Around Leicester (Be sure to click on the pictures for larger pic and more info.)
Clyde A. Erwin Graduation 2015
Clyde A. Erwin Graduation 2015
Clyde A. Erwin Graduation 2015
Clyde A. Erwin Graduation 2015
Clyde A. Erwin Graduation 2015
This weeks headlines
dedication memorializes little girl
LES - A 9-year-old girl who lost her battle with heart problems last year was memorialized when a playground at Leicester Elementary School was named in her honor. Olivia Landreth died from a heart problem, but not before she touched the hearts of an entire school and the Leicester Community. Read more...
Before Olivia passed she made headlines and touched hearts with one simple wish. She wanted to ride a school bus to school. Business and community leaders made that happen with her very own custom decorated bus and it was one of the proudest days at Leicester Elementary.
This past Friday (April 13) the school named their playground after Olivia. Over 100 people attended the dedication and the family of Olivia was overwhelmed with joy at the new signs made in Olivias honor.
Kevin Farrow and Robert Simmons of SignServe LLC donated their talents in making signs for the playground. They had the help of other businesses who paid for the materials.
Leicester Elementary representative Shannon Boyd said, “We couldnt have done this without SignServe, community volunteers, and donations. This has been wonderful.”
Community member Julia Ward, who was in attendance at the dedication said, “I just love it! These signs and flowers just make me happy. If I were a kid I would love playing here.”
Below is a list of everyone that made Olivias Playground possible:
Blue Ridge Sign Supply
Wood Working Design
Buncombe County Schools Maintenance Team
Sandy Mush 4H Club
Leicester Fire Department
Leicester Baptist Church
Andy Oxy Company
Last Weeks Headlines
WNC Christian, conservatives lose bulwark of the faith and political leader
Leicester/Asheville – The Rev. Dr. J. Wendell Runion, 76, went to be with the Lord Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Memorial Campus of Mission Hospitals. A loss that will be felt deep by Christian conservatives in the area. Read more...
Dr. Runion, who was the station manager of WKJV Radio (1380 AM) and president of International Baptist Outreach Ministries (the group that owned WKJV), was a Christian broadcaster, former pastor, missionary, political activist, father, and husband.
If you read his biography from the stations website there wasnt much in the Christian community that Dr. Runion was not involved in and with. “Born on a mountain farm in Madison County...His childhood was that of a simple lifestyle in a rural mountain culture. The Runion family was influenced by a heritage of strong Christian values. The church was a very powerful influence in the growth and character of the entire family. At the age of 14, Dr. Runion was saved in a small mountain church after being under strong conviction for over two years.
“After graduating from Charles D. Owen High School in Swannanoa...he worked on secular jobs. At the age of 28, God called him to preach in July of 1970 after moving to Pensacola, Florida in 1968. He then attended the Pensacola Bible Institute in Pensacola, Florida for two years. In 1982, he received a Bachelors Degree of Theology from Trinity Baptist College in Knoxville, Tennessee and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from that same school. In 1993, he earned his Ph.D. in Religion from Emmanuel Baptist University in Conover, North Carolina. In 2003, he received a honorary doctorate degree from Travelers University in Cairo, Egypt.
“In 1972 after moving his family back to North Carolina, Dr. Runion became Youth Minister at Trinity Baptist Church in Asheville, NC where Dr. Ralph Sexton, Sr. was the pastor. He was ordained on January 22, 1973 by the late Dr. Sexton.
“On October 13, 1974, God led him to start Asheville Baptist Tabernacle in Asheville, North Carolina. This church became very influential in Western North Carolina along with a Christian School and Bible College ministry. In 1992, he helped to found Anchor Baptist Bible College in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina and served as its President until May of 1999. During those years the school graduated many that are now serving in missions or the pastorate around the world.
“After traveling to Egypt on several mission trips the Lord led Dr. Runion to resign his pastorate of 21 years and go full time into a church planting ministry. He founded International Baptist Outreach Missions, Inc. in January, 1996, and since that time, with Dr. Runion as President the mission has either strengthened or started over 300 churches with national pastors in several countries of the world including Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Lebanon, Mexico, and the Philippines.
Dr. Runion also served with Congressman Charles Taylor of the “...11th Congressional District as an advisor on church and religious matters from 1990 to 2006. He also preached many revivals, missions conferences, prophecy conferences and King James Bible Conferences around the world.”
According to his obituary “Dr. Runion was the son of the late Claude Edger Runion and Zora Belle Fore Runion and was also preceded in death by his brother, Calvin Runion.
“Surviving are his wife of 57 years, Joyce Ann Ammons Runion; daughters: Lynn Mitchell and husband, Randy of Statesville, Angela Page and husband, Todd of Taylors, SC and Hannah Hensley and husband, Ricky of Burnsville; grandchildren, Bradley, Tyler and Kevin Page, Anna and Joshua Mitchell and Makenzie and Isaac Hensley; sister Lucy Hollifield of Black Mountain and several nieces and nephews.
“Funeral services will be held at 1 pm Friday, April 13, 2018 at Trinity Baptist Church, with Dr. Ralph Sexton, Jr., Dr. Keith Gomez, and Dr. Richard Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Green Hills Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5 – 8 pm Thursday, April 12, 2018 at Anders-Rice Funeral Home.
Flowers are accepted and appreciated, or memorial donations may be made to International Baptist Outreach Missions or WKJV/WKJW Radio at 70 Adams Hill Rd. Asheville, NC 28806.
Ball honored with hall of fame induction
By Clint Parker
Asheville – Nearly 200 people attended the 2018 North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA) banquet Tuesday night (March 27) held at the Crown Plaza Resort in Asheville. There, four new inductees were honored by the NCADA as the 24th class was inducted into its Hall of Fame including former Erwin graduate, teacher, baseball coach and athletic director David Ball. Read more...
Ball, who is now the district athletic specialist for the county, had his family with him that night including his 90 year old dad, Rev. Enoch Ball as he received the honor of being inducted in front of a room of his peers. According to a press release from the NCADA the 2018 class of four brings the total inductees to 92.
After finishing a meal the ceremony got underway with a song and then a video to recognize former hall of famers. During the video anyone in the room whos life and/or career was touched or influenced by a member of the hall of fame who name’s appeared on the screen were asked to stand and remain standing until the video was finished.
Ball had two introductions to the members of the banquet hall. The first was a video presentation of his life and career in picture form as background music played Eric Claptons “If I Could Change The World.” He then received an introduction by his boss, Buncombe County School Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin.
Baldwin introduced Ball with a short speech where he began saying hed like to tell the group words that would describe Ball which included integrity, dedication, and organization. “If any of you have worked with David, David is a detail man and superintendents love detail men, and women...He is one of the most dedicated individuals I know,” said Baldwin, “Hes totally dedicated to what ever profession - it may be teaching, coaching, athletic director.”
“If I had to pick a fourth it would be loyalty. Loyalty to his alma mater. For 36 years Davids career was at Clyde A. Erwin High School. The high school where he graduated from,” Baldwin told the crowd. “He was a social studies teacher, baseball coach [with] 13 play-offs in 19 seasons. He was a runner-up 3-A state championship in 1988.” Baldwin went on to tell that, “In August of 1998 David became the athletic director of Erwin and he would remain in that position until he retired in June of 2015.”
Baldwin continued for several more minutes talking about his work and achievements for the region, nation, associations that he belong to and to peoples lives that he came in contact with. He went on about Athletic Director of the Year awards, one of only 10 North Carolinians to receive a prominent citation, and have the gym at Erwin named after him.
After that he was hired by Buncombe County as the district athletic specialist. “A month after that everyone of middle school and high schools had an athletic staff handbook and a parent/athlete handbook and I dont think any of you who know David, that surprises you one little bit.” He then joked saying, “We wonder why it took him four weeks to get that done.” Ball then received a standing ovation as he was called up and presented with his Hall of Fame Award where he posed with NCADA officials for pictures.
Asked how it felt to join less than 100 other athletic directors in the state to be inducted in the NCADA Hall of Fame, Ball told the Leader, “I feel deeply honored to be selected to the North Carolina Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and to be one of ninety-two inductees in the Hall. It is truly amazing to be in the same Hall of Fame with many of the great leaders and legends in coaching and athletic administration from North Carolina. I have great respect for the awesome responsibilities of athletic administrators and the great job they perform across the state. It is especially rewarding to be recognized by my peers and to be inducted into this Hall of Fame. It was also very rewarding to enter the Hall of Fame with such a distinguished class of inductees as the Class of 2018.”
Asked to what he owed his success, Ball said, “I was very fortunate to have had two great parents who instilled in me the values of a strong work ethic and always giving my best effort. My family was also a family of faith, as my dad was a Methodist minister, and the practice of my faith has always been of highest priority.
“Athletics has also been a key factor in my success. My earliest coaches taught me values like teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline and responsibility. Values that would help me deal with failure, setbacks and disappointment, which are life lessons that I needed in the journey toward success. Athletics also gave me the motivation to pursue higher education and to eventually become a teacher, coach, assistant principal and athletic administrator.
“Another key factor in my success as a coach and athletic administrator has been the support of my wife Barbra and my children, Tony and Kelly. A successful coach or athletic administrator often works long hours for the benefit of children other than their own and the solid foundation of a supportive and loving family is essential.
“Lastly, I have been fortunate to have joined outstanding organizations in the field of athletics that have provided tremendous opportunities for me to grow as a coach, official and athletic administrator. I have been involved in organizations like the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association, the Western North Carolina Officials Association, the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Membership in each of these organizations has helped me to grow professionally and to be more successful,” he told the Leader.
Ball was asked what advice he would have for other athletic directors? He said, “I would encourage athletic directors to utilize the many resources available to them to grow professionally and to become a more successful AD. Being an athletic administrator is a tremendously challenging and time consuming job. New Athletic Directors are usually never prepared for all that they are initially faced with. Fortunately, there are many resources, associations and other veteran Athletic Administrators available to provide guidance and support. Athletic Directors should always strive to grow professionally and to be the transformational leader of their athletic programs.”