2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Tollison

Senate Concurrent Resolution 550


     WHEREAS, answering the call of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, the family of Dr. Leroy Wadlington will leave Oxford, Mississippi, at the end of January 2006 to lead their new 1600-member congregation; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Wadlington, who has served as the Pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church for 23 years, knows he's trading a certain level of comfort to become a stranger in an unfamiliar place; and

     WHEREAS, Leroy Wadlington was born and reared in Lafayette County, Oxford, Mississippi.  He learned hard work from the fields and instructions on succeeding from his father and mother who sharecropped to sustain the family until other opportunities were available; and

     WHEREAS, he graduated from Central High School and was Senior Class President of the last class before mandated integration.  He continued his education at Northwest Junior College, Senatobia, Mississippi; left his family home to attend the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; W. Herbert Brewster Theological Institute, Memphis, Tennessee; Southern Baptist Seminary, Nashville, Tennessee; and a Doctorate of Divinity from New Millennium Baptist College, Charlotte, North Carolina; and

     WHEREAS, Leroy Wadlington was employed with Chambers Corporation after returning from Wisconsin and finally with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.  Serving as the first African-American in the Clerks division of the United States District Court within the Fifth Circuit.  He worked for district judges William C. Keady, Orma R. Smith and finally Neal B. Biggers, until retiring after 21 years of service in June 1996; and

     WHEREAS,he has been very active in the affairs of the Oxford, Lafayette County and University community, always attempting to improve life for all citizens.  He has received numerous awards for his efforts.  The most meaningful, the "Mississippi Now Award" and the "Thomas Sullivan Humanitarian Award" by the University of Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, he served as Moderator of the Tallahatchie-Oxford District Association, Oxford, Mississippi, for six years, until becoming elected President of the New Educational State Convention of Mississippi in July 2003.  He is presently Pastor of the Second Missionary Baptist Church of Oxford, Mississippi, and has served that congregation for 23 years; and

     WHEREAS, today, his social-justice concerns in Oxford have included "underemployment", the discrepancy between how much one earns and what it actually costs to live here, as well as affordable housing and predatory lending practices.  At Second Baptist, the focus has been on chipping away at some of those issues by "serving the whole of man," as Wadlington terms the vision.  That's meant everything from preparing "healthy meals" for Wednesday evening fellowship dinners, to hosting seminars on financial issues like wills-and-estates planning, to his compassionate efforts at local hospitals where he did not expect his donations to be reimbursed; and

     WHEREAS, Pastor Wadlington serves on numerous local and state boards and committees such as:  Board of Directors of the Institution for Racial Reconciliation, University, Mississippi; local and state AMOS Organization; Boys & Girls Club, United Way; state Domestic Violence Clergy Committee and many others; and

     WHEREAS, he receives much support from his wife, Pearlie, and his children, Hiram, Lemont, LeCresha and LaKesha; and

     WHEREAS, it is with gratitude that we recognize the ministry of this mentor who has done a great service to his church and a great service to the people in his community and state:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the humanitarian contributions of Dr. Leroy Wadlington, Pastor of the Second Missionary Baptist Church of Oxford, Mississippi, and extend to him and his family the best wishes of the Legislature in their new congregation.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Dr. Wadlington and his family and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.