By Alex Davidson
Ministers with congregations in Bayside and Flushing were honored Saturday by the Northeast Queens chapter of the NAACP during the group’s first annual clergy breakfast, which attracted several elected officials and dozens of borough residents.
The Rev. Dr. Phillip Jean Jobert of Community Baptist Church in Bayside and the Revs. Nicholas Genevieve-Tweed of Macedonia A.M.E. Church and Dr. Timothy P. Mitchell of Ebenezer Baptist Church, both of Flushing, were selected for their years of service and involvement in the borough’s religious activities, said Kenneth Cohen, the chapter’s president.
“Truly we are here to celebrate — celebrate lives and the work we do together,” Cohen told a room of nearly 100 people at Fresh Meadow’s Fame Diner. “We have a large task at hand.”
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Kew Gardens), Councilmen John Liu (D-Flushing), Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona) and Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) as well as state Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik came to the breakfast event for the chapter that encompasses the communities of Auburndale, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Forest Hills, Glen Oaks, Kew Gardens, Little Neck and Whitestone.
NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Each of the three honorees received a declaration from state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing) and were praised by presenters for their work in helping to promote racial equality by using methods and ideologies rooted in religious teachings.
“We are one family in various communities,” Jobert said. “Thank you for this single honor.”
Tweed, the spiritual head of one of the city’s oldest churches, Macedonia A.M.E., said he was humbled by the award but would not rest until there were no more hungry people living on borough streets.
“I am thrilled and overjoyed to receive this award,” Tweed said.
Mitchell, who heads Ebenezer Baptist Church, recalled his time as a member of the Northeast Queens NAACP’s Youth Council in the 1950s. He said at the time, the chapter had the largest organized group of young people in the country compared to other NAACP youth councils.
“I do believe that I will do even more than I have done for the NAACP,” Mitchell said.
Cohen said the Northeast Queens branch, which used to be known as the Flushing branch until 1943, will honor clergy from all religions at future breakfasts. He said he would like the breakfasts to reflect the diverse groups that came together with African Americans in 1909 to start the NAACP.
“We wanted to pick the most active to start,” Cohen said of the three honorees. “This used to be an annual event years ago.”
Cohen said the large population of Baptists living in both Flushing and Bayside has been consistent through the years and become a staple in the two communities that have experienced an influx of immigrants from countries like Taiwan and South Korea.
The Northeast Queens chapter of the NAACP meets regularly on the third Thursday of every month at Macedonia A.M.E. located at 37-22 Union St. The meetings begin at 8 p.m.
For more information on the chapter or its activities, call (718) 591-0258.
Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.