• 70°

Army veteran and City Councilwoman-elect Al Heggins speaks at veterans luncheon

By Spencer Dixon

SALISBURY — Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church hosted its eighth annual Veterans Day Luncheon on Thursday.

Al Heggins, who was elected to a seat on the Salisbury City Council in Tuesday’s election, was the guest speaker.

The luncheon was first held eight years ago when Tangy H. Roseborough brought the idea to the late Rev. Clary L. Phelps.

“I said, ‘We should do something for veterans,’” Roseborough said. “He came back soon after saying, ‘Let’s have a banquet for veterans.’”

This year is the first time Phelps was not there. He died in August.

The Rev. Ruby Steele chose to continue the luncheon, saying the program expresses the church’s “thankfulness for the veterans’ service and for standing in harm’s way for our freedom.”

Steele said the program will continue because “we have an obligation to remember our veterans.”

The program opened with music led by the church’s music ministry and everyone in attendance joining in singing “Life Every Voice and Sing.”

Before lunch was served, the Rev. Sherry Ford read Psalm 121 and Deacon John Ford offered a blessing and prayer.

The Senior Care Bible Study class offered a baked and fried turkey lunch with yams, collard greens, ham, corn pudding, and rolls. For dessert, a variety of cakes and pies were provided by the church.

Veterans mingled as they enjoyed their meal. Many expressed appreciation for the luncheon.

“I think it’s great,” said veteran Ron Barber. “Veterans are finally getting the appreciation they honorably deserve.”

After the meal, I. Jerome Heggins introduced his wife, Al, who is a retired captain in the Army. Before bringing her to the stage, he shared memories of the Marines as well as jokes about the Marine Corps-Army rivalry in his household.

“She steps up now as she stepped up then because we still need her service,” Jerome Heggins said.

Al Heggins spoke about her Army experience and her appreciation for those veterans who came before her.

“I felt proud to join the Army because I had a legacy to fall back on,” said Heggins. “Thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders to accomplish what we have.”

She said her military background will help her serve the city.

“I answered the call to duty before, so I understand the serious commitment and serious workload of being a public servant,” she said.

Heggins concluded by asking veterans to be active in the community.

“We still need your service, wisdom and fighter spirit in our community as we move forward writing the next chapter of our city’s story,” she said.

In addition to lunch, the program included a raffle for door prizes donated by members of the community. Pies, gift cards, cakes and gift baskets were all given away.



Stay-at-home orders cut into commercial fishermen’s catch last year


Two bodies found after helicopter goes down off NC coast


Unlikely partners: Pelosi, Cheney team up for Jan. 6 probe


Uber driver charged with sexually assaulting customer near Knightdale


Trump inaugural committee chair to be released on $250 million bail


A year after removal, ‘Fame’ Confederate monument relocated to new home


Photo gallery: ‘Fame’ relocation complete


‘Fame’ Confederate monument being moved to North Lee Street cemetery today


Troyer’s Country Market closing because of staff shortages, deal to sell building


Builders interested in Spencer-owned residential properties


Local wildlife biologist wins state award for private land conservation efforts


Quotes of the week


Inaugural Paint the Pavement project postponed due to paint shortages


Major NC hospitals to order staff to get vaccine

High School

High school sports oversight revamp clears another state panel


McCrory wants three GOP primary debates in Senate race


College coaches working to learn impact of endorsement deals on recruiting


City council tables issue of allowing golf carts on public roads


Lenoir-Rhyne women’s basketball players say activism got them kicked off team


Blotter: Man robs East Innes Circle K at gunpoint


District Attorney clears deputies in shooting investigation from February chase


Salisbury Police detective receives state Gang Investigators Association Award


Change in state COVID-19 guidance gives school district freedom on masking


Community shows outpouring of support for young Rowan County softball player