02/13/05 — Civitans hold Clergy Day

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Civitans hold Clergy Day

By Linda Luck
Published in News on February 13, 2005 2:10 AM

Mayor Al King joined Goldsboro Civitans in honoring area pastors at the club's annual Clergy Appreciation Day Luncheon on Friday.

King stopped by Ryan's Family Steakhouse where area ministers were being treated to a free lunch. He thanked the Civitans for the work they are doing in the community and commended the pastors for their contribution.

Since 1960, Civitans have set aside a date in February to honor the four chaplains who went down with the USS Dorchester on Feb. 3, 1943. The ship was torpedoed in the icy waters off the coast of Greenland. Over 900 men were on board. Only 230 survived.

Many of the survivors recounted the story of the heroic actions of four chaplains of different faiths: A Jewish rabbi, Lt. Alexander Goode; a Catholic priest, Lt. John Washington; and two Protestant ministers, Lieutenants George Fox and Clark Poling.

When there were no more life jackets to hand out, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four shipmates. The four chaplains were last seen on the hull of the ship arm and arm in prayer as the ship sank into the icy waters.

Simon Jessee, who has been a Civitan for 50 years, said the event has a special significance for the Goldsboro club since Lt. Goode was once stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Ellis McClenny, who was the guest speaker for the luncheon, said church members often expect pastors to walk on water without stumbling, asking for a raise, or taking time off. He challenged Civitan members to take time to say thank them and show appreciation to pastors and their families.

In closing the meeting, Civitan President J.B. Price quipped that he meets two qualifications of a pastor -- working long hours for low pay.

On a more serious note, he joined with the others in thanking the pastors for giving unselfishly of their time and energy in meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of others.