The Hoke County Public Library honored nine men last week for their many years of contributions to the community by inducting them as the 2019 Meritorious Men of Hoke.
This year’s class of honorees includes businessmen, church pastors, educators, and others who have given back
(See MERITORIOUS, page 5)
to Hoke County through their work and volunteer endeavors. Those recognized during a special ceremony last Thursday include: the Rev. Al Anderson, Dr. Adell Baldwin Jr., the Rev. Bruce Hurst, Bruce Jacobs, Kent Locklear, James Maxwell Jr., Clifford Overby Jr., Anthony Oxendine and Rick Sandy.
The recipients and special guests enjoyed a reception at the library following the ceremony. The library provided biographies about each of the 2019 Meritorious Men of Hoke, and this month will host a display of their photos.
Rev. Al Anderson
The Rev. Al Anderson was born to parents Irene Huey and Jimmy McIntosh, Sr. of Raeford. He grew up in Long Branch, New Jersey with his mother and stepfather, the late Rev. Fredrick D. Anderson.
“Al…learned something very important by observing his stepfather’s Christian walk. He learned that ‘the best leaders are born from good servants,’” his biography stated.
Anderson graduated from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania in 2008 with a doctorate in theology. Anderson has served as a church pastor for many years, including as an associate pastor for Mount Zion Baptist Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He returned to Raeford in 2011 and currently serves as pastor of the Deliverance Temple of Christ Church where, with his congregation, he has initiated a prison ministry for Scotland Correctional Institute. He created and operates the Open Door Soup Kitchen, which offers free meals five days a week for people in need in Hoke County.
“The driving force and often the main laborer when the soup kitchen started up in 2015, he cooked and fed 20 hot meals per day from the small cottage kitchen. Now he functions as project chairman, managing two kitchens, a clothing closet, extra feeding sites, a meal delivery van, and the distribution of 7,000 to 8,000 pounds of food per month,” his biography stated.
Among his many other volunteer efforts in the community, Anderson serves as a community representative for the Hoke County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, as vice chairman of the Hoke County Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center and as chairman of the local nonprofit Community Outreach Advocates.
Regionally, he serves in the capacity of chaplain for FirstHealth of the Carolinas and as the Hoke Representative of Sandhill Community Advocates.
Dr. Adell Baldwin Jr.
Dr. Adell Baldwin Jr. was born the youngest of three sons to parents Lula and Adell Baldwin Sr. Born and raised in the Arabia community, Baldwin participated in many sports while attending Hoke County schools. He graduated from Hoke High with the Class of 1987. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in physical education from UNC-Pembroke in 1992 and returned to school to earn a doctoral degree from Wingate University in 2015. Baldwin married his high school sweetheart, Leslie McLean, and together they have three sons: Brandon, Justin and Nicholas.
“The role models he looked up to during those high school years instilled in him a spirit of volunteerism. So following in their footsteps, Adell began to invest in the youth of his community, the same way someone invested in him,” his biography said.
Baldwin coached different athletic programs through Hoke County’s Parks and Recreation Department and also worked with local church groups. He created the Youth Outreach Mentoring Program, and additionally serves as the pastor of Helpers Hand Ministry. He previously served as director of the Hoke County Schools Career and Technical Education program. Today, he is principal of Hoke County High School.
Rev. Bruce Cornelius Hurst
The Rev. Bruce Cornelius Hurst is the second of seven children born to James and Betty McCall-Hurst. He was born and raised in Hoke County and graduated from Hoke High with the Class of 1974. He played football and baseball while a student. He went on to attend Mt. Olive College and St. Augustine’s University, where he earned an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree respectively. He returned home to Raeford and became an adult education instructor at the Hoke Center of Sandhills Community College.
“He really loved his job of being able to assist so many adults in their effort to earn a high school diploma. Bruce often went the extra mile to make sure they succeeded. Sometimes that meant giving students a ride to and from class or assisting them financially. He felt it was more than a job, Bruce felt it was a calling,” his biography stated.
He felt called to ministry in December 1990 and preached his first sermon at Silver Grove Missionary Baptist Church in March 1991. He enrolled in Duke University’s theological seminary and after completing the program, accepted a pastoral position at Miles Chapel in Mebane. He was also working as manager of vocational options of Hoke County, providing support to people with disabilities, mental illness or substance abuse problems.
“Bruce was determined to establish trust between himself, his staff, the clients and their families. He was convinced that serving their needs outside the facility was as important as serving their in-house needs. Bruce advocates for the holistic approach with his clients, addressing their needs socially, as well as mentally. He has implemented local jobs, field trips, birthday celebrations, even proms, to make their lives better,” his biography stated.
In 2006 Hurst became pastor of Leach Springs Missionary Church, where he continues serving today. He also volunteers and serves the community through mentoring programs for students in schools, and by partnering with others to provide food, clothes, school supplies, tutoring and even burial services for disadvantaged families.
Hurst and his wife, Camille D. Hurst, have one son, Jeremiah.
Bruce Jacobs is the third of four children born to parents Willie and Pandora Jacobs, lifelong residents of the Duffie Community in Hoke County. Jacobs graduated from Hoke High School with the Class of 1986 and went on to earn degrees in electrical engineering from DeVry Institute and textile technology from North Carolina State University.
Jacobs worked for many years for Charlotte-based textile company Ulster Incorporated, where he was tasked with installed computers in Ulster facilities around the world. He also performed computer repair and taught employee classes in computer technology.
In 2006, Jacobs went into business when he opened a chain of Hwy 55 restaurants in Pembroke and Lumberton. He returned home to Raeford in 2008 and opened Hwy 55.
“Since that time, his philosophy has been ‘know your neighbors, and help your neighbors.’ Bruce’s restaurants are popular because the food is great and the atmosphere
is fun,” his biography stated. “Yet, it is his reputation of being a good neighbor and a community supporter that wins him faithful customers, community loyalty and a great deal of recognition.”
Jacobs has previously received the Hoke Native American Scholarship Award, the Relay for Life Outstanding Supporter Award, the Raeford Cruisers Award and the Lumber River Boy Scout Sponsor Award among other honors. He has two daughters, Kyonna and Mallory.
Kent Curtis Locklear
Kent Curtis Locklear was born the first of four children to parents Curtis and Carol Jean Locklear. Born and raised in the Tylertown community, Locklear attended Hoke County schools and graduated from Hoke High with the Class of 1983. He went on to earn a degree in X-ray technology from Sandhills Community College. However, his career went in a different direction when he began working with Burlington Industries in Raeford.
“Although the work he has encountered since his career began is completely different from the course work he studied, in school, Kent has never regretted his choice to go in a different direction,” his biography stated.
After 13 years with the company, Locklear began working with Bryan Honda in Fayetteville.
“Kent soon realized he had found his niche. He finally understood that he is a people person. He enjoys working with the public on a daily basis and meeting people from all walks of life,” his biography stated.
Today Locklear is general manager of Lumberton Honda where he creates jobs by employing staff members and helping customers get into working vehicles. He recently earned his certification through the National Automobile Dealers Associational Training Course.
Locklear volunteers with Hoke County Parks and Recreation, coaching football and volleyball teams. Locklear and his wife, Amber, are parents to daughters Katelyn and Brianne and sons Graham and Forrest, and have one grandchild. The family attends Mt. Elim Baptist Church where Locklear serves as Sunday school superintendent, worship leader, choir director and finance committee chair.
James Maxwell Jr.
James Maxwell Jr. was born the first of three children to parents Jim and Sarah Ellen Maxwell of the Lumber Bridge community. His family moved to Dundarrach when he was nine. He attended Hoke County schools and graduated from Hoke High with the Class of 1971. He completed further education at Sandhills Community College in 1973 then went on to graduate from North Carolina State University in 1975.
“With the downhome lessons of growing up on a farm and a diploma from an agricultural university like North Carolina State, it’s not surprising that Jimmy tried his hand at farming early on,” his biography stated.
Maxwell went to work at Tarheel Turkey Hatchery in 1986 and remained with the company until 2009. The following year he joined the team at Butterball Inc. where he still works today.
Maxwell has invested decades of service with many local organizations including Hoke Soil and Water Conservation, Farm Bureau, Hoke County Band Boosters, Athletic Club Boosters and the North Carolina Turkey Festival. He served in many roles with Stonewall Volunteer Fire Department, from field volunteer to assistant chief, until his retirement in 2009. He also served as fire service instructor through the community college system.
“He has heard the words ‘thank you’ countless times during his service, and all of them were appreciated. Yet, one ‘thank you’ will always stand out in his mind,” his biography stated. “In a restaurant, Jimmy was approached by a lady he had helped some years earlier in a terrible roadway accident. She reminded him of the accident and thanked him again, saying she would never forget his face or his voice, because it was his face and his words of encouragement that gave her the hope and the strength to hold on to life.”
Maxwell and his wife, Marvin Lynn, and their daughter Leslie attend Lumber Bridge Presbyterian Church. As a lifelong member there, Maxwell has served in several different capacities. He was Sunday school superintendent for three years and served as clerk of session and corporation secretary for a combined 16 years. He was ordained as a deacon in 1976 and later became an elder of the church in 1998.
Clifford Overby Jr.
Clifford Overby Jr. was born in Fayetteville to parents Thelma Blanton and Clifford Overby Sr. He was a member of the first graduating class of New Pine Forest Senior High School in 1973. Overby went on to attend Fayetteville Technical Institute where he earned his ASE Certification in Automotive Technology. Using his training he gained a position as a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the PAN AM facility at Fort Bragg where he advanced his career and mastered mechanical skills. Overby later returned to school and earned a degree in business administration from Methodist College in 1983.
“Shortly thereafter he joined a medical consortium for whom he moved around, growing physical therapy centers: designing them, staffing them, and managing them until maturity,” his biography stated. “Cliff functioned as the face of Village Physical Therapy for six years until he joined AOL’s internet business as an online beta tester.”
Overby met his future wife, Stephanie Amspoker, in an online chatroom in the early 1990s. The couple met face to face when Overby came to West Virginia to provide technical support for the Sternwheel Regata Festival. The two married in 1995 shortly after Stephanie’s parents retired to the Pinehurst area.
Overby moved to Raeford in 1996 and the couple started Friendly Reminders, Inc. in their garage. As the business grew, it became well known for its expertise in signage and specialized graphics. Signs created by the business can be found throughout Raeford and surrounding areas. Overby joined the Hoke County Chamber of Commerce and went on to volunteer as a member of the board of directors for three years. He and his wife became active members of the Raeford Lions Club, and Overby also served on the Habitat for Humanity board of directors for several years.
“During his short time here, Cliff’s involvement in this community has ranged from building homes for the homeless to running for Hoke County Commissioner. His appreciation and concern for this community is quite evident from his actions,” his biography stated.
The Overbys’ children are two Weimaraner dogs, five-year-old Beatrix and 11-year-old Murphy.
Anthony Oxendine was born the first of six children to parents Louis and Frances Oxendine, now deceased. Born and raised in Robeson County, he came to be called “Pete” by his family.
“A member of a farming family, hard work was something he learned about at a very early age. Anthony was about six years old when he was introduced to his own set of chores around the farm,” his biography stated.
His family moved to Hoke County in 1958 where he attended Hawk Eye School until integration took place. He went on to graduate from Hoke County High School with the Class of 1970 and attended UNC-Pembroke, known at the time as Pembroke State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He and his wife Pauline Goins are parents of daughter Chocajuana and son Anthony Louis; they have one grandson, Kyran.
Oxendine worked for many years with the House of Raeford before joining the finance department of Hoke County local government. He has a long history of volunteering in the community.
“Even as a young man in the 1970s, Anthony promoted county unity while serving first as secretary then as vice president of the Native American Chapter of Hoke County Jaycees. In the years following desegregation this group worked to promote county unity, instead of racial division,” his biography stated.
Oxendine served on the Hoke County Board of Health, the Hoke County Zoning Board and most recently on the Literacy Council Board of Directors. He has served as a volunteer firefighter with Station 8 of the Antioch Fire Department for 25 years.
The family has attended South Hoke Baptist Church for many years, where Oxendine serves as a deacon, Bible class instructor, vacation Bible school teacher and a member of the choir.
Rick Sandy was born in Virginia to parents Les and Mildred Sandy. His family moved back to Hoke County, the place where his father grew up, when he was five years old. Sandy attended Hoke County schools and graduated from Hoke High with the Class of 1974. His student years were during the time period of school desegregation, his biography said.
“The students of that time frame learned much more about their classmates than the color of their skin. They learned to look beyond the different colors to see the humanity of each individual,” his biography stated. “…The best preparation he could have had for an insurance agent in Hoke County was to learn to accept others as they are, and to deal with them fairly.”
After attending Wilson Tech, he returned to Hoke County and was hired at the local Farm Bureau Insurance Agency. Sandy worked at Farm Bureau for 34 years before retiring last year. In those 34 years, his biography stated, he became “not only one of the most successful insurance agents in this area, he is also one of the most well-known, well-respected individuals within the county. He has this reputation due to the fair and respectable way he deals with everyone he encounters.”
Over the years, Sandy has been an active member of the community volunteering with many local organizations. He has served with the Raeford-Hoke Chamber of Commerce, including serving as president, the FirstHealth Hoke Hospital board, the Relay for Life committee and the teacher advisory board.
“He has been an honest community leader, whose presence in Hoke County has left a positive impact,” his biography said.
Sandy and his wife, Kathy, have one daughter, Lindsay, and son-in-law Russell; and three grandchildren, Chris, Channing and Eisley.