By: Shirley Stone
The black tie formal attire Birthday party for Pastor Sylvia Tisdale was held October 22nd at the Pensacola Garden Center. Pastor Sylvia Tisdale walked the red carpet in a star-studded red gown fit for a queen.
The theme for this glorious event “This is Your Life” was attended by friends, family, pastors and Bishops from Pensacola, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama; along with various political dignitaries such as Sherriff David Morgan, City Council Woman Sherri Meyers, all who walked the red carpet.
The dining area was adorned with white table cloths with gold ribbons bow tied around each chair and each table beautifully set with place settings and centerpieces for a royal family while being served with the graciousness of a host staff.
The selection of the meals was baked chicken, roast beef and a whole hog roasted pig they say, North Carolina Style, that had been smoked and barbecued on an open pit giving us the taste that was so mouthwatering tender and juicy. Our side dishes were baked beans, green beans, rice and potato salad, tea or coffee and desert choices of homemade pound cake and coconut cake.
Robin Reshard was the mistress of ceremony that kept us laughing and entertained throughout this birthday celebration. The event opened with the Jewel Stone Singers, who blessed us with selections of old, like Mahalia Jackson’s acapella, to their original music being released from their cd and closing out with their single release called “Many Waters”.
These songbirds are three sisters who blew the crowd’s ears off with the tone and harmony that was definitely stellar award material. Growing up in Detroit Michigan, but born in Pensacola, they have now returned to the area.
There were special recognition community awards presented from Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a City Council proclamation award, even a letter with a gift of pearls from President Barak and Michelle Obama. Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks also sent a letter of recognition for community service.
Shirley Terrell-Stone The “Jazz-Spell Psalmist” delivered a musical poetic poem that touched the audience and made the lady of the hour smile as if to say job well done. Various speakers delivered personal appreciation for a friend, family and community service activist for her tireless work of feeding the hungry at the Epps Center.
The keynote speaker, Bishop John D. Young, spoke words that could not have said enough to make this North Carolina woman of God know that she was appreciated for all her work she has done in Pensacola. As the bible says -never grow weary in well doing’.
Pastor Tisdale is known for feeding the hungry in Pensacola, Florida at 2300 North Pace Blvd. Monday thru Friday @ 5:30am and has been serving from her soup kitchen since April 2006 at 2202 N. Pace Blvd. and Tuesday and Thursday 6am until 12 noon. She will also serve Thanksgiving dinner November 12th, 19th 2016 and Christmas dinner December 8th, 2016.
The Epps Center was established in August of 2003. This is their 13th year of operation. Marie Epps, Pastor Tisdale’s mother, was who this center was named after for the inspiration and Christian values that she instilled in her daughter.
Pastor Tisdale cared for her mother for the last 13 years of her life before she passed away in March of 2003.
The Epps Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization that needs our community support. She requests that along with the help she receives from donations, like Barnes Grocery Store, The Gulf Coast Food Bank that others who can, will partner and provide for the needy. “There still is a great need for food, clothing, and volunteers. The poor and the hungry will always be with us but it takes more than one hand to feed and clothe the hungry”, stated pastor Tisdale. “We pray that Pensacola will continue to give a hand of hope with your donations.”