The Jasper County NAACP honored women at its annual Woman of the Year gala, Held April 14 at the Greater Pentecostal Temple Church Agape Family Life Center.

A large crowd gathered to honor African American women who are either a pastor or the wife of a pastor in one of Jasper County’s churches. The event also celebrated local African American women in the medical profession – dentists, physicians and nurses.

Antoinette Kinsey, the wife of Rev. Gregory M. Kinsey from St. John AME Church in Tillman, was named the 2018 Woman of the Year. Beatrice Cooper, wife of Rev. Andrew Lee Cooper of Bethel Baptist Church in Pineland, was first runner up.

The women were honored with a plaque and flowers for the patience, dedication and creative energy they display in serving the needs of their church families day in and day out.

Woman of the Year 2017 Lorine Ferguson, wife of Rev. Kardell Ferguson Sr. of Zion Oak Grove Baptist and Lovely Hill Baptist Churches, offered her reflections on the past year.

Becoming a medical professional requires extraordinary perseverance, intelligence, and the willingness to incur great debt.

The Women of Honor in the medical profession received plaques in recognition of their service to our local communities:

  1. LaFrance Ferguson, M.D., Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Clinic

Faith L. Polkey, M.D., Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Clinic

Monica Taylor, M.D., Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Clinic

Yasmin Tyler-Hill, M.D., Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta

Barbara M. Washington, D.D.S., Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Clinic

Karen Meeks, D.D.S., Meeks Dental Associates

Andrea Guess, D.D.S., New River Dental Center

Luteley Bostick, RN, BSN, RNC, St. Joseph Candler Hospital

Charlene Hodges, RN, Jasper County School District

Yvonne Footman, FNP, midwife, Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Clinic

The Women of Honor received plaques and flowers.

The Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Clinic has served these communities for three decades. Executive director Roland Gardner said he is proud of the contributions of these individuals and the quality medical services provided.

Arnold and Carol Hillman were honored with a plaque recognizing their efforts as volunteer mentors to the students of Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School. “The students we mentor at RHHS are smart, kind, respectful and motivated to succeed,” Carol Hillman said. “We try to give them the road map they need to get from where they are to where they want to go.”