Group to honor founder

Published 8:30 pm Monday, October 8, 2018

The Suffolk and Vicinity Association of Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows will be honoring the memory of their founder, Sister Addie M. Word, for the organizations 50th anniversary at East End Baptist Church Nov. 2.

“Ms. Addie Moore Word passed away about five years ago, and she really loved people,” said President Gloria Diggs. “She took in young ladies and catered to them.”

Diggs remembers Word being a humble woman who wanted to bring the glory of God to those in Suffolk, and the group wants to celebrate that love and humility while celebrating the organization she brought to Suffolk 50 years ago.

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They will celebrate the anniversary at East End Baptist Church, where Word attended. It is also a special location because her husband, the Rev. Clarence J. Word, was the longest-serving pastor at the church. He was the pastor for 40 years.

The fellowship hall where the banquet will be held is named in honor of Word and her husband.

The event is also a way for the group to have more community recognition.

“We’ve been here for 50 years, but you’d be surprised that people do not know we exist,” Diggs said. “We want people to recognize who we are and what we do so that we can find other people that are in need of help. We hope that they reach out to us.”

This organization has an international presence that began 79 years ago, and the founders of the organization would reach out to different communities to charter smaller groups.

“This is how Ms. Addie Word became aware and started her group in Suffolk,” Diggs said.

The purpose of the organization is to gather pastors’ wives, currently married or widowed, to give back to the Suffolk through community service or through donations, financial or otherwise.

Suffolk’s group regularly gives back to the Genieve Shelter and the Boys and Girls Club, but since most of their members are retired educators, they also give their time to help tutor the youth in the area.

“We love. We have so much love for people, young and old and everything in between. We do this out of pocket, and we have fundraisers that we have to help generate more funds for whatever they may need,” Diggs said.

Throughout their service projects, they hope to lead individuals to Christ through faith, love and prayer.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 at East End Baptist Church, 1056 Portsmouth Blvd., in The Word Endowment Hall. Those who wish to attend can secure tickets with a $50 donation by contacting the Rev. Dr. Naomi Chambers or Elder Gloria Diggs at 809-1474.

The attire for the event is semi-formal.