Local church honors pioneers during Black History Month celebration

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Shown Sunday, Feb. 17 during the New St. Paul Mission Baptist Church Black History Month celebration are, from left, standing: Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson, Anthony Christy, son of Shelby Christy; and Charlie Stevens; and, sitting are Harry York and Larry Christy.

The New St. Paul Mission Baptist Church, along with Pastor Paul R. Murray Jr., celebrated Black History Month Sunday, Feb. 17 by paying tribute to the pioneers of East Ascension Parish, who helped to pave the way through education and law-enforcement.

"The St. Paul Church family was honored and blessed to have been able to pay tribute to these wonderful people of the past and present," said a church spokesperson.

In education, homage was given to Wilfred Christy, the first black principal of East Ascension High; and L.C. Christy, the principal of G.W. Carver School and was appointed as the first county assistant for the parish.

In law enforcement, homage was given to Clem B. Washington who was named the first black deputy sheriff in East Ascension Parish; and Thomas Hargrove Jr. who was appointed the first black city police officer with arresting privileges.

Present to receive a plague of honor was Shelby Christy, an educator in Ascension Parish for 34 years; Larry Christy, an educator in Ascension Parish for 40 years; and Charlie Stephens, an educator in the parish for 32 years.

Also acknowledged at this time is Judge Alive Turner, who was the first black judge in the parish.

Harry York, the second black deputy sheriff in East Ascension Parish; and Chief of Police Sherman Jackson, the first chief of police in the parish were honored at this time also.