New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is bringing a homecoming-style celebration complete with a Battle of the Bands, a live performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Tasha Cobbs Leonard and other festivities on Oct. 24 beginning at 9 a.m. at 6400 Woodrow Rd. in Stonecrest. Senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant will dedicate a portion of the program to honoring various community leaders and champions in DeKalb County.
“While many members of our congregation and community join us in a virtual worship service each week, we want to take another opportunity to reimagine church in a new way and honor those men and women who have served as pillars in our community through this pandemic,” said Bryant. “We want attendees to feel free to come as they are, wear their college paraphernalia and enjoy New Birth’s homecoming celebration.”
Honorees at the upcoming outdoor service include DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Michael Thurmond, President of Organization of DeKalb Educators Deborah Jones, radio host and philanthropist Frank Ski, founder of Sisters by Choice Dr. Rogsbert Phillip-Reed, and community organizer Flossie Varner. Each honoree will receive a special tribute during the event for their respective community contributions and impacts that have touched thousands of lives.
Thurmond’s work in providing access for thousands of residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccination has helped serve as a shot in the arm for vaccination rates among Black, Latino and underserved communities countywide.
Jones has served as the voice for thousands of educators working on the frontline throughout the pandemic in classrooms across DeKalb and has advocated for policies and protocols to keep educators and students safe.
Ski, who returned to the Atlanta airways as host of the Frank Ski Morning Show on KISS 104.1 this year, has remained committed to impacting youth through The Frank Ski Kids Foundation and advancing critical topics on his top-rated radio broadcast.
New Birth member Varner served as a catalyst for creating New Birth’s food pantry – The King’s Table – which has served more than 800,000 meals since the onset of the pandemic.
Sisters By Choice was founded in 1989 by Phillips-Reed, a prominent Atlanta-based breast surgeon, and has evolved into a multi-faceted organization providing services for uninsured and underserved women. Realizing the health disparities surrounding access to quality breast care in rural Georgia, Phillips-Reed started an initiative to address this disparity by developing a Mobile Breast Clinic.
“Each of our honorees’ accomplishments speaks to the very spirit that has existed during this pandemic where you see people coming together to help, support, uplift and inspire one another,” said Dr. Bryant. “Our homecoming celebration represents another moment for our members and the community to come together and celebrate the goodness of God. In addition to our honorees, we are extremely blessed to have [Leonard] join us for a praise and worship encounter like none other. You may have missed your school’s homecoming but I encourage everyone to make a plan to be at New Birth for our Homecoming 700 celebration.”
For more information, visit wearenewbirth.org.