Isaiah’s Temple of Mt. Hope Spiritual Baptist Church, a faith-based organization in the East New York, Brooklyn, on Friday, Aug. 5 honored 10 outstanding members of the community at a gala ceremony at Paradise Manor on Avenue U in Brooklyn.
The honorees were: Barbadian-born Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix; Trinidadian members of the clergy Pastor Mervyn S. Passie, Bishop Majorie Trim, the Rev. Eric Wyllie and Minister Dionne Smith; Jamaican-born pastor Archbishop Fr. Allan S. Jones; Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Janet Larghi; Assembly Member Latrice Walker; Guyanese Archbishop Dr. Pamella Taylor; and Vincentian Spiritual Baptist Pastor Naomi Harper.
“It is with love and appreciation that I extend congratulations to our honorees,” said Her Grace, the Most Rev. Dr. Voni B. Johyn, the Jamaican-born senior pastor and founder of Isaiah’s Temple of Mount Hope Spiritual Baptist Church that provides community services in the East New York and Brownsville communities in Brooklyn.
“Biennially, Isaiah’s Temple of Mt. Hope extends recognition to well-deserved individuals, who, through hard work and personal sacrifice, continue to enrich the lives of others,” added Dr. Johyn, stating that her church, at its biennial gala awards ceremony, honors outstanding business, political and clergy individuals, who “provide significant contribution to their respective communities.”
Justice Hinds-Radix, an Associate Justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, said: “I’m, indeed, very honored to be given this award.
“We’re living in very trying times,” she added, “and the church has a very significant role to play. I thank you for this honor, and may God continue to bless you.”
Pastor Passie said it was “God’s doing” to be honored.
“This is nothing with me,” he said. “I just thank God. Someone saw this little plant in Brooklyn and decided to honor me.”
In receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, Elect Lady Pastor Harper, of Zion House of Prayer, Inc., on Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn, said she was “truly standing here not on my own but because of the Great Jehovah, who has seen fit for me to rise from a bad cancer.
“I owe it to the man called Jesus,” she added. “I’m truly blessed. For all who received honors, and hope to receive honors, keep serving God.”
Walker, who represents the 55th Assembly District in Brooklyn, thanked the organizers for bestowing the honor on her and used the occasion to plug her upcoming re-election.
Mayor Bill deBlasio, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, who was the keynote speaker, and Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene were among elected officials and others who extended congratulations to the honorees and Isaiah’s Temple of Mt. Hope.
De Blasio said the temple has stood as “a steadfast source for many in Brooklyn, fostering the spiritual growth of its members and helping to forge a path to a better and brighter future.”
Schumer said it was his pleasure to extend “greetings and warm wishes to you and all those attending” the awards celebration.
He said Isaiah’s Temple of Mt. Hope Spiritual Baptist Church has offered “spiritual guidance to sustain communities during both times of prosperity and of hardship.
“Its unwavering commitment to faith and family has helped to build a better New York,” Schumer said.
On behalf of the residents of the 9th Congressional District of New York, which she represents, Clarke said, “I want to recognize this year’s honorees.
“Through your unwavering support, this church has become a beacon of light for those in need of refuge,” she said.
Eugene, who represents the 40th Council District in Brooklyn, noted that Isaiah Temple has been “a staple church in our community for over a decade.”
He said he was “pleased to honor” the awardees, “who have all exemplified great leadership in the congregation and community.
“This is a truly outstanding moment, one in which they and their loved ones will never forget,” Eugene said.