PowerPoint Presentation 2007

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Information about PowerPoint Presentation 2007

Published on April 7, 2008

Author: WoodRock

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Slide2:  Elias M. Thompson (1849--son of Jim and Mariah Thompson) Roxy Anna Ashley (1850--daughter of Robert and Sarah Ashley) Slide3:  Rev. Allen Gordon Thompson Oct. 18, 1894-1988 Slide4:  Odessa Humphrey Thompson Slide5:  Laura King Thompson Slide7:  James David Thompson (July 14, 1904-1995) Slide13:  Dr. Elias Benjamin Thompson & his wife Ethel Slide16:  Aunt Maggie’s Husband Slide17:  Robert Ashley Jr. Son of Robert Ashley (1827) and Sarah Thompson Ashley (1830) Slide18:  Mary Humphrey Ashley Wife of Robert Ashley Jr. Slide19:  The Ashley Ladies Daughters of Jesse & Annie Currie Ashley Pictured l-r: Amanda, Rosa Lee, and Jessie Lee Slide20:  NEAL ORANGE THOMPSON 1874‑1956   Neal Orange Thompson, the first and oldest child of Elias Moore Thompson and Roxy Anna Ashley Thompson was born January 16, 1874. Neal Orange had five Brothers and four Sisters. The Brothers were John Archy Thompson (b 1876), Charles Gaston Thompson (b 1878), James Robert Thompson (b 1886), Elias Benjamin Thompson (b 1892) and Allen Gordon Thompson (b 1894). The Sisters were Sarah Mariah Emeline Thompson (b 1880), Lennie Roxy Thompson McNeil Thompson (1882), Hattie Jenelia Thompson Williams (b 1884) and Maggie Lee Viola Thompson Gerald (b 1889).  Neal Orange or N. O. as he was called from time to time, was a devoted preacher and farmer. He believed in the power of God's word and preached with a fiery sense of commitment and honor to God.  Knowing that God ordained family, Neal Orange married Martha Jane Mitchell on January 20, 1897. To this blessed union were born nine children. 1. Zula Thompson Powell Covington Lennon 2. Rebecca Mae Thompson Bridgers 3. John Avery Thompson 4. James David Thompson 5. Canova Roosevelt Thompson 6. Roxy Naomi Thompson 7. Martha Ruth Thompson 8. Orange Titus Thompson 9. Thomas Gordon Thompson   On July 3, 1926, Neal Orange was sadden greatly by the loss of his beloved wife, Martha Jane. After nearly two years, he remarried and, in January of 1928, brought to his family a new bride, Lottie Harrell Townsend, and her two daughters, Ella Mae Townsend and Irene Townsend. Neal Orange continued as minister at Hester Chapel, Aaron Swamp, Mt. Zion, and Hazel Grove (which he helped to established), and a church in Hamma, S. C., among others. Neal Orange was an able and efficient worker who believed in the motto, "God Will Make A Way." He traveled to his churches in horse and buggy, leaving on Saturday and returning Sunday evenings. Neal Orange believed that education would provide a better life for his children and the community. . Neal Orange will be remembered for his beautiful smile and his loving persona.  Thompson/Ashley Section 11‑ page 1   Slide21:  MARIAH SARAH EMELINE THOMPSON INMAN 1880 ‑ 1942   Rev. Elias M. Thompson and his wife Roxy A. Ashley Thompson, gave birth to their first daughter on October 15, 1880. They named their beautiful daughter Mariah Sarah Emeline. Her first name, Mariah, was in honor of her paternal grandmother, Mariah Ferming Thompson and her second name, Sarah, honored her Maternal grandmother, Sarah Thompson Ashley. She lived for 62 years and died of a heart ailment on August 9, 1942.   Our beloved Emeline, as she was fondly called, attended public school in Robeson County, North Carolina. Although Emeline was a very intelligent young woman her education was limited because as one of the older children, she was needed at home to assist her parents with the household and farm chores.   She loved taking care of her sisters and brothers and was known in the community as a "good homemaker." While she was unable to continue her own education, she was instrumental in encouraging, motivating and assisting her siblings reach their highest academic potential. We often compare her to the great slave emancipator, Harriet Tubman, who sacrificed the opportunity to get a full education in order to help her family attain their goals. She was loving, caring and unselfish.   Emeline met Alford Inman at Hilly Branch Baptist Church. They fell in love and were married in 1901. Alford's father, Jack Inman, presented the couple with 50 acres of land as a wedding gift. A six room house was built and Alford and Emeline started their lives together.   Emeline and Alford, were blessed with nine children. They are: Cagie, Marvin (deceased), Jack (deceased), Thompson (deceased), Piccola (deceased), Zenobia, Socrates, Talmadge (deceased) and Charles Roger. Emeline and Alford were God‑fearing parents who taught their children by example and by Christian precepts. Alford was known as the "oldest deacon" at Greenville Baptist Church who loved to sing "Blessed Assurance," his favorite hymn. Emeline was an active missionary in her church and community. Her favorite hymn was "I'll Fly Away." She practiced her missionary work with` enthusiasm, visiting the sick, assisting those in need, and taking an active part in community affairs. She encouraged young people to get an education, to have goals, and to always exemplify high moral standards.   Emeline established the family "grand‑ma" model. She was a gifted cook and the family, especially her nieces and nephews knew when they visited her, she would offer them wonderful treats. In addition to showiAg love and warm hospitality, she made gifts for children, and she was always available to listen attentively to the problems or concerns of others.   We are proud heirs of Emeline. Her legacy is love and it is gounded in Christian stability, intellectual leadership, and high moral values. As Emeline encouraged her generation, we too challenge and encourage this and future generations to continue in that path. "LET US THEN BE UP AND DOING ...WITH A HEART OF ANY FATE; STILL ACHIEVING, STILL PURSUING, LET US LEARN TO LABOR AND TO WAIT."    Thompson/Ashley Section II ‑ page 2 Slide22:  MAGGIE LEE VIOLA THOMPSON GERALD 1889‑1985   Maggie Lee Viola Thompson Gerald was born April 16, 1889, the fourth daughter and eighth child of Reverend Elias M. Thompson and Roxy A. Thompson, in Lumberton. She was educated at the Barnes Elementary School, Thompson Institute and A & M College (now known as North Carolina A & T State University). The following represents a brief account of a long and rich life that revolves around service to God, family, and the community.   In the early part of the twentieth century, it was rare that African‑Americans had the resources to grant their children a formal education. Maggie and her siblings were graced with this opportunity, and due to the strong tradition of civic and spiritual mindedness nurtured by their parents, they used this privilege not to set themselves apart, but to serve their race and community. Maggie, affectionately known as "Aunt Maggie" or "Miss Maggie" taught many of the citizens of Hilly Branch and impressed upon them athirst for knowledge, not as an end in itself; but as a tool to build self‑esteem and to realize dreams. Her grand children will never forget her efforts to sharpen their intellectual and spiritual awareness when she issued the edict; "Conjugate the verb to be" or insisted that they recite of a biblical passage before Sunday's dinner. Grandmother's love and promptings have served them well in life.   Maggie served as the first president of the Robeson County Home Demonstration Club, she used this position to assist rural families improve their living standards. One of her greatest contributions during this period was instructing families to use the "pressure cooker" to preserve their foods. Once the pressure cooker was introduced, families needed instruction to use the new technology. Thus, Maggie worked on the farm by day and voluntarily trained families at night. Maggie also served as a 4‑H advisor in her community. Maggie also took a leadership role at Hilly Branch Baptist, where she served as the first musician, the president of the Missionary Circle and a Sunday School Teacher. In the secret order societies, she was a member of the Tent, the Salem and the Eastern Star‑‑all organizations that extol the traditions of ancient Egypt.   In 1917, Maggie married Carson McNeil Gerald, in what was the first wedding at Hilly Branch Baptist Church, an event attended by many of the citizens of Hilly Branch, both white and black‑‑a rare occurrence at that time! To this union was born four daughters: Eloise Gerald Phillips Martin (deceased), Ester Gerald McArthur Bowen, Georgeva Gerald Wright, and Lois Gerald McArthur. In Carson, Maggie found not only a loving husband and father, but also a spiritual partner who encouraged, supported, and took pride in community activism.   Maggie can best be summed by the advise she.gave her grandchildren when they were besieged by life's travails, she said "must in the Lord, Child, Trust in the Lord, He will see you through." She is remembered as a soul who tried to help others along the path of life eternal.     Thompson/Ashley Section 11 ‑ page 5 Slide23:  ELIAS BENJAMIN THOMPSON, MD 1892‑1970   The fifth son and ninth child of Elias M. Thompson and Roxy A. Thompson was born in Robeson County on March 20, 1892. Elias Benjamin Thompson, referred as E. B., lived an exemplary and in many ways a unique seventy eight years.   After attending the public schools of Robeson County and Thompson Institute, Elias pursued higher education at Shaw University and medical education at both Howard University and Meharry Medical College. It was in Washington at Howard University where he met and married Ethel Hutchinson shortly after receiving the doctor of medicine degree. He was an inspiration and a role model to his nieces and nephews as all of us eagerly looked forward to his and Aunt Ethel's annual visit with the chauffeur driven Cadillac. In our times of financial crises, he was our "spare tire." i Dr. Thompson came to Williamson, West Virginia from Washington, D. C. in 1928 established an office on Third Avenue. Shortly after Dr. and Mrs. Thompson were in Williamson, they united with the Logan Street First Baptist Church where Dr. Thompson served as chairman of the Trustee Board for many years. He was a 33rd degree Mason and a member of the Tug Valley Lodge, the Williamson Crown Lodge #16 F&AM, NAACP, The Boys Scout Council, Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations. The first baby delivered by Dr. Thompson in Williamson was Ellen Griffin Lee, wife of Billy Lee, the writer. As a family doctor, he made house calls night and day in Pike County, KY and throughout Mingo County, W. Va. often he had to walk many miles making house calls. Dr. Thompson was instrumental in inspiring students in Williamson to get their education beyond high school. In his community he was looked upon as a faithful husband, an exceptional doctor, and a true Christian. He was respected by the young as well as the older people. Both Dr. and Mrs. Thompson extended a hand of comfort as they worked to improve the plight of many people in Williamson. I knew Dr. Thompson as a true friend and a father. Although he and his wife had no children, he often spoke of how very proud he was of his nieces and nephews and several came to visit from time to time.   Dr. Thompson was recognized throughout the state of West Virginia in Elkdom and the National Medical Association because he was always reaching out to help the less fortunate in life. As a Young man, I use to enjoy driving him and wife to the annual meetings of these organizations. History will record him as a giant of his generation. He had a blend of talent and personality that truly made him unique in the eyes of his fellow constituents. His radiant smile and the enthusiasm in his voice as he greeted people made each one feel very special. Dr. Thompson seemed to show extraordinary understanding and sensitivity when dealing with people at all levels. As Tennyson said "hs well to remember men for the good they do." Dr. Thompson made a great contribution which will serve as his monument that will perpetuate his memory for future generations.   Thompson/Ashley Section 11 ‑ page 6 Slide24:  ALLEN GORDON THOMPSON 1894‑1988   Allen Gordon Thompson was an impressive man. In the years that he was granted on this earth, he left a legacy of service and achievement for those of us who remain. As the tenth and youngest child of Elias M. and Roxy A. Thompson, he was blessed with parents and siblings who cared and nurtured him to believe in God, to respect his fellowman, and to be confident in his own self‑worth.   A graduate of Thompson Institute and Fayetteville State Normal, A. G., as he was called, was successful in many endeavors. In 1922, A. G. was married to Odessa Humphrey Thompson until her death in 1929, and they were the parent of three sons ‑‑ Harris Gordon Thompson, Maceo Bradford Thompson (deceased), and Raphael Nash Thompson. He was a husband to Laura King Thompson for more than fifty years, 1930 through 1980. To this union were born two children, Helen Thompson Gerald and Elias Jackson Thompson. Gordon felt very fortunate and blessed to be united with a spouse each time who held family and spiritual values identical to his own. He was the patriach of a growing number of grand and great grand children. As an active minister for more than fifty years, he served with distinction as the pastor and Christian leader of several churches throughout the state of North Carolina. He taught school for a number of years and worked diligently in helping to establish the Hilly Branch School of which he served as the first principal. He was an astute businessman and recieved national recognition for his farming innovations. He developed a technique to increase the yield of corn per acre by planting the seeds closer together and increasing the amount of fertilizer. From this innovation, Gordon was able to produce more than 100 bushels of corn per acre, the highest yeild on an arce of land in North Carolina as of 1936. For his achievement, he received an expense‑paid trip to an agricultural conference at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama   Allen Gordon Thompson was a man of vision and courage. He was not stifled by adversity. He overcame challenges because he believed that with God all things are possible. He was willing to try something different, something new or innovative. He was a community and civic minded person always working to improve the plight of those around him. He believed in himself and his own abilities. He maintained a distinguished and confident bearing all of his life.   Gordon was a friend and mentor to many. He derived great joy teaching others and encouraging them to do their best. The confidence he had in himself was matched only by the confidence he had in others. He' served and continues to serve as a model worth emulating. We remember him as a proud African‑American Gentleman.   Thompson/Ashley Section 11 ‑ page 7 Slide25:  BERTHA POWELL THOMPSON 1895 ‑1976   Bertha Powell Thompson, daughter of Pierce Powell and Harriett Ashley Powell, was one of five children born to that union. Her sister and brothers were Reverend Lattie H. Powell, Reverend Angus Elra Powell, Odelia Powell Thompson and Edmund Vincent Powell.   Bertha's mother, Harriet Ashley Powell was the sister of Roxy Ashley Thompson, Robert Ashley, and Cora and Dinah Ashley Lessane (Cora and Dinah were both wives of George Lessane. There were no children born to the first marriage but from the second marriage came Octavius and Cleveland Lessane.)   The union of Rev. Elias M. Thompson and Roxy Ashley Thompson produced seven children. Rev. Neal Orange Thompson, Emeline Thompson Inman, Lennie McNeil Thompson, Hattie Thompson Williams, Maggie Thompson Gerald, Dr. Elias Benjamin Thompson and Rev. Allen Gordon Thompson. Bertha was first cousin to the seven persons named above. The maternal biological grandmother of Bertha's children was Harriet Ashley Powell.   Prior to the birth of Bertha and V. J.'s fifth child, he arranged for her to complete her advanced work and receive her teacher's certificate from Thompson Institute. After that she upgraded her certificate to a Bachelor's degree at Fayetteville State Normal. She kept her degree upgraded through summer school sessions at Shaw University, Raleigh and North Carolina College for Negroes at Durham.   Bertha taught school from 1925‑1963 when she retired. She was privileged to teach all five of her children in the Robeson County Public Schools. All attended college, but not all graduated. She also taught many years during her husband's tenure as Chairman of the Hilly Branch School Board.   During most of Bertha's teaching career there was no hot lunch program. She grew weary of eating cold food and subsequently initiated her own hot lunch program. It consisted of her homemade vegetable soup. She would take a small container daily and heat it on her classroom stove. She used saltines to eat with her soup. The requests for soup by teachers and students got so numerous that Bertha had no choice but to try to comply. She purchased some tin measuring cups in which to sell the soup. She sold it for five cents per cup. She purchased beef bones about twice weekly and made soup each night for the next day. She used a large pot in which the soup was made and transported it in her car.   Bertha's soup was sold as a service and not for profit. She made every effort to charge no more than the cost of preparing the soup and purchasing the saltine crackers. She served many people daily.      Thompson/Ashley Section 11 ‑ page 8 Slide26:  TRIBUTE TO OUR. FAQ, Mr. John Henry McNeil, Sr.    Today, you will hear acknowledgements and remarks about our father from others who knew him in the many aspects of his being, but the children of John H. McNeil, Sr. want to share with you our memories of him as a father and what he was to us.   Our father was a man who loved the Lord, who loved his family and who loved his church and who loved people.   Dad, expressed this love in many different ways, but always in the spirit of peace.   Dad often spoke of not knowing his parents who died when he was very young, and he wanted a family of his own. He accomplished this when he and our mother, who he was married to for almost 60 years, had five children.   We learned in the home that we grew up in how to love each other, how to be self‑supporting, and most importantly how to raise our family in love as my dad and mom raised us.   Dad and mother opened their hearts and their home to relatives and others who shared our home while they pursued an education or sought job opportunities in the Durham area. This was another aspect of their love and support for their extended family.   Our dad often spoke of the education he wished he had. He however, although unable to receive a formal education, was truly a self‑educated man who was determined that his children would have what he could not. This dream became a reality with the graduation from college of four of his five children, and the other becoming a recognized specialist in his career field.   Our father recognized at an early age the need to be a member of the family of God through his acceptance of the Lord Jesus as his Savior. He saw to it that all of us were baptized in the Church and that we worked and served in various capacities in St. Mark AME Zion Church until we moved away to different parts of the country.   The Bible has many references to God whom we as Christians call Father. We know that God created the first family and institionalized the family for mankind. John Henry McNeil Sr. gave to us our first concept of God as a loving Father through his love and caring for us as our dad.   We love you dad!   (John Henry McNeil, Sr. is the grandson of Liza Thompson McNeil and Henry McNeil ‑ November 11, 1907 ‑ May 11, 1992)   Thompson/Ashley Section 11 ‑ page 9 Slide27:  ELIAS BENJAMIN THOMPSON, M.D. 1892‑1970   Elias Benjamin Thompson commonly known as "E. B., the fourth son of Reverend Elias Moore Thompson and Roxie Ashley Thompson spent most of his professional years in the town Williamson, West, Virginia. His story is told by world renown Preacher and Evangelist Dr. James C. Perkins who resides in Detroit, Michigan and ministers to a flock of more than 7000 parishioners at the Greater Christ Baptist Church in that city.   During my boyhood years in the town of my birth and rearing, Williamson, West Virginia, I was privileged to be exposed to people of character and refinement.   Two of the most notable people who played a large role in molding and shaping my life were Dr. and Mrs. E. B. Thompson. The Thompsons stood in the center of the Black community such as it existed in that little town. To my knowledge, they had no children of their own, but they were always quietly in the background giving and doing something to help other families and their children.   I was the kind of kid that always tried to be slick, but I soon found out it was a hopeless case in Mrs. Thompson"s class. She kept order. She insisted upon every student paying attention, and when you got the answers right, it was a special joy to see that slight blush in her cheeks, the look of pride and approval communicated through her eyes, and the accompanying smile on her face. She taught in a way that made it stick. The fundamentals like sounding words out phonetically to get the correct pronunciation, writing legibly, and being neat are lessons I learned in Mrs. Thompson's class and applied throughout the years.   Another memory that stands out in mind about Mrs. Thompson is the fact that during those days students sold candy for various school projects. Mrs. Thompson was the adult in charge. Whenever I sold candy to her she would always buy one for herself and one for me and each of my thirteen brothers and sisters.   She always made me feel that I had to excel. Having taught my older brothers and sisters, she would take my completed assignments in hand and say, "I know you've done good work. You're a Perkins". It may have been a subtle teacher tactic; she may have meant it. In either case, it encouraged me and helped me to believe in myself.   Dr. Thompson was the community physician. Aside from him, there was a Black pharmacist, and a Black dentist in the town. Dr. Thompson, I suppose worked with the pharmacist. His office abutted the pharmacy, and to the best of my knowledge, they supported each other.     Thompson/Ashley Section II ‑ page 10 Slide28:  Dr. Thompson made house calls. Every winter at cold and flu season, he made his annual visit to patch up the Perkins household.   In April 1968, the world was saddened by the assassination of Dr. M. L. King, Jr. The leaders of our town came together, as so many other towns and cities around the world, to share in a memorial service. I was asked to recite his famous "I Have a Dream" speech which I had learned for a high school speech contest.   After the service, Dr. Thompson visited my home and said to my mother, "Give me that boy to be in my contest". He was referring to the Oratorical Contest sponsored by the Elks, a social organization of which he was a member. My mother agreed. She wrote the speech for me; and to make a long story short, I won the Elks National Oratorical contest held in New York, New York that year. I've never seen a man happier than Dr. Thompson was that night in the ballroom of the New York Hilton Hotel.   That event, however, was not just a contest. It was a result of participation in that contest that I was able to go to college. I honestly don't know where or what I'd be in life if it had not been for that contest. And I would never have known about the contest if it had not been for Dr. Thompson.   I am indebted to Dr. and Mrs. E. B. Thompson and a host of other people there in that tiny town. Their example, and their willingness to share what they had gained from life is a pattern that we as people sorely need to recapture. They could have isolated themselves from us. They could have moved to a large city. Their training equipped them to live anywhere; but they stayed there and dished out positive influence to all who would receive it; and most wonderful of all, they asked for nothing in return.       The family wishes to thank the following for their assistance in compiling this document. Ernestine W. Bates Patricia T. Johnson Billy Lee Virginia McNeil Montague James C. Perkins Frederick C. Phillips B. Angus Thompson, Sr. Bradford T. Thompson Raphael N. Thompson, Sr. Youlander D. Thompson     Thompson/Ashley Section II ‑ page 11 Slide29:  LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING (National Black Anthem)   I   Lift every voice and sing ....till earth and heaven ring ring with the harmonies of liberty. Let our rejoicing rise ....high as the listen skies Let it resound, loud as the rolling sea.   Sing a song ....full of the hope that the dark past has taught us. Sing a song ....full of the hope that the present has brought us. Facing the rising sun ....of our new day begun let us march on, till victory is won.   11   Stony the road we trod ....bitter the chastening rod felt in the days when hope unborn had died. Yet with a steady beat ....have not our weary feet, come to the place, for which our fathers sighed?   We have come ....over a way that with tears have been watered. We have come ....treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered. Out from the gloomy past ....till now we stand at last where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.   III   God of our weary years ....God of our silent tears thou who has brought us thus far on the way. Thou who has by thy might ....led us into the light keep us forever in the path, we pray.   Lest our feet ....stray from the places, our God, where we met thee. Less our hearts ....drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand ....may we forever stand true to our God, true to our native land.       ,..James Weldon Johnson

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