Leaders laud Hunter at banquet
By Noelle Edwards
People quite literally lined up to say nice things about Dr. Catrelia Hunter at a banquet on Saturday night.
Hunter is finishing a three-year term as moderator for Presbyterian Women, leading 300,000 women nationwide. She has served on a number of boards in the area, been active in church life and has held administrative positions at Barber Scotia College and Livingstone College, including two years as interim president at Livingstone.
Constance Johnson created the Divinity and Distinction Awards Banquet, held at the Salisbury Civic Center, to honor her mentor and in subsequent years to honor other women who follow in Hunter’s footsteps.
At Saturday’s banquet, people painted those footsteps as pretty huge.
One person after another stepped up to a microphone to applaud Hunter.
Bob James, president of the national Presbyterian Men organization, said Hunter had pushed his group to get involved in fighting for women’s rights globally and against human trafficking.
Dr. Ada Fisher, a Rowan County resident, said, “She’s just always nice. I figure you just can’t be that nice.”
In a tribute video, Hunter’s sisters said she has always been a leader and always looked for things to be involved in. Her nieces said she is always there for them.
Salisbury Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodsen read an ordinance issued by Salisbury City Council. He called her an inspiring person who has earned respect from others.
Rowan County Commissioner Raymond Coltrain read the ordinance from the Board of Commissioners and also addressed Hunter’s husband, George Hunter in saying there is “a very good man behind this successful woman.”
Dr. Graham Watt gave the keynote address. He referenced I Corinthians 13, which talks about what love is and isn’t, and he said it was “a portrait of Catrelia Hunter. … Whatever else God is doing in your life, he wants us to be loving people,” he said. “He wants us to be as loving as Catrelia Hunter.”
Carolyn Holmes, leader of Cluster Six within the Presbyterian Church and Hunter’s long-time friend, presented the Divinity and Distinction award to Hunter.
“It’s not really about me,” Hunter said. “It’s about the unwavering love of God.”
But the night was about her. Watt focused on that as he finished his speech.
“”Faith, hope and love ó she has all three,” he said. “But the greatest thing she has is love.”