Sportsman’s Association honors three men for service

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Three area men noted for their public service were lauded by the Franklin Sportsman’s Association on Saturday morning. The breakfast program is a long tradition of the organization, which is led by its president, Herman Charity. He introduced the first honoree, the Rev. Dr. Dwight S. Riddick II, pastor of First Baptist Church since Christmas 2005. He is married to the former Rev. Jennell Whitfield, and they have two children.

“He is known to be creative, innovative and gifted in bridging generational gaps with the good news of the Gospel,” Charity said. “With a unique form of preaching and practical teaching, he has been blessed to serve in ministry since 2000.”

Charity went on to note Riddick’s extensive education, most recently earning his doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary. His numerous ministry assignments “have provided opportunities to preach revivals, teach workshops, motivate in assemblies, organize conferences, and most of all embrace diverse forms of ministry, thus allowing him to adapt in various environments.”

On receiving the award, Riddick said “It takes a team to get things done … it takes all of us.”

He referenced a quote from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., asking “What can we do for others?”

Capt. Josh A. Wyche Sr. of the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office was the second honoree, and was introduced by Moses Wyche. The captain, who joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Franklin High School in 1980. Following his honorable discharge as a sergeant, Wyche went on to attend a police academy and then came into service in the county. He is the first African-American in Southampton to have earned this rank as captain.

“Josh has accomplished many academic successes,” said Moses Wyche. “In 2009, he completed the FBI National Academy in Quantico; and a 2013 graduate of Paul D. Camp Community College, where he earned an associate degree of applied science in police science.”

In reply, the captain said, “I would not be here if not for my wife of 31 years [Lorraine Turner.] I feel in my heart that God has more for me to do. I hope one day to be the first black sheriff in Southampton County, and I thank the Sportsmen for being one of the recipients.

For the third recipient, Bishop Samuel  Hall, Larry Rose said he considered it to be “an esteemed honor  to introduce a man that God has truly blessed. To be around a man like him is a blessing to me.”

Hall, who was born in Franklin, accepted the call to the ministry at 16 and began preaching. Seven years later, he moved to Northern Virginia and served the late Bishop Frank E. Davis Jr. After 25 years of service, Hall returned in December 2011 with his wife, Bishop Sherry Hall, to become pastor of Mt. Olive Holiness Church.

“My dad told me to never forget the people who helped you,” said Hall. “They’ve helped me to become the kind of person God has blessed me to be.”

Referring to a time when he was seriously ill, he recalled recovering in the hospital and wondered what to say to people. Through prayer, he learned to “tell people to get to know God yourself.”

When Hall later decided to create a food pantry, Rose was the first person who offered his service, even before the bishop had told him of the plan.

“I challenge you,” said Hall. “God wants you to get to know him for yourself.”