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Black History observance this month

The First African Baptist Church will hold its 23rd annual Black History Month observance on Sunday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. with Deacon Wallace A. Williams, governor of Rotary International District 6110, Tulsa, Okla., as featured speaker.

The theme of the program is African Americans and the Civil War, honoring African-American veterans of the Bainbridge-Decatur County community.

Williams grew up in Colquitt, Ga., and graduated from Bethel High School in 1963. He completed his undergraduate studies at Savannah State College, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He did graduate work at Georgia State University and the University of Phoenix, where he received an Master of Arts in Organizational Management.

Williams served in the U.S. Army with a tour of duty in Vietnam. Following his military service, he became employed by Kraft Foods in Decatur, Ga., thus launching a 36-year career in food manufacturing. He has held numerous management positions in Decatur, Ga., Springfield, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla., retiring from the Bama Companies Inc. in 2005.

He is actively involved in his community, having served on the board of the following organizations: Youth Services of Tulsa, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Tulsa Partners Inc. and Board Chair of Metropolitan Tulsa Urban League. He is a member of Class 25 of Leadership Tulsa, where he served as class marshal. He is also a member of the Morning Star Baptist Church where he served on the Deacon Board, Sunday School superintendent and is a member of the Brotherhood ministry.

His first Rotary service began as a charter member of the Rotary Club of North Tulsa., where he has served as president, sergeant-at-arms and board chairman. He served three terms as assistant district governor of District 6110 prior to being selected as the first African-American governor in the district’s history.

District 6110 is the largest Rotary district in the United States and one of the largest in the world. It is made up of 81 clubs in parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. His love for Rotary has inspired him to attend the last 10 Rotary International Conventions. He says he looks forward to meeting and interacting with fellow Rotarians from around the world.

Wallace Williams is married to the former Anne Gaines of Bainbridge for 38 years and the couple has two adult sons, Alex and Steven. He is the son of Willis and Elisabeth Williams of Brinson and the son-in-law of Mr. Ananias and Pauline Love Gaines of Bainbridge.

The public is invited to attend the program and enjoy the refreshments that follow.