Honoring Our Veterans

By: Crystal Toussant

In honor of our deserving Veterans, Houston Praise and Worship Center, under the leadership of Bishop Frank A. Rush, Dr. JoAnn Vallie Rush (deceased), and Rev. Sidney Cooper produced the US Armed Forces Day Celebration. This is the second year they have celebrated the sacrifice and dedication of our US Armed Forces. Houston Praise and Worship Center’s objectives are to create better “collaboration, coordination, and communication” by what they have identified as the 7C’s, which include, church, cops, community, college, city, county, and country.

Bishop Frank A. Rush and his “Dream Team” are focused on promoting community appreciation for our past, present, and future US Armed Forces past. They are determined to create an environment that fosters care and concern of the community for those protecting & serving whether foreign or domestic. They are determined to show thanks to God for protecting our Country and the fine service men and women who are the nucleus that ensures our protection.  The Theme of the US Armed Forces Day of Celebration was “God Bless America!” The Scripture, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!” was the driving force for every part of this inspiring celebration (Psalm 33:12).

U.S. Armed Forces Day Celebration was beautifully emceed by Councilwoman Dr. Carolyn Evans – Shabazz. She was a delightful addition to this event as the leader of District D because there were several integral speakers who were promoting the purpose of bringing important shareholders into our community to promote unity and cooperation. Ray Hunt, the Executive Director of the Houston Police Officers Union spoke about the importance of working collectively to serve our community. Mayor Sylvester Turner was the keynote speaker for the U.S. Armed Forces Day Celebration. Everyone was pleased to see our mayor take time out of his busy schedule to truly connect with the people in the Third Ward community.  Mayor Turner presented a proclamation to Bishop Rush and his “Dream Team” for their continued efforts to celebrate the importance of the U.S. Armed Forces (foreign and domestic) to truly foster trust, love, care, and commitment in our community and throughout the city of Houston.

This motivating celebration was truly a labor of love for the Houston Praise and Worship Center, but they also worked hard to make the event a family fun day, too. Jack Yates High School ROTC participated in the ceremony under the direction of Captain J. Guillory (retired). The Fresh Wind Dance Ministry directed by Min. Rosalind Kyle gave a beautiful performance.

The Caribbean Stilt Walkers led by director Patrice Sadler were a fun addition to the celebration.  Raise The Praise 100 was on hand to interview Mayor Turner and other guests. Joshua Tibbs graced us with his sound engineering skills and barber Tron Madisse blessed our community with free haircuts! Little Ms. Jaiya Patillo, a national track star was on hand to talk to kids about her journey to the 2024 Olympics. There was also a kid zone with a petting zoo, moonwalks, face painting, playground equipment, Jinga, and the Houston Fire Department came out to join the fun. Mr. Robert Dembo Director, the City of Houston Office of Veterans and Military Affairs, and Minister Vicki Cruz, Pre. LULAC, and Chaplain American GI Forum were very important contributors to the success of the U.S. Armed Forces Day Celebration.

There has also been growth since the first event in 2021.  In 2021, there were only 25 vendors, but in 2022, they almost tripled the number of vendors. In 2023, the Houston Praise and Worship Center is projecting an expected 100+ vendors. They have truly created an experience that has become a signature event to promote unity and cooperation in Third Ward and beyond.  This is an example to be duplicated throughout Houston and the nation.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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