By Elizabeth Lanier
The grand opening for the newly finished Community House took place on Saturday, April 22 on Carmichael Drive in Madison. The House Warming Celebration kicked off at 11 a.m. with around 50 people in attendance to celebrate the new house as well as the new occupants, Diane Franklin, Cedric Franklin, and Ethel Franklin. The company that helped contract and build the home was Busher Franklin Construction, located out of Rutledge. The house was built to accommodate the physical needs of the residents.
The opening began with Rev. W.J. Reid, who delivered the opening prayer and recognized the Pastor’s Union. Ben Patel, who funded most of this project made an appearance to speak on the house. “My parents didn’t have transportation, so Diane Franklin would pick me up and take me where I needed to go. I knew I wanted to do the same for them when I had the opportunity,” Patel explained. He also went on to say, “No need to thank me; I’m doing what everyone should do.” Alongside of Patel was Cedric Cotton, financial secretary; he was also recognized for his hard work throughout the project. Morgan County Commissioner, Donald Harris, made a few remarks on behalf of the family and house. “I want to thank all of the people in Morgan County. They took the word love and put it into action,” stated Harris.
Although Laura Butler, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as Chuck Jarrell and Steve Bryant, Morgan County Building Inspectors, couldn’t be there, Joyce Franklin recognized them for their contributions to the house. Roll Call of the many donors was also presented. Finally, it was time to bless the home which was lead by Pastor Elder Lumpkin from Barrows Grove Baptist Church. “This house was built upon the love of God. God is able to do anything but fail us,” Pastor Lumpkin said. Pastor Lumpkin had the crowd join hands in unity as he said the blessing prayer over the house. After this, a blessing was said over the food, and the attendees gathered to fellowship.