Breakfast pays tribute to mothers


Gladys Wright, left, the presiding hostess of the breakfast, assists Julisa Castano as she reads a poem.

ELIZABETH HAMILTON/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.

Mothers were honored with an outpouring of love and celebrated with high praise, a hat parade, music, songs, door prizes and breakfast at the “Women Are Pearls of Wisdom” third annual Pre-Mother’s Day Breakfast hosted by Third Bethel Baptist Church.

Nearly 375 men, women and children attended the breakfast, which was sponsored by an anonymous donor and held Saturday at Springhill Baptist Church. Third Bethel is located in the Rochelle community.

“Mothers have the innate good sense to see beyond and they have that good-sense attitude,” said Gladys Wright, a member of Third Bethel who served as the presiding hostess. Wright shared a brief history of how Mother’s Day became a traditional celebration on the second Sunday in May.

Gainesville resident Leanetta McNealy served as the narrator of the hat parade, which featured local women modeling hats from Susie’s Boutique in a wide array of styles and colors and adornments from feathers to rhinestones to flowers, pearls and more.

McNealy read Corinthians 11:5 and spoke about the long history of women wearing various head coverings in church, including hats.

Julisa Castano, a first-grader at Idylwild Elementary School, recited a poem celebrating mothers, and gospel songs were delivered by Leon Marshall, Malik Moore and Christopher Reynolds.

Marshall sang “The Lord Has Been Good To Me” and “Thank You Lord,” Malik sang “Pass Me Not” and Reynolds sang “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Kenneth Johnson, a Gainesville church musician, played keyboard through most of the event, and Mildred Dewberry, a member of Third Bethel, played a musical prelude. Third Bethel members Inez Lucas delivered an invocation, Alexis Benjamin welcomed the audience and Tyren Certain blessed the food. Tyren is the grandson of the Rev. Edward Starling, pastor of Third Bethel, and First Lady Rebecca Starling.

Rosa Rollins, a member of Third Bethel, delivered the Mother’s Day message.

“Mothers are females and precious, strong, wise, sharp, clever, well advised, intelligent,” said Rollins, who described the attributes of motherhood. ”Mothers are pearls who tell the truth, even if it’s going to hurt,” Rollins said. “They’ve learned to love and can’t get out of the habit.”

“We should all be grateful to our mothers and never forget how good they are to us,” Rollins said.

Member Phyllis Benjamin and Rebecca Starling served as event co-chairs.

Benjamin worked behind the scenes to make sure everything went as planned. She was happy with the entire event. “It was a great success,” Benjamin said. “I’m praying to have another successful annual event next year.”

“This event was just great,” said Rebecca Starling.

In his closing remarks, Starling recognized his wife and Benjamin for working together on the breakfast celebration. “I’m happy to be able to stand next to them,” Starling said.

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