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More members inducted into Middlesex Hall of Fame


The third county-wide Middlesex County Hall of Fame induction was held November 8 at Friendship Baptist Church in Hartfield.

The mistress of ceremony was Ashland Stein Burch. Music was provided by the Hampton Roads Gospel Music Alliance.  Delegate Harvey Morgan was the guest speaker. Over 150 people attended.

Inductees Holly Stainback, Sheilah Benjamin, William Beverley, Daphne Guill, Wayne Jessie Sr., Melvina Robinson, Betty Chowning, Henry Easton, Bill Murray and Earlene Scott were pictured and profiled in last week’s Sentinel. The other inductees include:

  • Cornelia Ruth Burnett Chapman, affectionately known as “Ruthie,” enjoys her tasks as secretary of the Literary Union, secretary of Sunday school, Sunday school teacher, and youth director. Additionally, she serves as Christian education leader; youth, senior and mass choir member; member of “Save our Sisters” Ministry; and leader of the church hospitality committee. She also participated in the opening of the “We Care Center” in the church, a center used for teaching young people.

  • Donald Chapman returned to Middlesex in 1992 after retiring with 24 years of service with the U.S. Air Force. For several years he has volunteered for the American Cancer Society at the Piankatank Relay for Life. He turned his pickup into a float for cancer survivors to participate in the Urbanna Oyster Festival Parade. Chapman is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church, where he serves with the mass choir and is the church photographer. He also serves as the chairman of the Trustee Ministry and assistant youth director.

  • Raymond Billups has volunteered his services to help develop the music departments in several churches, from small congregations to large congregations. He has even helped younger drummers learn the fundamentals of drumming. He has played for groups such as The Sensational Gospel Tones, New Generation Singers, Mathews Men’s Choir, The Spiritual Sons, Lebanon Worship Center Praise Team and Youth Choir, C.A.L. Music Ministries, First United Baptist Church and Rising Valley Baptist Church Music Ministries.  

  • Ashley Carpenter is a 2007 honors graduate of Middlesex High School and currently attends the University of Mary Washington. Through Interact, Key Club and the French Club, Carpenter volunteered multiple hours of service to Middlesex County in club-organized activities. She participated with the American Cancer Society at the Piankatank Relay for Life for three consecutive years. She stayed for the all-night event, walking laps around the track and being of service any way she was needed. Carpenter is a member of Harmony Grove Baptist Church, where she has helped with youth projects, fundraisers and trips.

  • Cydney Fisher is a senior at Middlesex High School. Fisher has been very active in her community. At her church, she serves as the Sunday school secretary, youth usher, worship leader and is a member of the youth choir.  She has been a 4-H counselor for four years and has represented Middlesex at the 4-H Congress at Virginia Tech for the last three years. She volunteered in 2008 at the Middlesex YMCA as a camp counselor and served as a counselor “on call” in 2009. She volunteers with the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board (MPNN-CSB) in Saluda. She was also chosen to represent Middlesex High as a Hugh O’Brien Youth (HOBY) Leadership Ambassador at the University of Richmond in her sophomore year. 

  • Dylan Norwood has excelled tremendously in his academics. He also excelled on his Standards of Learning (SOL) test with advanced scores. Dylan also achieved the second highest score in the school on one of the SOLs. His course curriculum is all-honors classes and he is on the A-B honor roll. Norwood is always eager to help his neighbors and community. He decided that he would take on odd jobs in his Hartfield neighborhood, to make a little money. Most of his neighbors are elderly. Norwood takes pride in helping these neighbors, even when there is no money involved. 

  • The Joyful Noise Music Group is a group of youth musicians ages ranging from 14 to 22 from New Creation Ministries, under the direction of pastors Steven and Cheryl Forrest. The members are Patrick O. Billups, Neil Brooks, Michael Cunningham, Shakila Ward, Steven Forrest Jr., Kevin Dixon, Jazmine Jones, Dwayne Ward, Jillian Ward, Kya Williams and Qwenton Williams. They have played for many different occasions, including outdoor events, conferences, concerts, birthday and retirement parties, and worship services. The melodic sound of Joyful Noise has been an asset to many community events in Middlesex, Mathews and Gloucester.

posted 11.24.2009

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