Metropolitan A.M.E. Church Honors Their Own During Women’s History Month

Posted on: March 21st, 2014
Dorothy Gilliam

Dorothy Gilliam

WASHINGTON—March 10, 2014: On Sunday, March 23, 2014, in observance of Women’s History Month, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church will honor three members who have made major national and international contributions in media, business, education and philanthropy.

Journalist Dorothy Butler Gilliam, business leader Marie Collins Johns and family and consumer science expert Dr. Gladys Gary Vaughn will be awarded the Metropolitan Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement as we celebrate “WOMEN of CHARACTER, COURAGE and COMMITMENT” at the 10:00 a.m. worship service. The church is located at 1518 M Street NW, Washington, DC 2005, just a few blocks from The White House.

Marie Johns

Marie Johns

Ms. Gilliam, a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, was the first black woman to serve as a reporter for The Washington Post, a job she began in 1961. Gilliam later became an editor and columnist for The Post. Throughout her career Gilliam launched several programs, including the Young Journalists’ Development Program at the Post, to encourage students to pursue a career in the media.

Mrs. Johns served as Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration in the U. S. Department of Commerce from 2010 to 2014. Johns, a longtime leader in the telecommunications industry and former CEO of Verizon Washington, has served on several boards including Howard University and Girl Scouts USA.

Dr. Gladys Gary Vaughn

Dr. Vaughn is chief of the Training and Cultural Transformation Division in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has served as the National President of The Links, Incorporated and board member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Vaughn currently serves on several boards including Habitat for Humanity International, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and The Black Women’s Agenda.

The guest speaker is Dr. Karsonya “Kaye” Wise Whitehead, Assistant Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies, Loyola University, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Whitehead’s teaching and research focuses on the intersection of class, gender and race.

A reception for the honorees will be held immediately following the service at the National Education Association’s headquarters, which is directly across the street from the church.

Founded in 1838, Metropolitan was formed by two existing churches: Israel Bethel A.M.E., founded in 1821 and Union Bethel A.M.E., which was also founded in 1838. The parent A.M.E. Church movement grew out of an anti–segregation protest in Philadelphia in 1787. Similarly, both Israel Bethel and Union Bethel began as a result of dissatisfaction among African Americans over racial segregation here in Washington at Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church. The name of the Church was officially changed to Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in 1872 at the Baltimore Conference. Metropolitan recently celebrated its 175th Anniversary with a year-long series of events and celebrations, including the 2nd visit by President Barack Obama and the first family.