North Carolina Newspapers

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Volume 32 No. 15
$1.00
Cliarlotteilosit
The Voice of the Black Community
newsmaker of the year I rev. claude alexander
Also serving C i -
if.
' Prf
PHOTO/PAUL WILLIAMS II
ri IW I VVILLtMIVO nl
The Rev. Claude Alexander leads worship at University Park Baptist Church’s Beatties Ford Road campus. Last month, the church closed
a deal to acquire the Charlotte Merchandise Mart (below) as headquarters of the 8,000-member congregation.
Rev. Claude Alexander
Age; 42
Born: Waterloo, Iowa.
Occupation: Senior pastor
' The Park Ministries
Education: Bachelor's,
Morehouse College,
Atlanta; master’s Pittsburgh
Theological Seminary:
doctorate, Gordon-,
Conwell Theological
Seminary.
Family; Wife, Kimberly,
daughters Camryn and
Carsyn.
Reaching out
through faith
The Rev. Claude Alexander leads evolution of
The Park Ministry as spiritual and community force
By Erica Singleton
FOR THE CHARLOTTE POST
What a difference a year
makes.
If you’d asked Univa^ity
Park Baptist Church pastor
Eev- Claude Alexander Jr. in
2005 if he thought the con
gregation would be moving
to the Charlotte
Merchandise Mart, he would
have told you no chance.
Yet, in 2006, that is exactly
what is happening.
“Doing the due diligence,
continuing to see the poten
tial of the site, findii^ the
right partner,” said
Alexander, “aU of that hap
pened wilhin lhat year.”
In an unprecedented $11.5
million deal, the church, led
by Alexander, acquired the
529,000 square foot facility
fin November in order to
expand the 8,000 member
congregation into what will
be referred to as The Park.”
This “was the year of work
ing throu^ the beginning of
a vision,” said Alexander. ‘Tt
was the yeai' of first steps. It
was the year of seeing God
move in unusual and unex
pected ways.”
For AlexandCT, the
Merchandise Mart deal was
more than a real estate
transaction for the ministry;
It represented another chap
ter in University Park’s out
reach locally and interna
tionally
‘In 2006 the church itself
was involved in so many dif
ferent things,” said
Alexander.
The church sent missionar
ies to Kenya, Malawi, South
Afiica, and Brazil. It hosted
gospel music concerts with
artists hke Yolanda Adams,
John. P. Kee, Donald
Lawrence and a fluid raiser
to aid the victims of
Hiuricane Katrina.
University Park also
offered HIV testing and
Hepatitis C screenings in
conjiuiction with Roche Labs,
a partnership they hope to
Please see MINISTRY’S/7A
PHOTO/CUFITIS WILSON
Family fare highlights
New Year’s celebration
By Shari Tillman
FOR THE CHARLOTTE POST
Charlotte Center City Partners
is holdup its third annual Noon
Year’s Eve celebration Dec. 31.
Noon Year’s is a celebration for
families who want to celebrate
the New Year in a safe environ
ment. Children of aU ages can
join in on the fiui by enjoying fi^
live music, fixxi and ice skating at
the Wachovia Plaza, 310 South
Tbyon 1-4 p.m.
Tbyon Street will be blocked off
between 2nd and 3rd to give chil
dren plenty of room to enjoy the
fun. According to Moira Quinn,
senior vice president of communi
cations of Charlotte Center City
Partners, the WBT Holiday in
the City Ice Rink will be open at
The Green, located next to the
“We encourage families to
encompass The Green and the
wonderful ice skating rink,” said
Quinn. “It will aU be family fun.”
Performers at Noon Year’s will
include singing group sensation
Myxx, the Danger Rangers,
Seemore Gtoodstuff and
Charlotte’s Hunter Jumper fium
Radio Disney and the Disney
Pun Squad. But the main event
3 NEW YEAR’S/2A
PHOTO/CUFTTIS WILSON
ICE-CAPADES Basia Collins lends a hand to Mia Johnson during a
skate at the Green in Center City last week. The rink is growing in
popularity as a winter attraction uptown.
PHOTO/CALVIN FERGUSON
James Brown, photographed at a 2001
concert in Charlotte.
‘Godfadiei'
changed
more than
the music
James Brown created
undeniable legacy with
funky flair for dramatic
By Winfred B. Cross
FOR THE CHARLOTTE POST
James Brown’s legacy as a singer, song
writer, producer, dancer and band leader
was set decades before his death Christmas
day, yet there is at least a generation that
doesn’t know about his influence on current
music.
Many may only remember the jail sentence
in the late ‘90s, the much publicized police
chase in South Carolina and drug and
domestic violence charges.
That would be a shame if true. Brown’s
musical influence runs through decades and
genres like a rain-soaked river.
Hip-hop certainly owes “Soul Brother
No.l” a great deal. When it and rap was a
fledgling culture. Brown’s seminal hits were
sampled and became the basis for new
recordings by Public Enemy LL Cool J and
others that sold miUions. It took lawsuits to
get Brown and other artists such as Geoig’e
Clinton paid, but that didn’t stop him fium
being embraced by a generation tiiat knew of
him only throu^ its parents old 45 records.
Please s
3 MUSIC/2A
theboX
NEWS, NOTES & TRENDS
Panel: Boost
juvenile age
in sentencing
By Sommer Brokaw
THE TRIANGLE TRIBUNE
Faith-
based
books help
feed body
and
soul/SB
DURHAM - “I was 14 and my broth
er 17, when he got a Class H felony
conviction for drug possession that he
would have to carry with him the rest
of his hfe,” said Charmaine Fuller,
assistant director of the Carolina
Justice Policy Center.
Puller told the personal situation to
shed li^t on her argument that the
' juveifile sentencing age for adult con
victions shoxold be increased fium 16
to 18.
FuUer made the presentation at a
Dec. 15 limcheon hosted by the
3 see ACTIVISTS/3A
SOME HELP, PLEASE
Carolina Panthers
need a win and
outside assists to
make the NFL
playoffs/1 C
CLASS IS IN
Disney’s “Fligh
School Musical” is
an energetic
romp for entire
family /IB
Technological advances help
imfjrove energy efficiency for
homes./6D
LlfelB
Religion 5B
Sports 1C
A&E1D
Classified 3D
INSIDE
To subscribe, call (704) 376-0496 or FAX (704) 342-2160.© 2006 The Charlotte Post Publishing Co.
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