The Southern Region, the last Region to be organized in The National United Church Ushers Association of America, Inc. is the most innovative and progressive Region of our National Organization. We have become known as the "Second To None Region" because of our creativeness, dedication and committment to God and serving God's people.
The Southern Region was organized under the leadership of Past National President R.E. Harshaw of Memphis Tennesee. The first meeting was held in the home of Pres. Harshaw. Organizers present were A.L. Sheppard (AR), L.B. Swifty Davis (TX), Idella Rowden (TX) and Myrle Thornton who recorded the minutes.We are grateful for those forerunners who had the insight to lay the foundation for the building of our Region.
The first officers were: President, A.L.Sheppard, Recording Secretary, Idella Rowden. In 1960 the region met in Dallas, TX with three (3) members: R.E. Harshaw, Leo Terry and Idella Rowden. In 1961, George A. Faber, Sr. and Lonnie Bennett were added to the group.This was the first National Convention that the Region met as an organized body. Out of this productive meeting President Harshaw appointed several Southern Regional Ushers to National Committees. Thus, the Region began to grow spiritually and financially in which God gave us an increase in membership. Upon his election as National President, the Southern Region was left without a Vice President. Therefore, Robert Allen, of Chicago, Illinois was sent to serve as the Regional Director and to continue to organize the Region.
We are grateful to Bro. Allen for the time he spent in helping to develop our Region. The Region progressed wonderfully under his leadership. When Bro. Allen's time expired we had dynamic men available and willing to serve as Interim Directors. They were the Late William Berry, George A. Faber, Sr. and The late L.B. Swifty Davis, Arthur Jackson, Pauline E. Young all of Texas and Willie J. Minnifield, Georgia. Harold Hester, Jr. (Georgia) and Dr. Linda Pates (Mississippi) currently serves as our Director.
Our Junior and Young People's Department was organized in 1963 by the late M.E. Upchurch (TX). We are proud of Joleathia Minnifield Jones and Destinee Merida who served as our Junior and Young People National Presidents from our Region. Those who have served as National Vice Presidents and Regional Directors are: Paul Williams, Emily C. Kelly, Katash Payne, Sheronda Ray, Mark Knight, Joleathia Minnifield Jones, Jeremy Harden, Julian Minnifield, Kimisha Jackson, James Scallion Destinee Merida and Joshua Marvels Our current Junior Regional Director is Douglass Merida.
The Young Adult Department was organized in 1961 in Memphis, TN. Chartered members were the late Curtis Washington,Vice President, Shirley Armstrong, Secretary. The first President was Timothy Baker. Other Regional Directors were: Verline Hardaway, Cedric Chandler, Edith Baxter Clarke, Harvey L. Burney, Rev. Lamar Jones, Sybil Allen, Chris Marvel, Pauline E. Young, Patricia Verdelland, Keith D. Minnifield, Shawn L. Wright, Christy Justice and Rev. Travis Harden. Our current Young Adult Regional Director is Destine Merida. The initial Counselors were Stella Boyd and Barbara Walker. We have had Six National Young Adult Presidents: Edith Baxter Clarke (1988-89) Lamar Jones (1993-94) Keith D. Minnifield (2004-2006) Shawn L . Wright (2009 - 2011) Christy Justice (2013 -2015) and currently serving is Joshua Marvels - 2016 to present.
The members of the Southern Region are grateful for our Regional Director, Dr. Linda Pates for her leadership and vision.
We the members of the Southern Region truly believe that we are God's Chosen Region. A Region that is committed to doing whatever it takes. We are a part of God's fellowship. We have the Holy Spirit Power. We've stepped over the line and out of the comfort zone. We are disciples of His. Our past has been redeemed, our presence makes sense and our future is secure. We don't need preeminence, position, promotion or popularity. We now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer and labor by power. When God comes to get his own, He'll have no problem recognizing the members of the Southern Region, because we have dedicated our lives to being a part of the Fellowship, Committed To doing whatever it takes.
"SECOND TO NONE REGION"