Texarkana, U.S.A. – Monday, July 28, 2014
By: Greg Bischof – Texarkana Gazette
Generations of historic school’s alumni gather for reunion
Henri Nell Hodge-Williams could hardly contain her spiritual zest as she spoke during the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School’s National Alumni Association’s 18th annual All-School Reunion’s worship service Sunday.
“I thank God for all of you here today and I thank God for His anointing and appointing because we’ve got to be connected to God in order for all things to work together for the good of us all,” Williams, a 1969 graduate of Dunbar High School in Texarkana, Texas,, said. “There is nothing too hard for God.”
Williams, who spoke before more than 200 gathered Dunbar High School graduates representing at least three of four generations of students, urge her audience not to allow Satan to keep replaying for them their past mistakes in life.
“Don’t look back on all the ‘would of, could of and should of’ days, because you are connected to God” she said. “God knew what he was doing with your life from the very first of time. Your GPS ( Global Positioning Satellite) is the word of God and the word of God never needs to be re-programmed.”
Williams, who ministers the Texas-side’s House of Refuge Church, said that Dan Haskins, a 1948 graduate of Dunbar, serves as a great example of the a Dunbar graduate.
For his part, Haskins said he was overwhelmed by number of generations of graduates seated inside the Dunbar Early Education Center’s gymnasium (which was the second location of Texarkana’s Dunbar High School. It closed in 1984 and eventually re-opened as Dunbar Elementary School and later on as the early education center it is today for Head Start and pre-kindergarten students.)“When Dan became my school principle, he showed me how to become a woman of grace and work with all races,” she said.
“The Bible said Jesus wept, so I guess I can be excused as I do the same,” he said. “There’s is a spiritual song we all know that says ‘when we all get together what a time that will be’ and the song is sure right about that. And if I didn’t mention it, TISD ( Texarkana Independent School District) is family. By working together anything is possible and we have cultivated a great relationship and I’m very excited about the next time we get together for this reunion in 2016.”
As a 1956 graduate, Ethel Jones thanked TISD Superintendent Paul Norton for having the district pay for the school’s archival restoration.
Jones also thanked Texarkana Museum Systems curator Jamie Simmons for her assistance in archival collection and preservation.
“I can’t think of a better way to refer to this reunion then to call this a re-dedication,” she said.