St. Louis, Mo, Politicians, pastors, and local celebrities attended the Ecumenical Leadership Council of Missouri 2016 Black Tie Ball on Friday July 15th, at the New Northside Conference Center. Among those in attendance were newly appointed Circuit Judge Paula Bryant, Urban League President Michael McMillan, Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards, Attorney Dana Walker, Attorney Melvin Smith, Dr. Marilyn Maxwell, Celeste Metcalf, Dr. Doris Graham, Abe Pruett & wife Sparkle, Judge Calea Stovall-Reid, Carlita Vasser, Chief Sherman George & wife, McFarland Duncan, John “Big John” Flakes, Associate Pastor Julius Johnson of Bethesda Temple, and almost 300 more guests, including Roy Temple, Chairman of the State Democratic Party. Professor LaRhonda Wilson served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.Politicians attending the Black Tie Ball included Mayor Everette Thomas (Northwoods), Mayor V J Murphy (Cool Valley), Mayor Nathaniel Griffin (Wellston), Mayor Michelle DeShay (Moline Acres), Rep. Sharon Pace, and others. Candidates included Judy Baker (Treasurer), Jake Zimmerman (Attorney General), and Robin Smith (Secretary of State). Other candidates that could not attend, such as Russ Carnahan, had representatives present. A special presentation was presented in honor of Ida Goodwin Woolfolk by her older sister, Irene.
Missouri Supreme Court Justice, George W. Draper lll, provided the keynote speech which was well received by the audience. He was accompanied by his wife,Judge Judy Draper. Additional speeches were presented by Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, president of the St. Louis chapter of the Ecumenical Leadership Council,Bishop Mark Tolbert, the president of the Kansas City chapter, Rev. Adrian Hendricks ll, president of the Central Missouri chapter, and Attorneys Wesley Bell and Tim Smith. Partial proceeds benefitted St. Louis Transitional Hope House.
The Ecumenical Leadership Council of Missouri has established chapters in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Central and Southeast Missouri, with the goal of harnessing the influence of hundreds of African American churches to advance the interests of Missouri’s African American population.