A "packed" crowd gathered at East Caney Missionary Baptist Church to honor the occasion of
the 16th Anniversary of Pastor Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks.


Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks Honored
With 16th Anniversary Celebration
At East Caney, Sunday


by: Bobby McDonald


It was songs of praise, an uplifting message, and poignant words of wisdom, that awaited a packed crowd of friends, parishioners, and fellow pastors, at East Caney Missionary Baptist Church, as they gathered to honor Pastor Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks, on his 16th Anniversary as Pastor of the church.

Hendricks, a native of Monroe, Louisiana, came to East Caney Baptist Church in February of 1991 and from that day forward has shaped the lives of countless individuals, as testimony was given by a number of people, who sought to honor him and his work, with words of encouragement.


Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks reverently listens as a host of friends and parishioners note his many
accomplishments at Sunday's service honoring his 16th Anniversary as Pastor of the church.


From his community work with Community Chest, a professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a friend to all, Hendricks has touched the lives of people across Hopkins County in all walks of life. He continues to serve as a mentor to the youth, an advocate for youth in trouble, and a positive role model for countless others, while he maintains the pastorship of the growing flock at East Caney. He has been a driving force in the MLK Awards Celebration that continues to attract more people each year, for the annual January celebration.



Serving as Mistress of Ceremonies for Sunday's celebration was Sister Kandi Thomas, with Sister Amy Smith delivering the Welcome. The Response was given by St. Paul Baptist Church, of Paris, the guest church attending Sunday's event. Sister Cassie Edwards gave the Occasion and Sister M. L. Barkwell delivered a touching tribute entitled "What You Mean to Me As My Pastor."

Sister Kandi Thomas, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for Sunday's event.


Sister Lucy Vaden and Brother Bobby McDonald hailed the many accomplishments of Dr. Hendricks as he works throughout the Hopkins County Community, as a mentor and driving force in worthwhile projects. And, Brother Michael Delgado and Sister Cecilia Echols gave Expressions of Love toward Pastor Hendricks.


Sister Amy Smith delivered the Welcome.

A member of the St. Paul Baptist Church in Paris gave the response, as the special guests.

Sister Edwards gave the occasion an told of personal examples of Dr. Hendricks' monumental
efforts as pastor of the church.

Sister M. L. Barkwell told the many reasons she was proud to have been a member of Dr. Hendricks'
flock for the past 16 years.



However, it was when Jeff Jenkins, Minister at Shannon Oaks Church, took the podium that parishioners and friends took a "double-take." Jenkins shocked the crowd when he jokingly stated that Hendricks would be leaving his pastorship at East Caney next week! He quickly recanted his statement, but used the point to express that members of the church should never take Hendricks and his ministry for granted and prepare to accept the local challenges as leaders.


Michael Delgado, a member of the Youth Group at East Caney, offered his expressions
of love for Dr. Hendricks.

And, Sister Cecilia Echols, gave a moving personal example as she told of the importance of
Dr. Hendricks' ministry to the adult members of the East Caney Church.



Jeff Jenkins, Minister at Shannon Oaks Church and a
native of Hendricks' Monroe, Louisiana took the podium........

He called Hendricks to the front and told of how Hendricks had decided to leave the church next week,
and "shocked" the entire crowd assembled......

But, both Hendricks and Jenkins quickly recanted the statement, as the point was made to keep
Hendricks' ministry fresh and alive, despite the 16 years of service to the church.

Sister Ashley Porter delivered a moving poem and Pastor Kenneth Rogers of St. Paul Baptist Church was the keynote speaker for the event.



Songs of praise were delivered by both the East Caney Church Choir and the St. Paul Church Choir.


Rev. Phifer gave brief remarks from the East Caney Church and Missionary Cathy Williams delivered words of thanks to everyone for attending the moving service.



Dr. Hendricks took the podium and expressed his appreciation to everyone for supporting him in his efforts, as well as gave thanks to God for allowing him to work with the people of East Caney and Hopkins County.

A reception in the fellowship hall of the church concluded the afternoon of celebration.