Potter St. Community Center renamed after beloved community figure

Published 7:37 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Thirty-year Bainbridge City Councilman and community leader Joe L. Sweet Jr. was honored posthumously Tuesday when the Potter Street Community Center was renamed after him.

Sweet’s life and service to the Bainbridge community will always be remembered, and his accomplishments will never be forgotten. A resolution highlighting his time as an educator, a city councilman, a highly-decorated soldier, a husband, a father, a pastor, a sibling and a friend was read and will be hung in the community center.

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Sweet passed away Dec. 31, 2016, at 79 years old.

A framed photo of Sweet now hangs in the building.

“Joe certainly had a huge impact on our community through his service with the military, service as an educator and with the young people in our community,” Mayor Edward Reynolds said. “The years he served on City Council were certainly groundbreaking.”

Sweet was the second African-American to serve on City Council, Reynolds said, and was a bridge to many communities, whether religious, socio-economic or other segments of Bainbridge.

“He certainly was engaged with young people throughout his service as well as with his career,” Reynolds said. “This will be a place that young people can get together and remember him.”

Sweet’s love for sports only makes the naming of the Potter Street center after him even more of a perfect fit. Tennis courts and pavement for basketball and other games surround the center. Potter Street Elementary School and a gymnasium are right next door.

“Joe was all about community, and it is so near to everything he loved,” said City Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer. “The sports that are around here—It’s Joe. It’s very fitting that the community can come to this place and see his name and remember him. It will keep the memory of Joe alive.”

Sweet’s brother, John, appreciated the renaming, calling it an “honor.”

“It tells me of all the things he has done for this city, there is someone that noticed, and they recognized he was a great spirit to this city,” John said. “I think that’s an honor, and I think that’s great. And it says a lot about Bainbridge, for Bainbridge to do this, and we appreciate that.”

The Joe L. Sweet Jr. Community Center is located on Potter Street next to Potter Street Elementary School.