Wheeling NAACP honors local brothers, pastor

WHEELING — Amid laughter, tears and remembering, the Wheeling Branch NAACP recently honored several members of the community at its annual Freedom Fund “Hometown Heroes” banquet.

Wheeling NAACP President Darryl Clausell said the banquet hall at the YWCA was filled to capacity with 125 attendees at the annual dinner. The event honored local pastor, the Rev. Dr. Darrell Cummings, with the fifth-annual Freedom Fund Community Award.

Also, three local brothers, the late Charles, Clarke and Edward “Tony” Gordon, were honored with the Freedom Fund Memorial Award.

Clausell said Cummings, pastor at Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling and Shiloh Apostolic Faith Assembly in Weirton, embodies the idea of a hometown hero who has served as a leader and officer in the community, his church and various organizations.

“His outreach, his stories and his experience have touched lives in such a positive way that exemplifies all of the hats he had worn through the years,” Clausell said.

Cummings’ Wheeling church conducts various food giveaways for holidays and a school supply program for back to school each year. His church feeds hundreds of people in the community through these programs.

In acknowledging the Gordon brothers’ contributions to the community, Clausell said they served “as role models and mentors of both youth and adults in the community.”

Charles was a teacher, Clark, a city firefighter, and Edward, a deacon.

“These heroes always had time to lend a helping hand,” Clausell said.

He said none of them knew a stranger and all of them advocated for youth in their own ways.

Former U.S. Army Lt. Edward Hargo, who taught biology at Triadelphia High School from 1967-72 and served as assistant football coach, was the featured speaker. His talk focused on his father’s experiences as a Tuskegee Airman.

All proceeds from the dinner go to funding youth opportunities and community outreach.