Wow! Fifty-two years of transforming and impacting lives in Minden and the surrounding communities —that's what the Minden Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has been doing since it was chartered back on January 13, 1960.
Minden Alumnae holds the distinct pleasure of being the first, Black, Greek-Letter organization in Minden.
In honor of the Sorority's Founders Day, Minden Alumnae celebrated the occasion with Pastor and First Lady, Royal Scott Jr. and the Greater St. Paul Baptist Church Family in Minden.
The theme for the occasion was: Founders Day: A Legacy of Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.
Three of the 13 charter members of Minden Alumnae attended the celebration—Mable White Jones, Susan LaCour Dogens and Truvesta Howard Johnson. All three still live in Minden and were educators in the Webster Parish school system.
Alive and well at 96, and still residing in Minden, Mrs. Therah Lee White Duty is the oldest surviving charter member of Minden Alumnae; however, she did not attend. She was also an educator in Webster Parish.
This year's Founders Day celebration coincided with Youth Day at the church. The youth of Greater St. Paul really displayed their artistic talents in inspirational singing, praise dancing and even a religious theatrical skit in celebration of Black History Month.
In addition, several representatives from the youth groups that Minden Alumnae mentors also attended church—including Delta Academy, Delta GEMS, EMBODI/Gents and Debutantes.
After the welcome and a brief history about the Sorority from Minden Alumnae President, Virginia B. Jefferson, Linda Baker, the Vice-President, introduced the speaker "who needed no introduction."
The guest speaker was Pastor Orenthia Mason of the Cole Hill C.M.E. Church of Tyler, Texas. Rev. Mason, donned in her "for the blood of Jesus" red suit, delivered a dynamic and powerful message.
Mason stressed the importance of education to everyone who attended the services. There were hand claps, "Hallelujahs" and "Amens" from the old as well as the young.
Mason encouraged the young people to stay in school. "It's not about what you're wearing to school because clothes do not make the man," she reminded us. "What it is about is dressing your brain up to be intelligent and a leader."
She continued, "One day, some of these young people may possibly be our care givers, anesthesiologists, doctors, nurses, and etc. Can you imagine Little Tommy being the person responsible for 'putting you under and waking you up from surgery'; and Little Tommy didn't do very well in Chemistry? We're going to be in trouble!"
Rev. Mason challenged us to stay diligent in our endeavors to not only preserve Black History but to instill in our children and expect our children to excel and make Black History.
She left the parents in the audience with these words of advice, "Discipline is necessary, and it is a STRONG motivator ... I am what I am today because my mother said I was going to be something – even if it killed her!"
Mason is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta in the Tyler Alumnae Chapter, and is currently employed as Chair of the Division of Education and Associate Professor of Education at Texas College in Tyler.