson for his last LOC Sunday as president of the college.
Mayors A.C. Wharton and Mark Luttrell addressed the crowd, claiming Southaven as part of the city.
“There was a time when Arkansas had a connection with Memphis and that area in Memphis was named West Memphis, Arkansas,” Wharton said. “What we are going to do since there are so many Memphians down here I am going to designate this as South Memphis, Mississippi and we can build a branch of LeMoyne-Owen here.”
Luttrell said LeMoyne-Owen College is important for the world and without it there is no history.
“There should be a LeMoyne-Owen everywhere,” he said. “This college’s history during the Civil Rights era where African Americans had nowhere else to go in Memphis is still important.”
On that night, about $70,000 in donations was announced from churches, including Brown Baptist, Middle Baptist –Whitehaven, Mount Vernon Baptist and many others from the Memphis area.