Community Award Recipients

Deacon James H. JoynerThe 2022 Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter Community Award is presented to Deacon James Joyner in the areas of Educational Development, Economic Development, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.

Deacon James Joyner is truly a community servant. He works tirelessly in many endeavors throughout Bloomington-Normal. Although he is retired, you will find him actively engaged in a number of different efforts on most days.

He has served at Loving Missionary Baptist Church for more than 30 years and a few of his roles include Deacon Board Chairman, Food Pantry Coordinator, and Adult Choir Director. Deacon Joyner has mentored many Deacons- in-training and is very patient as they work to learn the role and all that it entails. He helps to prepare them for this ministry assignment by being a real-life example in his day-to-day interactions. Each week, Deacon Joyner spends many hours preparing for the food pantry operations at Loving. He drives to pick up food that is then distributed to those in the community.

Deacon Joyner is an active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He mentors young boys who are a part of the Sigma Beta Club and works to positively influence them on their journey towards manhood. He also participates in service projects such as BANSAGO holiday basket distribution and Adopt-A-Street. His work with children and in the community support both areas of Educational Development and Economic Development.

Deacon Joyner has also been a part of the Community Gospel Singers group for over 25 years. As a part of this group, they perform throughout the community and help to coordinate annual programs in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Wherever and whenever one sees Deacon James Joyner, he will be serving and doing it with a smile. Serving others is truly a part of who he is and what he embodies. He is selfless, caring, patient, polite and a man of great integrity. He serves with great humility and is a model example for others to follow.

On behalf of the women of the Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, it is our esteemed honor to present our 2022 Five-Star Community Award to Deacon James Joyner.

~ Nominated by Soror Takesha Stokes

Deacon James H. JoynerThe 2022 Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter Community Award is presented to Deacon James Joyner in the areas of Educational Development, Economic Development, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.

Deacon James Joyner is truly a community servant. He works tirelessly in many endeavors throughout Bloomington-Normal. Although he is retired, you will find him actively engaged in a number of different efforts on most days.

He has served at Loving Missionary Baptist Church for more than 30 years and a few of his roles include Deacon Board Chairman, Food Pantry Coordinator, and Adult Choir Director. Deacon Joyner has mentored many Deacons- in-training and is very patient as they work to learn the role and all that it entails. He helps to prepare them for this ministry assignment by being a real-life example in his day-to-day interactions. Each week, Deacon Joyner spends many hours preparing for the food pantry operations at Loving. He drives to pick up food that is then distributed to those in the community.

Deacon Joyner is an active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He mentors young boys who are a part of the Sigma Beta Club and works to positively influence them on their journey towards manhood. He also participates in service projects such as BANSAGO holiday basket distribution and Adopt-A-Street. His work with children and in the community support both areas of Educational Development and Economic Development.

Deacon Joyner has also been a part of the Community Gospel Singers group for over 25 years. As a part of this group, they perform throughout the community and help to coordinate annual programs in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Wherever and whenever one sees Deacon James Joyner, he will be serving and doing it with a smile. Serving others is truly a part of who he is and what he embodies. He is selfless, caring, patient, polite and a man of great integrity. He serves with great humility and is a model example for others to follow.

On behalf of the women of the Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, it is our esteemed honor to present our 2022 Five-Star Community Award to Deacon James Joyner.

~ Nominated by Soror Takesha Stokes

Patsor William A. BennettThe 2022 Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter Community Award is presented to Pastor William Anthony Bennett, Sr. in the areas of Educational Development, Economic Development, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.

As the Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge Ministries, Pastor William Bennett is a dynamic spiritual and community Leader. Pastoring since 2002, he truly strives to model the church’s mission to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, led by purpose, and reach community. He has made remarkable contributions to the Bloomington Normal community. Pastor Bennett is currently the Assistant Chair and Board Member on The Public Safety & Community Relations Board. He has served since 2017. He has hosted several opportunities for representatives from the three local police departments to come together to answer any questions or concerns from the community. In 2020, Pastor Bennett led several social justice marches to protest the unjust treatment of African Americans by the police and justice system. He continues to speak up for those that do not have a voice.

He is faithful to the economic development of his community as he generously invests year to year to Black Business by providing access to Business development courses and generational wealth education. He strongly believes in the economic and academic empowerment of African American businesses. In 2021, the City of Refuge made donations to various businesses under his vision and leadership. He also provides scholarships to Black college students and has given backpacks and school supplies to children in need.

Pastor Bennett has been passionate about educating the community on Physical and Mental Health. He participated in a panel discussion about Mental Health and the Church, has held sermons on mental health, offered workout classes virtually and at the church. He also holds virtual meetings on how to care for our physical and mental health. Pastor Bennett is supportive of the We Care Ministry where experienced mental health professionals help those suffering with grief/loss and other mental health concerns. He has also collaborated with mental health professionals in private practice to provide therapeutic services to members of his congregation. Pastor Bennett has been known to say, “I want all aspects of us to be whole,” spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially. Pastor Bennett desires wholeness for the Bloomington-Normal community and beyond.

On behalf of the women of the Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, it is our esteemed honor to present our 2022 Five-Star Community Award to Pastor William Anthony Bennett.

~ Nominated by Soror Tamara Childress

Patsor William A. BennettThe 2022 Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter Community Award is presented to Pastor William Anthony Bennett, Sr. in the areas of Educational Development, Economic Development, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.

As the Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge Ministries, Pastor William Bennett is a dynamic spiritual and community Leader. Pastoring since 2002, he truly strives to model the church’s mission to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, led by purpose, and reach community. He has made remarkable contributions to the Bloomington Normal community. Pastor Bennett is currently the Assistant Chair and Board Member on The Public Safety & Community Relations Board. He has served since 2017. He has hosted several opportunities for representatives from the three local police departments to come together to answer any questions or concerns from the community. In 2020, Pastor Bennett led several social justice marches to protest the unjust treatment of African Americans by the police and justice system. He continues to speak up for those that do not have a voice.

He is faithful to the economic development of his community as he generously invests year to year to Black Business by providing access to Business development courses and generational wealth education. He strongly believes in the economic and academic empowerment of African American businesses. In 2021, the City of Refuge made donations to various businesses under his vision and leadership. He also provides scholarships to Black college students and has given backpacks and school supplies to children in need.

Pastor Bennett has been passionate about educating the community on Physical and Mental Health. He participated in a panel discussion about Mental Health and the Church, has held sermons on mental health, offered workout classes virtually and at the church. He also holds virtual meetings on how to care for our physical and mental health. Pastor Bennett is supportive of the We Care Ministry where experienced mental health professionals help those suffering with grief/loss and other mental health concerns. He has also collaborated with mental health professionals in private practice to provide therapeutic services to members of his congregation. Pastor Bennett has been known to say, “I want all aspects of us to be whole,” spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially. Pastor Bennett desires wholeness for the Bloomington-Normal community and beyond.

On behalf of the women of the Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, it is our esteemed honor to present our 2022 Five-Star Community Award to Pastor William Anthony Bennett.

~ Nominated by Soror Tamara Childress

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