The Rev. Shelvin Jerome Hall, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, 5200 W. Jackson, preached his final sermon this passed Sunday, ending a pastoralship that spanned more than 50 years. Hall, 90, has been a fixture on the West Side for many years, including working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other southern and Chicago ministers during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Hall was also instrumental in helping the West Side survive the aftermath of 1968 riots following the assassination of Dr. King. Hall became pastor of Friendship Church in 1955. Married to his wife Lucy, 88, the couple had three children. Daughters L. Priscilla Hall, a Justice of New York State’s Supreme Court, and Justice Shelvin Hall, of the Cook County Appellate Court, are the nation’s first African-American sister judges.

King memorial breaks ground

On Monday, the groundbreaking ceremony took place in Washington, D.C. for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Spearheaded by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the memorial is planned for completion by 2008.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by such notables as: Dr. Dorothy Height, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Oprah Winfrey, Tavis Smiley, Country singing group The Judds, ABC anchorwoman Diane Sawyer, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, poet Maya Angelou, U.S. Congo. and civil rights activist John Lewis, singer Gladys Knight, and former Ambassador Andrew Young. Also attending were Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice, President George Bush and Dr. King’s children.

This will be the first time a African American will be honored at the National Mall.

60 Minutes’ Ed Bradley,
R&B singer Gerald Levert dies

Last Thursday, Nov. 9, the world lost revered broadcast journalist Ed Bradley, who died of complications from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was 65 years old. At the time of his death, Bradley was a correspondent for 60 Minutes, a job he held since joining the program in 1981.

The very next day, Friday, Nov. 11, R&B singer Gerald Levert died of a heart attack. Levert, son of Eddie Levert of the legendary O’Jays musical group, was 40. Actor Jack Palance also died last Friday at age 87. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Palance reached a new height of fame with his role in City Slickers (1991), which won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Hatch honored for
civic leadership

The Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch, pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church on the West Side, was honored Wednesday for his work in the community. Hatch received The Weston Howland Jr. Award for Civic Leadership from the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service from Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Hatch, an ordained minister since 1985, is also co-convener of the African American Christian Relief Network, and national director of religious affairs for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.