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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Celebrating The 132Nd Anniversary Of Ebenezer Baptist Church April 15, 2015
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 132nd anniversary of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Reverend Lewis Henry Bailey, a freed slave, founded Ebenezer Baptist Church. After being separated from his family in Alexandria, Virginia, Lewis Henry Bailey was sold into slavery and spent all of his youth and early adulthood as a slave in the state of Texas. Upon his return to Alexandria, Virginia, after obtaining his freedom, Lewis Henry Bailey was reunited with his mother, not far from where he was sold into slavery. Bailey found employment with a railroad company and later graduated from Wayland College. In 1882, he was ordained as an itinerant minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Alexandria. With aspirations of sharing the Gospel with residents of the Town of Occoquan, Reverend Bailey walked to and from the town to hold religious services for the black members of the community. In appreciation of his tireless efforts, white members of the community provided land for a church and a place for Reverend Bailey to live. The Clerk of the Court for Prince William County approved the deed on March 8, 1883, and Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates its anniversary on the first Sunday of March in recognition of this momentous occasion. Bailey started the New School in Occoquan, serving as a precursor to the establishment of the New School Baptist Church, which later became Ebenezer Baptist Church. The cornerstone of the church was laid on the first Sunday in May 1883 and the building was dedicated in 1885. Reverend Bailey, who had long been the inspiration and driving force for the establishment of this church, led the congregation from 1885-1891. The church has endured setbacks and faced community challenges during its 132 year history. After the original church structure burned to the ground in 1923, Ebenezer Baptist Church was rebuilt in 1924 where it remains today in the same historical site. Ebenezer Baptist Church leadership and its members have played key roles in both promoting civic justice and raising awareness throughout Prince William County. The church was instrumental in the integration of the county’s public schools in the 1960s. I was honored to include the oral histories of three members of Ebenezer Baptist Church in my recent Northern Virginia Civil Rights Archive project. Throughout its history, Ebenezer Baptist Church has been led by pastors who have served the church and the congregation faithfully. It is my honor to enter into the Congressional Record the names of the governing pastors of Ebenezer Baptist Church since its founding in 1883: Reverend Lewis Henry Bailey, Reverend Wesley Jackson, Reverend J. E. Peterson, Reverend Francis Eager Pree, Reverend Bush, Reverend Roots, Reverend Reuben Hall and Reverend J.E. Morris. Most recently, on June 23, 1990, Reverend Charles A. Lundy was called to the pulpit to lead the church. Under Reverend Lundy’s leadership, Ebenezer Baptist Church has flourished. Due to significant membership growth from 120 to over 800 members in recent years, weekly worship at Ebenezer Baptist Church has been relocated to Telegraph Road to accommodate a growing church family. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in celebrating the 132nd anniversary of Ebenezer Baptist Church and in thanking the church and congregation for their contributions to our community."
Recognizing The Recipients Of The 2014 Northern Virginia Leadership Awards November 14, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the 2014 recipients of the Northern Virginia Leadership Awards presented by Leadership Fairfax. Leadership Fairfax is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to finding, training, and growing leaders in Northern Virginia. The mission of Leadership Fairfax is to educate, prepare, inspire, and connect leaders to serve and strengthen our community. Graduates from its programs become part of a fast-growing network of civic leaders. I’ve always said, “When you walk into a crowded room, it’s easy to spot the graduates of Leadership Fairfax—they just stand out!” Leadership Fairfax alumni and the general public submitted nominations for the 18th annual Northern Virginia Leadership Award, and a panel of community and business leaders made the final selections. It is my honor to enter the following names of the 2014 Northern Virginia Leadership Awards recipients into the Congressional Record. The recipient of the 2014 Regional Leadership Award is Mary Agee, LFI ‘91, President and CEO of Northern Virginia Family Service, in recognition of her three decades of work to transform the lives of thousands of families in Northern Virginia, her influence on public policy in the region and the Commonwealth, and her service on the boards of directors of a wide variety of human services organizations."
Recognizing Recipients Of The 2014 Arts Council Of Fairfax County Arts Awards November 14, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the Arts Council of Fairfax County and the recipients of the 2014 Arts Awards. These awards recognize the extraordinary contributions of artists and arts organizations, as well as individuals and businesses in Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church that support the arts in our community. Founded in 1964, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, Inc. is a non-profit organization designated as Fairfax County’s local arts agency. The Arts Council operates programs and initiatives that include grants, arts advocacy, education, and professional development opportunities for artists and arts organizations. In FY14, the Arts Council awarded over $500,000 in County, public, and private funds through competitive grants and awards to arts organizations and individual artists. These grants helped to fund approximately 13,000 performances and 2,600 arts programs which were attended by more than 1 million people. In addition, The Arts Council of Fairfax County has been a strong supporter and sponsor of the 11th Congressional District High School Arts Competition and has been instrumental in making this program one of the most successful in the nation. The Arts Awards honor supporters of the arts in four categories: the Jinx Hazel Arts Award, the Arts Impact Award, the Arts Education Award, and the Arts Philanthropy Award. It is my honor to enter the following names of the 2014 Arts Awards Recipients into the Congressional Record: The 2014 Jinx Hazel Arts Award will be presented to Bill Reeder and Richard Kamenitzer of George Mason University. Together they have built one of the nation’s most respected higher education programs for the arts and arts management, training hundreds of artists and arts administrators, helping young professionals create new arts programs, and sustaining local arts organizations in Fairfax communities. The 2014 Arts Impact Award will be presented to the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE). Over the past 40 years, GRACE has enriched the Reston community with art exhibitions, arts education programs, and the annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which has become one of the region’s largest arts festivals with tens of thousands of attendees. Since its inception in 1974, GRACE has mounted more than 250 exhibitions, presenting the work of local, regional, and national artists. The 2014 Arts Education Award will be presented to Cappies of the National Capital Area (Cappies NCA) for its innovation and impact in arts education. Cappies—the Critics and Awards Program—engages high school students in a comprehensive theatre education program. Each year, Cappies NCA involves approximately 3,200 students from 56 schools as theatrical performers, production managers and technicians, and critics. Since its inception in 1999, thousands of high school students have experienced the breadth and depth of the theatre, with many becoming actors, theatre professionals, arts educators, and journalists. The 2014 Arts Philanthropy Award will be presented to Pat and Steve Macintyre for their outstanding support of initiatives that strengthen the arts in Herndon and Reston. Through their generosity over the past three decades the Macintyres have founded or supported organizations including the Herndon Foundation for the Cultural Arts, Council for the Arts of Herndon, League of Reston Artists, Initiative for Public Art—Reston, Herndon’s Art in Public Places initiative, and Technology and the Arts scholarships. Additionally, Pat has served on the boards of many of these organizations. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the recipients of the 2014 Arts Awards and in recognizing and thanking the visionaries, leaders, and supporters who help to make our Northern Virginia communities rich with cultural opportunities."
In Recognition Of The 74Th Annual Annandale Volunteer Fire Department Awards Banquet And Installation November 12, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department and to congratulate the 2014 award recipients and incoming 2015 officers and board members. The Annandale Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is one of 12 volunteer fire departments in Fairfax County, and since its founding in 1940, it has provided lifesaving, fire suppression/prevention, and emergency medical/rescue services to the residents of the Annandale area and the surrounding community. The AVFD owns two stations, Station 8 on Columbia Pike and Station 23 on Little River Turnpike, and its front line fleet includes two ambulances, a medic, two engines, and one canteen unit. The Department also provides opportunities for professional growth and development of the membership. The most valuable assets of the AVFD are the volunteers who donate their time and resources in service to our community. Last year alone, these highly skilled and committed volunteers contributed in excess of 15,000 hours responding to emergency incidents, attending training, and fundraising. Each year the AVFD recognizes those volunteers who have excelled in service and commitment, and it is my honor to enter the following names of the 2014 Annandale Volunteer Fire Department award recipients into the Congressional Record:"
Honoring The 150Th Anniversary Of The Borough Of Slatington July 29, 2014
Charlie Dent, R-PA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the people of Slatington as they prepare to celebrate their 150th anniversary. That would be their sesquicentennial, Mr. Speaker. The Borough of Slatington is located in northern Lehigh County and is in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District. As their Member of Congress, it is my honor to enter these words into the Congressional Record in recognition of this proud event. The story of Slatington’s founding is a very American story. Like so many communities, it began as a farm settlement. Nicholas Kern and his family settled the area in 1741. Their extensive farmstead included a gristmill, sawmill and a tavern. They farmed the fertile soil along the Lehigh River. Another European settler, Ambrose Remaley also established himself in the area, holding land warrants in what is now the southern portion of present day Slatington. Agriculture remained predominant in the area until three Welshmen, Owen Jones, William Roberts and Nelson LaBar made a significant discovery in 1844. The area was rich in slate—and so Slatington soon gained its name. By 1847 the first school slate factory in the United States opened in the town. The discovery of slate and subsequent quarrying and production of slate products brought about rapid growth. Slatington incorporated as a borough on September 7, 1864. At its peak, the slate industry provided employment for 2,000 people. They worked in the quarries or they worked to produce curbing, roofing tiles, sidewalks and importantly, school blackboards and slates. In fact, the specific type and color of the slate quarried in Slatington proved to be ideal for use in school blackboards. Slatington became known as the “blackboard capital of America.” The blackboards and school slates produced in Slatington played an important role in helping educate children across the country in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Slatington’s slate products weren’t just shipped all over the United States—they were shipped and bought across the World. Even as the slate industry began to fade as other materials became cheaper and because of new technologies, Slatington continued to thrive. Its rich history is a source of pride for the community and for Lehigh County. For example, the Borough boasts the oldest Halloween Parade in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Part of Slatington is a National Register Historic District, and the Borough has two statues of Firemen listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Present day citizens of Slatington are justifiably proud of their past, especially on the advent of their 150th Anniversary. At the same time, they have their eye on the future and remain intent on assuring that Slatington remains a great place for people to live, work and raise families. I ask the House and the Speaker to join me in celebrating their Borough’s 150th Anniversary and wishing them continued happiness, harmony and success moving forward."

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