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African-American sorority sets Founders Day
0109 Pastor Hale
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, who founded and serves as senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, will speak a the celebration. - photo by Photo provided.

The ladies in pink and green, who proudly proclaim their heritage as members of the oldest African-American sorority, are preparing for their annual Founder’s Day celebration.
Members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Nu Rho Omega Chapter Inc. in Hinesville will have this year’s celebration at the First Zion Baptist Church Fellowship Hall at the Crossroads in Riceboro at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. 
Founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American, college-educated women. The public service organization’s goal is to give back to the community and provide assistance through education and training. Sorority members are involved in a variety of ongoing initiatives.
The speaker for the Founders’ Day celebration is national and international leader, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, who founded and serves as senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur. Hale has been in the ministry for 31 years, and Ray of Hope is recognized as one of the fastest-growing churches in the Atlanta area.
A native of Roanoke, Va., Hale has a bachelor’s of arts degree in music from Hollins College in Virginia, a master’s of divinity degree from Duke University and a doctorate of ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. She also holds five honorary doctorate of divinity degrees and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
A prolific writer and speaker, Hale is the author of “I’m a Piece of Work: Sisters Shaped by God.” She also has contributed to many books and publications, including the book “Power in the Pulpit II: How America’s Most Effective Black Preachers Prepare Their Sermons”.
The 700 Club named Ray of Hope church of the week; and the church also was recognized in the book “Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practice” as one of 300 excellent Protestant congregations in America. Ray of Hope has a membership of 5,000, with an average attendance of 1,500 each Sunday morning. 
In 2004, Hale established a mentoring program, Elah Pastoral Ministries, Inc., to assist in the spiritual and practical development of pastors and para-church leaders. She serves as the assistant secretary of the Hampton Ministers’ Conference. Hale was selected by then-Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to give the opening invocation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She read the scripture during the Inaugural Interfaith Prayer Service. Currently, she serves on the president’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
“We are excited and honored to have a spiritual leader of Dr. Hale’s status and reputation come to Liberty County. This year, the local chapter’s program goals are centered on emerging young leaders, health initiatives, global poverty, economical security initiatives, social justice and human rights initiatives,” said Lana Walthour, who serves as president of the local chapter.
For more information about the Founder’s Day celebration, call Walthour at 369-3407.

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