Pastor M. LaVelle Hendricks
Resigns as President of Local
by: Bobby McDonald
Community leader, Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks, president of the local NAACP Chapter, tendered his resignation, at a Tuesday night meeting of the local group, at Cypress Center. Siting personal reasons and a full schedule as pastor of the East Caney Missionary Baptist Church and a Professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Hendricks expressed that he wanted to continue to work closely with the organization and make certain that the ideals of NAACP continue to be focused in our community.
Hendricks, who recently celebrated his 16th anniversary as Pastor at East Caney Missionary Baptist Church, continues to be a Hopkins County Leader, as he works with both adults and youth in the greater Northeast Texas area. He has a unique opportunity to work with both youth and adults in his role as a Christian leader and additionally serves as Counseling Professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Hendricks is the motivating factor behind the Community MLK Celebration, each year in January, that has touched the lives of residents all across the spectrum. He continues to work closely with local pastors in sharing ideas that can aid in seeking Christian solutions to our community's problems. Hendricks was instrumental in many of the improvements in the Pacific Park in Sulphur Springs and works "hand-in-hand" with all races to promote equal opportunities for everyone.
Dr. Hendricks, as president of the local NAACP Chapter, was one of the first to respond to the recent altercation involving two local youths involved in a late night fight at a motel bar. Hendricks spoke vocally about what he considered to be racially motivated overtures in the incident.
Hendricks revealed in his resignation that he had received criticism from both members of the black and white communities of Hopkins County. "Some in my own black community have thought that I was not aggressive enough in my stand on the issues regarding the altercation," expressed Hendricks. "While there have been those in the white community that have voiced their opinions that I have taken the matter too agressively."
"I still feel that we should make certain that justice is served in this matter, but we should go about it in the right way," proclaimed Hendricks. "We remain a community of laws and governance, and as I step aside and resign, as president of this organization, my prayer remains that all understand that we will get through this!"
"Though my presence is not reflective in a leadership position in this organization, I will continue to work to better our community!" continued Dr. Hendricks. "My prayer remains that this city and county, one that I dearly and passionately love, will unite around our leaders and challenge them to do what is the best for us as a whole."
A Thursday phone call to Carolyn Malone Thomas, vice-president of the Sulphur Springs NAACP Chapter, reveals that she will be moved into the role of president of the organization, following Dr. Hendricks' resignation. Thomas is currently in Washington D.C., where she is enjoying the arrival of a new grandchild. She plans to return to Hopkins County in a couple of weeks.
"We are in constant prayer about the actions that have recently transpired in our community," stated Thomas. "We will continue to stand for truth, justice, and equity among our citizens!"
Thomas should be back in Hopkins County for the next regular meeting of the local NAACP and continues to keep abreast of local action, while out of town.
We wish Dr. Hendricks the best of luck in his continued community endeavors, and pray for his local ministry's successes.