Thursday, February 17, 2011

Main Library recognizes some of Moncks Corner's Notable African Americans during Black History Month

Sharon M Fashion

Deputy Director and Children’s Services Coordinator, Berkeley County Library System

Sharon Fashion was born and raised in Moncks Corner, SC. Her family has lived in this area since the early 1800s.

Her mother was a teacher at Cainhoy School for 23 years. Her father was employed by Berkeley County as a school bus mechanic for over 30 years.

Sharon began working part-time for the Moncks Corner Library when she was in high school. She attended South Carolina State University, majoring in library science. She went on to graduate school at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, obtaining her Master’s Degree in Library Science.

Miss Fashion returned to Moncks Corner and began working serving children at the Moncks Corner Library in 1982. In 1999 she received the first employee of the year award in Berkeley County. In 2000 she became the Deputy Director and Children’s Services Coordinator, a position she holds today.

As Deputy Director, Miss Fashion oversees the branches and acts as a resource person in library operations for the system. As Children’s Services Coordinator, she develops and oversees the Summer Reader Program for children, supervises children’s staff, plans and presents storytimes during the year, and coordinates special programs.

Rev. O. A. Gethers, Jr.
1927 – 2006

Reverend Gethers was an entrepreneur, organizing and operating several businesses. They included: a barbershop, service station, dry cleaners, ambulance service, and funeral home. He was also a longshoreman. He served his country honorably in the United States Army.

He established the Gethers Funeral Home in Moncks Corner, SC in 1950 and in 1979 he built a funeral chapel facility in St. Stephen, SC. He served Berkeley County and the surrounding area for more than 55 years helping families in their time of need..

Reverend Gethers was a member of the following organizations: life member of the NAACP, National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc. (NFD&MA), South Carolina Morticians Association, Inc. (SCMA), National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), South Carolina Funeral Directors Association (SCFDA), and St. John Lodge # 349, F.&A.M. He previously served as treasurer for SCMA, Inc. District 1. He has received numerous service awards from various organizations and churches. He was selected as an honored member of Oxford Who's Who The Elite Registry of Extraordinary Professionals (1992-1993.

Rev. Gethers served as a pastor in the AME Church for 40 years. He retired from active ministry in August 2001.

Rose Delores Gibbs

First female African American graduate, College of Medicine 1973

Dr. Delores Gibbs was born in Moncks Corner, SC in 1946. After graduating in 1969 from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Gibbs applied and was accepted into the College of Medicine. She was among the first African American women accepted into the College of Medicine and was first to obtain a degree in 1973. From 1972 to 1977, Gibbs served a residency in Internal Medicine at Howard University Hospital and went on to complete a fellowship in infectious and tropical diseases. After earning a Certificate in Tropical Medicine from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC, Gibbs joined the Peace Corps. Gibbs became a Peace Corps Medical Officer and served in The Peace Corps Medical Offices in Sierra Leone, Africa, for a decade. During this time period she also held academic faculty appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine at Morehouse School of International Medicine in Atlanta. Upon completion of her Peace Corps duties in West Africa, Gibbs was appointed Chief of Medical Operations for the United States Peace Corps in Washington and directed that post from 1980 to 1984. After six years with the Peace Corps, Gibbs accepted the position of director for the Office of International Health at Charles Drew Post Graduate Medical School in Los Angeles. Gibbs returned to Moncks Corner and started a private family practice in 1986. Over the years, Gibbs has received numerous national and international awards and has been involved in many community projects. She has served as a board member of the Berkeley County Mental Health Association, project director for Concerned Citizens for Better Health of Berkeley County, and as Berkeley County Chairperson for the United Negro College Fund.

She has a longstanding commitment to the Medical University of South Carolina. She was a charter member and president of the Black Alumni Association. She has also served as secretary, treasurer and president of the College of Medicine Alumni Association. In 2006 she was awarded the College of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Oscar Haynes
1921 – 2009

Mr. Haynes was born on July 13, 1921 to Tom and Isabella Haynes of Moncks Corner. Armed with a seventh grade education and wanting to see the world, he joined the United States Navy and proudly served in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

After being injured, he returned home and received an honorable discharge. He was educated in the church and public school system of Berkeley County. He enrolled at South Carolina State College in 1945 where he studied carpentry and woodworking, and became a Licensed General Contractor and the founder of Haynes Construction Company.

Mr. Haynes was a trailblazer and played an influential part in the Black History of Moncks Corner and Berkeley County, by being the first African American to design and develop the first subdivision in Moncks Corner and the first apartment complex in Moncks Corner; the first to provide mortgage financing for African Americans in Moncks Corner; and the first African American licensed contractor in Moncks Corner. He began the first African American owned independent water system in Moncks Corner; and the first African American member of the Berkeley County School Board of Education.

Dr. Tonia Taylor

First African American woman to serve on Moncks Corner Town Council

November 2009 Dr. Tonia Aiken Taylor became the first African American woman elected to the Moncks Corner Town Council. Dr. Taylor was sworn in on January 5, 2010. She is also Co-pastor at Heart to Heart International ministries in Moncks Corner.

Reared in Moncks Corner, South Carolina and attended Berkeley County Schools. In 1982, she graduated from Berkeley High School and was accepted at Baptist College in Charleston, South Carolina (currently Charleston Southern University) to begin her college education. In May of 1986, she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Arts with a minor in Religion. Dr. Taylor was the first African-American (May 1986) student to receive the Myrtle E. Hamerick Award citing the student "who exemplifies the highest virtues of womanhood". In 1986 she was also selected by Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Ten years later, through much hard work and passion, her graduate studies were completed. She received her Masters Degree (1995) and Doctorate Degree (1996) in Christian Psychology from Jacksonville Theological Seminary and Truth Bible College and Seminary. At Truth Bible College, she later served on the Board of Directors and served as an adjunct professor. During the summer of 2002, Dr. Taylor continued her professional studies in Christian Education at Pensacola Christian College. She has provided music on the Trinity Broadcasting Network's local affiliate station in Jacksonville, Florida, ACTS Network in Jacksonville, Florida, and WCSC-TV Chanel 5 Inspirational Sounds Broadcast in Charleston, South Carolina. Not only does she minister in song, she is also a motivational speaker for various churches, civic, and governmental organizations.

Thomas H. WallaceMonck Corner Postmaster-1881

In August 1881, Thomas H. Wallace, a Negro republican was appointed postmaster at Moncks Corner. In 1882 Wallace was appointed a commissioner of election for the Seventh Congressional District, and in 1891 he was one of the five members of the House of Representatives from Berkeley County. Wallace retained the postmastership until June 1885, when J. Wesley Orvin was appointed to succeed him.

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