Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Mt. Olive COGIC Annual Reunion Honors Founder

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L to R: Brenda Carter McDonald with 103 year old husband
Major McDonald (photo courtesy of Elmetra Patterson)
The Mt. Olive Annual Reunion was held Saturday, August 31, 2019, with over 150 guests present. The Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ and community have gathered for a fun filled celebration for over 30 years on Labor Day weekend. It was started by Major ‘Jewel’ McDonald who will celebrate 104 years of age on November 1, 2019. 

Mr. McDonald was born November 1, 1915 in Winston County. He moved to Cleveland, OH in 1941 for employment opportunities. He worked for the Kroger Company until his retirement. He moved back to Louisville, MS in 1982. He has spent his retirement years fishing catching mostly croppies from the Tombigbee River. Mr. McDonald is from a family whose members have longevity. He had three sisters who lived to be 100 years old. The oldest one, Georgia is still living at 104 years of age. When asked what he gives credit for his longevity, he stated, “Not because of my goodness but the goodness of the Lord.” He later stated that he presently spends most of his time on the couch under the air conditioner. He had 4 children with one son deceased. He had his youngest son, Bryant, when he was in his 80s with his present wife Brenda.

The story is told that Mr. Major McDonald one day decided to share the ‘horn of plenty fish’ that he caught one year. He loved to fish and had caught too many for his family. He told his pastor that he wanted the church to have a fish fry and he would provide all of the fish, if members would provide the side dishes. He continued to supply the fish for this annual event – except this year he had to purchase some of it because of his health. People come from miles away to attend – as far as Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Cleveland, OH, Little Rock, AR, Memphis, TN, Gary IN, Markum, IL and from many cities in Mississippi. A few complained about the many bones in the fish, however, there was a niece of Mr. McDonald’s from Little Rock, Jeanie, who willingly taught a few how to eat the fish with a fork without getting any bones in the mix. Dr. Regina Eichelberger Boyd took quite an interest in the lesson yet decided to take her fish home to eat it in peace without distraction. There were brim, blue gill, catfish and croppies. Also, they had pulled pork from wild hog which was a hit as well as BBQ pork ribs and fried chicken wings. Many delicious cakes and pies were available: caramel, pound, pineapple, chocolate and sweet potato pies as well as, potato salads, baked beans and spaghetti. The Sims men, Fred, Leonard and Gene assured that the gathering had plenty watermelons. They know exactly when to plant them to have them ripe for the Labor Day Weekend. This community consists of: Carters, Cistrunks, Clarks Colemans, Colters, Eichelbergers, Glenns, Hulls, Jernigans, McDonalds, McQueens, Robersons, Sherrods, Sims, Swanigans, and Tripletts.

This writer has attended this event for 7 years and don’t intend to miss any. There is always plenty of food, fun and the children have a wonderful time playing ball and racing for the candy from the piƱata. This is the only event that I have attended where you can eat all you want and nobody complains. There is food to take home for many. Roy D. Eichelberger and Brenda McDonald fried most of the fish and chicken.

Stay tuned for the birthday celebration for Mr. McDonald near November in this news media.

The pastor of Mt. Olive Church of God In Christ is Rev. Freddie Plair, Sr.

Submitted by: Elmetra Patterson

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Major McDonald with 2 of his children, Jackie McDonald of Oakwood Village, OH
and Barbara Aaron of Cleveland, OH(photo courtesy of Elmetra Patterson)

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Major McDonald with his family including daughters, nieces and nephews (photo courtesy of Elmetra Patterson)

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Members of Class of 1964 Louisville Colored High School: L to R: Mary Coleman, Quincy Sims Elmore, 
Fred Sims, Gloria Spiva and Elmetra Patterson (photo courtesy of Elmetra Patterson)

Submitted by: Elmetra Patterson