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MIDDLESEX — St James Church of Christ in northeastern Johnston County will hold its 39th annual People to People Day at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20.
The Rev. Sylvester Wayne Holder, pastor of St. James Church of Christ and chairman of its community relations committee, said the event is designed to allow community members to meet public officials, dignitaries and business and nonprofit leaders on a one-on-one basis in a relaxed, nonpartisan environment and to recognize businesses and individuals for the work they perform in the community.
Holder’s father, the Rev. Sylvester Holder, organized the first People to People Day in 1980.
Awards to be presented include Vanguard Award given to individuals who served in the military and continue to serve their community, the Good Neighbor Award presented to a business or corporation, the Lighthouse Award given to individuals or clergy for their continuous work in the community and who show God in all they do, the Danny Hinton Award given to law enforcement or first responders for demonstration of love and community, the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Rising Star Award presented to an emerging small business that has the promise of providing jobs and becoming a community cornerstone.
The Keystone Legacy Award will be given to a small business or family business that has been in operation for 20 years or more and the Gold Star Award will be given to local businesses that have been in operation for 50 years or more. This category has three recipients this year including Narron Construction, Stancil’s Grill and Brewer’s Gas and Groceries.
Recent guest past speakers include former Johnston County Commissioner Cookie Pope, Johnston County Manager Rick Hester, District Court Judge Addie Rawls and former Johnston County Schools Superintendent Ross Renfrow.
St. James serves a geographically diverse population. The 9573 N.C. 222 W. church’s Middlesex address notes its proximity to Nash County. It’s located in the unincorporated Dixie community in Johnston County’s O’Neal’s Township and Holder said church members hail from Johnston, Nash, Wayne, Wilson, Wake and other surrounding counties.
Holder described the Dixie community as “just a small rural community full of warm-hearted and loving people who are rather balanced economically, intellectually and ethnically with approximately 35% of the residents being senior citizens over the age of 50.”