Life in Baltimore: Sorority Celebrates the 110th Anniversary with Annual Prayer Breakfast


“Sisterhood: Leading with Amazing Grace and Providing Exemplary Service” was the theme of the Rho Xi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Annual Founder’s Day Prayer Breakfast celebrating 110 years of service to the community.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 15, 1908. It was the first Greek letter organization for college trained women of color. The purpose of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women; to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women; to improve their social stature; and to be of service to all mankind. Today there are chapters all over the world. Now in its 110th year, over 290,000 women continue to give over two million service hours every year to meet the needs of the community.

The presiding chairperson, Judith L. Fitzgerald, opened the program with the Invocation and introductions of special guests by Sherry Armstead.

Welcome addresses were extended to the audience from Dr. Scheherazade W. Forman, president, Rho Xi Omega Chapter; the Honorable Catherine Pugh, Mayor, Baltimore City, who stated that she is a “Fan” of Rho Xi Omega because of the many programs and services provided to the City of Baltimore from this chapter; and Comptroller Joan Pratt.

The Rho Xi Omega Chorale provided musical selections including grace followed by a video presentation tribute to the founders of the organization by Colombe Mongbo and a highly charged solo by Miriamm McKinney.

Ernestine Council introduced the speaker, Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, founder and Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church, Decatur, Georgia. As a woman of vision, Dr. Hale is revered locally, nationally, and internationally for her leadership, integrity, and compassion. As a recipient of numerous honors and recognitions, Dr. Hale has been in the ministry for 38 years. Her ministerial gift has drawn thousands as it did at this program to inspire, encourage and uplift the spirit in each of us to unit and care for each other.

“It is good for us to dwell together in unity. We should trust and support each other, celebrate each other, pray for each other and speak the truth in love and watch our tone. In all things Love, everyone is gifted in her own right,” Dr. Hale exclaimed.

During this event, members are recognized for achievements in numerous categories, including: members of the chapter with 50 years of service to the organization called “Golden Sorors” were honored, Deleanor Harris-Boone and C.Yvonne Holt-Stone. Recognized for 25 years of service were Jeanine Dudley Gainers and Denise Saulsbury.

The Cultured Pearl Award is the highest award given to a member of Rho Xi Omega Chapter. It honors the member for significant contributions and distinguished service to the chapter and who continues to exemplify the qualities of an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman. The 2018 Cultured Pearl Award was presented to Gwendolyn Barbour with 65 years of outstanding service.

Other awards presented were: Community Partner Award, Cindy Harcum, Principal Baltimore City College; Professional Achievement Award, Kara King-Bess; New Soror, Keshawn Golson; Outstanding Learship, Tracey Barbour-Gillette, Monica White, Dr. Nadine Finnegan-Carr, and Judith Britton; Unsong Soror Award, Janet Nance-Richardson; Sisterly Spirit Award, Angela Burnett; and Top Fundraiser Award ,Jeanine Dudley Gainers.

In parting remarks given by the president, Dr. Forman, the group was reminded ” be part of the solution; offer your gifts and talents, extend grace and mercy because God knows it has been shown to us.”