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Program recognizes local ‘dreamers’

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech in 1963 posed an ongoing challenge to make the world a better place, and five people have been recognized for such efforts by a local organization.

Pastor Daryl E. Beamer Sr. was named the winner of the 2020 Dreamer Award during a recent program of the Mount Airy/Surry County Branch of the National Association of University Women.

In addition, four youths were recipients of Young Dreamer awards at the 15th-annual event hosted by Mount Airy Museum of Regional History as part of local activities held in conjunction with MLK Day. It had the theme “In the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Surry Countians Continuing the Dream.”

They include Jasmine Snow, Maya Hughes, Myles Payne and Jalen Chavis.

The Dreamer Award received by the Rev. Beamer was bestowed for his longtime service in the ministry and his special efforts to unite people of all races, according to Cheryl “Yellow Fawn” Scott. She is the charter president of the local university women group and an organizer of the MLK event.

“He always tries to level the playing field and instill hope,” Scott said of Beamer, whom she added has perpetuated King’s philosophy in terms of using peaceful and thoughtful approaches to instigate change.

An example of this is the motto of the church he serves, Bethany Baptist in Woodlawn, Virginia: “The church where everybody is somebody.”

“That has been his life,” Scott said of how Beamer is an embodiment of practicing what is preached at Bethany, where he’s worked for six years.

“Everybody has a purpose,” she said of the church’s viewpoint, “and he certainly takes pride in its multi-racial congregation.”

Beamer was born in Galax, Virginia, to Bishop William Beamer and Gaye Beamer, but spent most of his time in Mount Airy. That included graduating from Mount Airy High School and later attending Forsyth Technical College in Winston-Salem.

The Dreamer Award recipient joined the ministry in 1997 and was ordained in 2004.

In addition to the church at Woodlawn, Beamer has held other roles in Virginia. This included pastoring Taylor’s Chapel Church in Fries for more than eight years and serving as minister of music for First Baptist Church in Pulaski for 11 years, where he also was associate minister.

Beamer additionally has been an ambassador of goodwill away from the pulpit, according to Scott, including serving with the Hope for the City Committee. It was formed in February 2017 by Mount Airy Mayor David Rowe to improve race relations locally, providing another avenue through which Beamer has sought to bridge gaps with understanding and communication.

“He has led a really extraordinary life,” Scott said of Beamer.

In making the decision to give the 2020 Dreamer Award to him, she said National Association of University Women members did not know about a tendency of Beamer’s as an undergraduate to always choose Martin Luther King as someone he admired most.

“That was interesting to us,” Scott said in light of the pastor’s selection for the honor named for King.

“We thought there was no one who could better represent the legacy of Martin Luther King here who can inspire and lead other people by his example.”

Young Dreamers

Youths awarded by the NAUW are selected for achievements that can be academic, artistic or simply the way they live — showing compassion, hope and excellence of any kind.

Scott said those who were recognized have distinguished themselves despite their age:

• Jasmine Snow, 6, is in the first grade and already has demonstrated a capacity to help others. She is reading on the third-grade level and using that ability to aid fellow students with their reading.

• Jalen Chavis started his spiritual life early at Shiloh Baptist Church, where he not only attended services but immediately asked about how he could be of service to the congregation and its mission. “He takes what he learns there out to the world,” Scott said.

• Myles Payne is enrolled in a dual-language immersion program and plays basketball, along with being active at Kings Mountain View Progressive Primitive Baptist Church.

• While just a fifth-grader, Maya Hughes — who also is part of the Kings Mountain View Progressive Primitive Baptist family — has built a reputation as a peacekeeper, according to Scott. She is a member of the Cheer Extreme Allstars cheerleading group.

“Even though they are young, they are all making a mark,” Scott said of the four students.

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Recipients of Young Dreamer awards, from left, Jasmine Snow, Maya Hughes, Myles Payne and Jalen Chavis, are pictured with the Rev. Thomas Williams Jr.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/web1_Dream-this.jpgRecipients of Young Dreamer awards, from left, Jasmine Snow, Maya Hughes, Myles Payne and Jalen Chavis, are pictured with the Rev. Thomas Williams Jr.

Pastor Daryl Beamer, the winner of the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamer of the Year Award, is shown with National Association of University Women members, from left, Debra Jessup, Adreann Belle and President Marie Nicholson; and back, from left, Roxanne Beamer, the recipient’s wife; Carolyn Watkins; and Betty France.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/web1_Dream-this-2.jpgPastor Daryl Beamer, the winner of the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamer of the Year Award, is shown with National Association of University Women members, from left, Debra Jessup, Adreann Belle and President Marie Nicholson; and back, from left, Roxanne Beamer, the recipient’s wife; Carolyn Watkins; and Betty France.

By Tom Joyce

tjoyce@mtairynews.com

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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