Third Annual Pastors United Gala and Banquet emphasizes ‘Power in Economics’

April 29, 2016


By The Milwaukee Times staff

The third annual Pastors United Banquet & Gala honored eight community leaders from the Central City and heard a fiery keynote speech on personal finance by Dr. Claud Anderson. The theme for the gala this year held, April 23 at Cardinal Stritch University was: “Power in Economics,” which also happens to be one of the primary objectives for the organization this year. The gala banquet sold all 300 tickets printed.
Blacks will never have true power in America until they own and manage property in substantial numbers, said Anderson. In addition to being the author of four bestselling books, Dr. Anderson is also a community activist, president of PowerNomics Corporation of America Inc., and also president of the Harvest Institute Inc.

He was state coordinator for education for Florida under Gov. Reubin Askew during the 1970s and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter the federal chairman for a commission of governors of southeast states. He also served as assistant secretary in the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. As an entrepreneur he built Maryland’s largest seafood processing facility. He has also owned several radio stations, retail food outlets and a residential construction company.

Dr. Anderson said that America was founded by property owners and that blacks are uniquely positioned within early American history because they were denied the opportunity to accumulate property and therefore political power, because for the first 250 years or so blacks were considered the property of others. Dr. Anderson said that blacks should be proud of their heritage and their ability to survive amid such a hostile environment. Unfortunately those unique historical circumstances blacks endured in America have left them for the most part unfamiliar with the power of property.

In addition to Dr. Anderson there were a number of persons who spoke on various aspects of economic empowerment, including Pastors United President Gregory Lewis who said that the organization has begun accumulating and rehabilitating residential properties in Milwaukee with the objective being “to put our people in a position to buy and own property. We do not have enough of our people in position right now, but we can prepare and put them in position,” he said.

Greater Spring Hill Baptist Church Pastor Danny Washington added additional details of what Pastors United is calling its Faith Builds Milwaukee program to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned residential property.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ Serving Minister to Milwaukee Richard Schwoegler explained that his organization is available to help train church congregations in taking on residential property restoration, an initiative which could not only benefit the neighborhood, but also help the congregation make a small profit. Darvin Moore provided a brief explanation of how Pastors United can assist individuals with restoration of an individual’s credit record.
Pastors United also honored a number of long-time members of the community including pharmacist Dr. Lester Carter, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award for successfully running Milwaukee’s only black-owned pharmacy for more than 40 years.

Bishop Aaron Woods, co-founder of the Action for Christ Church in Milwaukee, received the Faith Award. Apostle Charles Watson received the St. Paul Award for his promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and “promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and imparting tools to combat any force that would come against Christ’s Church.”
Bradley and Laura Thurman were honored for their successful start-up business, Coffee Makes You Black. Sharon and Larry Adams were honored for co-founding the Walnut Way Conservation Corporation with their neighbors in 2000.

Walnut Way aims to improve the quality of life in the Walnut Way neighborhood. Jacqueline Chesser was honored for her successful start-up business, which has retail stores and ships gourmet flavored popcorn. The New Pitts Mortuary President Michelle Pitts was honored for her leadership and success in growing the company. Industry bosses President Mario Dickens was honored for his work hosting the Back to School initiative, which has donated more than 500 book bags in partnership with other Milwaukee area businesses.