The Rev. Henry Henderson (Editorial

The Rev. Henry Henderson will soon mark 50 years as minister of Washington Street Baptist Church in the town of Bedford.

Thumbs up to Ricky Kowalewski, who’s about to take over as the manager of the Lynchburg Community Market in just over two weeks.

He’ll be taking over from Jennifer Kennedy, who’s served as market manager since October 2010; Kowalewski, on the other hand, has been in his current position of assistant community market manager since just last June. Kennedy is leaving Lynchburg and moving to Wilmington, N.C.

Lynchburg Community Market, located downtown at Main and 12th streets, is one of the oldest such establishments in the country, in operation since 1783. Its shops, restaurants and local-produce vendors are a tradition in the Hill City, especially on Saturday mornings.

Kowalewski has extensive experience in the food industry, including serving as program coordinator for Bloomfield Development Corp. in the Pittsburgh area which operated a large farmer’s market.

Kudos on the promotion, and we look forward to what new and exciting innovations are in store for the Community market.

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Thumbs up to the Rev. Henry Henderson, minister of Washington Street Baptist Church, on the occasion of his 50th anniversary as the minister of the Bedford church.

Henderson and his wife Helen moved to Bedford to assume the church’s pulpit in July 1969. He was right out of seminary in South Carolina and the call from Washington Street Baptist was his first chance to serve a church of his own. After visiting the church earlier that summer, church leaders decided he was the person they wanted in their pulpit fulltime. Henderson is Washington Street’s 21st minister, but with 50 years under his belt, his tenure represents a third of the church’s 150 years in existence.

Founded just after the Civil War ground to a halt, Washington Street has been an anchor in the black community of Bedford. The church was on the frontlines of the civil rights movement, providing meeting space to the local NAACP and other organizations.

Under Henderson’s leadership, the church continues to play a vital role in the community. As for retirement, Henderson, 77, says it’s not even on his mind. Good thing, because we don’t know what Bedford would be like without him.

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