Brooklyn’s Isaiah’s Temple of Mt. Hope Spiritual Baptist Church Friday night honored Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams among 14 outstanding members of the community at its 2018 Gala Awards Ceremony at Paradise Manor on Avenue U in Brooklyn.
The church, founded and headed by Jamaican-born Archbishop Dr. Voni B. Johyn, bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award on Trinidadian natives the Revs. Selwyn and Olive Rodriguez, and on Richard and Lois Larghi.
The other honorees were: Errol McGlashin, vice president and senior branch manager of M&T Bank; Trinidadians Arch Abbess Christine (Maver) Ashby, the Rev. Dr. Roxanne Simone Lord-Marcelle, a board-certified doctor of naturopathy, and the Rev. Mother May Stewart; Japanese-born Minister Reiko Jenkins; Jamaicans Bishop Dr. Antoinette Dreckette; educator Joan Sparkes and Chief Apostle Archbishop Mark Adolphus, Esq.; Guyanese Archbishop Lynette P. Somersel; and the Most Rev. Audrey Elaine Ellington, who born in London, England then migrated to Kingston, Jamaica.
“It is with love and appreciation that I extend congratulations to our honorees,” Dr. Johyn said. “Biennially Isaiah’s Temple of Mt. Hope SBC extends recognition to well-deserved individuals, who through hard work and personal sacrifice continue to enrich the lives of others.
“It is a distinct honor to be in your presence tonight,” she added. “We are truly blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity once again to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Over the years, it has been a genuine pleasure to serve within and beyond the community.”
After receiving his award, Adams, a former police officer, told patrons that “prayers have always been around me.
“There were some very dark moments, you have to really believe in God,” he said, “No one can drive you crazy if you give God the keys.
“At 15, I was arrested,” he disclosed. “That same [Police] Precinct had to stand to their feet when I became a captain.
“God didn’t turn over America to [President] Trump,” he added. “God is still in charge.”
The honorees and patrons were serenaded by Lisa Bates, a former vocalist with the Trinidadian band Traffik; Opera singer Veronica Kinisha; and Tobago songbird Hilton Samuel.
Isaiah’s Temple Dance Ministry also performed a liturgical dance.
Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke delivered the keynote address.
Dr. Johyn said Isaiah’s Temple of Mt. Hope focuses its attention on “enriching the lives of those we encounter on a daily basis and work with various disenfranchised groups.
“We have also implemented programs that work directly with the youth within and beyond our communities that provide support and professional skills,” she said.
“In the latter capacity, along with fellow community leaders, we are charged with the responsibility of shepherding traditions for the next generation,” she added. “As such, we combine our efforts to provide assistance, thus enabling current and future development of a more stable and peaceful environment.
“We endeavor to provide assurance and propel higher ideals, as we work with families, law enforcement and churches within the community to bring stability and respect,” Dr. Johyn continued. “We encourage everyone to persevere and give the best of their service as they climb to higher dimensions of growth.”