Forty years is a long time to serve others.
Retired Elder Henry Frasier of Walthourville has given 40 years of ministry and community service to help make this world a better place.
On March 16, family and friends gathered at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hinesville to express appreciation to Frasier and his wife of 56 years, Leary Frasier.
Despite humble beginnings, Frasier has accomplished many notable things. Prior to becoming the presiding elder of the West Savannah District, where he served for eight years, Frasier served as pastor of Bethel AME for 22 years and spent 28 years as a pastor. In 1997, he was elected pastor of year by the Sixth Episcopal District of the AME Church.
The elder also served on the board of trustees for 10 years and board of examiners for 12 years for the West Savannah District. He was one of the founding members of the Liberty County MLK committee and Liberty County United Ministerial Alliance, which he served as president for 10 years. Elder Frasier was the president of the Liberty County Emancipation Proclamation committee for 15 years.
For eight years, he served as the mayor of Walthourville and as a councilman for Walthourville for nine years. Currently, he is a member of the Eleven Black Men committee, the Liberty Consolidated Planning and Zoning Committee and a lifetime NAACP member. He serves as chairman of the Advisory Council of the Area Agency on Aging, Fraser Counseling Center Support Board, and advisor to the Walthourville Senior Citizens.
During the 1960s, he attended various meetings with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Andrew Young at the Dorchester Center in Midway. In 2009, he was grand marshal of the Liberty County MLK parade.
At the celebration, speaker after speaker detailed what Mr. and Mrs. Frasier had taught them and how they have served as positive role models. Pastor Richie Williams, pastor of Bethel AME, and Mary Cormier, Elder Frasier’s sister, served as presiding officials.
Speakers included Elder James Taylor, who is the current presiding elder of the West Savannah District Georgia Conference, and his wife, Sherry Taylor, Pastor Kevin L. Betton of Temple of Praise Ministries; Pastor John Morse of Pleasant Grove AME Church; Pastor Glenda Layton of St. James AME; Pastor Alvin Jackson of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and Liberty County MLK president; Pastor Hermon Scott of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church and Liberty County Emancipation Proclamation president; Pastor C.L. Anderson of Good Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church and Walthouville councilman; Pastor Earnest Williams of Mt. Zion AME; Tanya Pridgen, president of the Mary Singleton Women Missionary Society at Bethel; Sherry Fraser Sommerville of Fraser Counseling Center; and Liberty County Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones.
“He taught me how to be a community person,” Jackson said. “He wasn’t trying to make a name for himself; he taught me how to serve.”
Both Jackson and Layton said Frasier supported them when they performed their first funerals.
“They don’t care where they sit; they will continue to give service,” Morse said. “Elder Frasier is like a GPS. He knows where to tell you where to go.”
Sommerville thanked the Frasiers for their support of the Fraser Counseling Center.
Sister Frasier is known throughout Liberty County and the 6th Episcopal District for her singing and cooking skills. Various speakers talked about her delicious meals and cakes and of being given vegetables from their garden.
Sister Frasier is a member of the Ministers’ Spouses Widows/Widowers Organization Plus Preacher’s Kids (MSWWPK) and the WMS. She was also voted as woman missionary of the year by the Sixth Episcopal District.
“In 1986, my son was killed, and we were not members of any church,” Pastor Earnest Williams said. “I reached out to Pastor Frasier, who was the pastor of Bethel at the time, and he and the Bethel family allowed my family to have my son’s funeral at Bethel. Since that time, he has been an influential part of my life,”
The Frasiers are the parents of 10 children, 27 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. “Children are an investment. They are like the stock market; it goes up and down, but eventually you will get a return on your investment,” Elder Frasier said.