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NAACP swears in new officers, works towards understanding

As the Beaufort County NAACP moves into 2019, the organization will have some new, but familiar, faces at the helm.

Sunday, community members gathered at Spring Garden Missionary Baptist Church for the installation ceremony of the new officers of the Beaufort County NAACP. Among those installed was Pastor Aaron Lewis, of Spring Garden Missionary Baptist Church, who assumed a new role as the organization’s president.

“I want to do our best to bring people together,” Lewis said in an interview after the ceremony. “As I pointed out Sunday, to acknowledge that we have some differences, but to point out that our differences can work together for all mankind. I want us to build bridges to help people come together and be that bridge if need be so we can work together to build up neighborhoods, communities, the state, the nation and the world.”

VICE PRESIDENTS: First Vice President James Smallwood and Second Vice President Warren K. Smith Sr. take their oaths of office. (Beaufort County NAACP)

Rev. Kennedy Barber, president of Bertie County NAACP, spoke words of inspiration and encouragement using quotes from Abraham Lincoln, personal stories and nursery rhymes to illustrate his theme, “Repairers of the Breach.”

“It doesn’t matter whether it is left wing or right wing, it doesn’t matter if it is Democratic or Republican — if one cannot meet on common ground, then all are destined for destruction,” Kennedy said. “Nothing speaks this louder in the present day than the conflict that has grown between the House, the Senate and the president. When we are divided, innocent people will suffer, because division or schism will cut over the path of tolerance and compromise. It is the mission of the NAACP to become repairers of the breach.”

The newly elected officers are Lewis, First Vice President James Smallwood, Second Vice President Warren K. Smith Sr., Secretary Joyce J. O’Neal, Assistant Secretary Georgia Smallwood, Treasurer Phyllis Johnson and Assistant Treasurer Helen Weatherington. The officers and the executive board took the oath of office, affirming themselves to the principals of justice and equality under the law.

Joyce Moore, former Beaufort County NAACP president, was mistress of ceremony. The Beaufort County NAACP community choir, directed by Timothy Boyd, rendered music for the ceremony.