Prestigious Award Given During Toast of the Town

On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, two prominent doctors of Spartanburg, SC, Julian C. Josey, M.D. and James D. Bearden, M.D., were honored during The Salvation Army of Spartanburg’s annual Toast of the Town benefit event.

The night began with jubilant music being played by The Salvation Army Divisional band as people slowly filled the room. People, hugged, greeted, and made their way to their tables, as soldiers dressed in blue proudly served as ushers.  The theme of service continued throughout the night.  

The program began honoring the life and legacy of Mr. Jack Rhodehamel; a man who was dedicated to the mission of The Salvation Army and the development of what is now known as the Corps Community Center.  Under his leadership, membership at the center increased to over 1,200 with an average of 232 per day. For 36 years Jack impacted the lives of the youth, serving as the Executive Director of the community center. Yet, he continued to be a part of the youth’s lives at the community center until the day of his passing.  In fact, he even impacted the life of a young man who was honored with a youth service award.

Quinton Ferguson was awarded the Youth Leadership & Service award.  Quinton truly has a heart of service. Among the Youth Leadership and Service award, Quinton has been blessed to receive the Jack Rhodehamel Award and the NSC Billy Graham Evangelism Award. When Quinton approached the mic it was clear that God’s glory was upon him. He lifted his head and first gave glory to God, he then thanked The Salvation Army and its staff, and finally he wrapped up his speech with a unique sacrifice. He briefly talked about the heart of a servant, and brought everyone to their feet as he finalized by offering his award back to Christ. Such touching and wise words flowed from his heart. It is clear to see that every day, we have an opportunity to invest into the lives of others. We as Salvationist have an opportunity to touch and impact the lives of those around us. Quinton gently reminded everyone of their duty to serve.

Next, the two doctors were honored for their gift of service throughout their lives. Corps Officer Donnie Marvels explained why the doctors were chosen to be honored at the annual event. “Dr. Josey and Dr. Bearden were chosen because of their dedication to Spartanburg and to service. Although they often humbly decline praise and accolade, their tireless work speaks volumes of the good they continue to produce throughout the community,” stated Captain Donnie Marvels, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army of Spartanburg. “Their combined passion and commitment has led to the development of a nationally recognized, award-winning cancer program at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. They are the epitome of the results that yield from passion, hard work, and perseverance.”

As they were honored, Colonel Brad Bailey approached the microphone to make a special presentation. After 21 years of tradition, The Salvation Army of Spartanburg broke its long standing tradition in a remarkable way. On that night, Colonel Brad Bailey surprised both doctors by presenting the prestigious William Booth Award.  The William Booth Award is given to deserving individuals for outstanding service to the community through the donation of time, talents and energy, as well as dedication to The Salvation Army’s goal of service.  This has marked the very first time that the award has ever been given during the annual Toast of the Town event.