HISTORY OF THE STATES AND ISLANDS RALLY
Once Butler moved to our new home in 3920 Paulding Avenue, Bronx, NY, we added more ministerial programs to support and engage all ethnic groups.
Butler member, Alita Dorsey, a native of Florida, and sister-in-law of Rev. W. P. Johnson, started a cultural club with Florida and New York. Other clubs—North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama were already in place. They purchased the beautiful stained-glass windows, chairs, the library shelves, and other much-needed furniture, books, bibles, and other materials. Rev. Johnson and his family purchased the beautiful rose window in the pulpit area.
Upon Rev. Johnson’s retirement, Rev. Granville A. Forde was appointed to Butler, after we had an influx of people from the different islands which prompted the formation of the islands and peninsula club. The congregation continued to grow under Rev. Forde’s pastorship, and we were forced to start a new building program to accommodate a large number of children, young people, and adults. Carrie Smallwood was appointed chair of the new building program, and she put in place several fundraising projects, the main one was the states and islands rally which superseded the states rally. This activity began as a competition between individuals. Netherlie Brown won a trophy and brought in the most money. This idea became contentious and was discontinued by having the clubs compete against each other.
This activity provides much joy to everyone in attendance. Specialty foods from the different states and islands are provided and displayed in a beautiful setting. Flags from every region are displayed in the sanctuary; a program is created and given out to attendees. The program consists of skits, poems, and songs, and there will be a given financial report to determine the winning state or island.
This is always a joyous occasion where the pastor and first lady are ushered to each table and choose whatever they wish.
We thank god for our ministries at butler and especially for the states and islands rally initiated by Rev. Dr. Carrie Smallwood in the 1980s which has enabled us to raise many funds for the operation of our church.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!