As we celebrate Black History Month, we are reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” For 100 years, St. Stephen’s Community House has been blessed with many strong African American leaders who refused to be silent. Their commitment, vision, and dedication have helped to make St. Stephen’s and this community what it is today.
St. Stephen’s Community House is not just a building in Linden. It is a living, breathing space where many champions, past and present, have used their voices as ambassadors and strong advocates of this agency.
If you spend any time in St. Stephen’s Community House, you can feel the presence of three leaders who are no longer with us, but whose work and spirit will live on forever. The names that echo in our hallways are those of Lonnie Poindexter, George Walker Sr., and Clarence Lumpkin, to name a few. These three African American leaders have pushed St. Stephen’s Community House to be more, do more, and empower more. We pay tribute to these bright lights:
With a lifetime of public service with Columbus Fire and St. Stephen’s Community House, Mr. Poindexter was an advocate for the Linden community, especially the youth. He served as a board member for several years serving on numerous committees and on the executive board. After his service on the board, he became an employee of St. Stephen’s Community House until his passing in 2015. Our gymnasium is named after him, symbolizing his impact on our youth programming.
George Walker Sr.
Mr. Walker wore many hats at St. Stephen’s including serving as the Assistant Director of the agency in 1974, and after retirement served as a member of the St. Stephen’s Community House Booster Club. He was a recipient of the Roosevelt Carter Community Service Award in 1991 because of his continuing service not just to St. Stephen’s Community House, but also to South Linden as part of the Block Watch Captains.
We recently lost our dear friend, Mr. Lumpkin, but his memory will live on in this community and here at St. Stephen’s. He was instrumental in preventing the closure of Linden McKinley High School. He also led community marches to rid our area of gangs and drugs. Because of his love of community and service, he was awarded the Roosevelt Carter Community Service Award in 1984.
“He was heavily involved in our Family-to-Family program when we first got started,” LaTisha Addo, Director of Family services said.
“He was a mentor to our participants; he had a vested interest in making sure they succeeded in the program. We appreciated all of his insight and all that he did for our families.”
Written by: Tommy Ferguson, St. Stephen’s Community House Education Coordinator. Mr. Ferguson coordinates all educational programming, including our summer STEM camp, Project L.I.N.K, and after-school tutoring.