By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer
Many people in Toledo may not know their names. There may never be a street named after them. They may not be wealthy in money, but their time and acts of good deeds make them very wealthy, was the message Larry Jones was conveying to people at the 19th annual “Silent Soldiers” Black History Celebration. The event was held on Sunday, March 6 at The Premier Banquet Complex, 4480 Heatherdowns Blvd.
Sponsored by Mt. Nebo Baptist Church’s outreach program, The Voice of Hope Outreach Ministry, 11 people were honored and given a plaque for the years of charitable and, for the most part, silent acts.
Rev. Dr. Cedric Brock, pastor at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, told The Toledo Journal the idea of honoring the works of people, who may be less known in Toledo, originated 19 years ago.
“We wanted to do something for peopl,e who work tirelessly within the community, church, schools or family trying to better people’s lives,” he said. “These people aren’t paid for their work; they know their payment comes from the Lord.”
Committee members from Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, diligently searched within the community for people who do various types of charitable acts within society. Then, the committee selected the ones who’ve had the most impact on people’s lives to be honored at the annual event.
“One thing covid has taught us is to recognize the works of people, while they’re still alive; because we’ll look up and they could’ve passed away from the virus. But today, I’m excited to be honoring those who’ve been selected,” said Rev. Brock.
“When I found out I was being honored as a Silent Soldier, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness; this is unreal,’” said Nyla Bell, 13, the youngest honoree. She feeds homeless people and others in need. “I started watching movies about Jesus and how he helped so many people and I said I wanted to do the same,” was what Nyla said got her started with her charitable act.
Sometimes, Nyla may give a monetary contribution to someone in need. Once, she hid a $100 bill in the bag of one of the recipients. “God told me to give the money,” she said.
The honorees were, Rev. Prentiss Anderson, Nyla Bell, Minister Troy Brown, Elesondra Deromano, Elder Saul Gilmore, Elder Jenai Hicklin, Rev. Theodis Horton, Gail Lindo, Felicia Mitchell, Edward Sanders and Rev. William Smith.
Reverand Prentiss Anderson was a Silent Soldier recipient. He graduated from UT 1969. Later he relocated to Los Angeles and received his Master’s degree from St. Stephens Bible College in 1978. Before returning to Toledo, he resided in Chattanooga, Tennessee, serving as an interim Pastor at the Greater New Home Baptist Church. Locally, Rev. Anderson serves as an Associate Minister at Bountiful Blessings under the Rance Allen ministry. He is also received a cerificate in counseling and an award for 60 years in Motown by Barry Gordy.