Cooper holds up key to city

Enterprise Mayor William Cooper, left, holds up the symbolic “key to the city” that he presented to Dr. Henry H. Terry during Sunday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration event held in Enterprise. The event is hosted by the Community Awareness Organization of Enterprise, which Dr. Terry founded 35 years ago. Mayor Cooper also read a proclamation during the event in which he said the City of Enterprise had proclaimed Sunday,  Jan. 15, 2023, as Dr. Henry H. Terry Day for the city. Terry is pictured in the center reacting to the special honors bestowed by Mayor Cooper.

The Community Awareness Organization of Enterprise, Alabama hosted its 2023 celebration Sunday afternoon, Jan. 15, honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and special recognition was given to an Elba native during the program.

Dr. Henry H. Terry received a surprise recognition during the program when a special tribute honoring him took center stage. Terry was the founder 35 years ago of the Community Awareness Program in Enterprise. His inspiration was to initiate the first celebration in Enterprise honoring Dr. King.

That local program still goes strong today. 

Dr. Terry also was the founder of the King Mass Choir, which continues to perform each year during the Community Awareness Organization’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event.

Henry Terry was born in Elba, Alabama. He was the youngest of seven children born to the late Annie Jo Terry. A 1982 graduate of Elba High School, he later earned his Bachelor’s degree in music and Master’s degree in music education from Alabama State University. He also earned the Education Specialist degree and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in music education from Auburn University.

In 1990, Dr. Terry was hired to teach piano and music theory at George Washington Carver High School’s Creative and Performing Arts Center in Montgomery, Ala. He later was named the school’s choral director.

After 33 years of teaching, Dr. Terry continues to use music to inspire student to reach their goals and realize that dreams are the result of hard work and perseverance.

Not only did the Community Awareness Organization honor its founder during last Sunday’s event, but the City of Enterprise did so as well when Mayor William Cooper presented a city proclamation to Terry recognizing Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, as Dr. Henry H. Terry Day in Enterprise. Further, he presented Dr. Terry with a symbolic “key to the city” – which Mayor Cooper said might not unlock any doors, but it would unlock the hearts to the people of Enterprise.

A very gracious Dr. Terry thanked the Community Awareness Organization and the City of Enterprise for such a special honor.

Following the academic excellence awards portion of the program, those in attendance for the event enjoyed more music selections from the King Mass Choir, and the special guest speaker for the event was Archbishop Carl McComb, minister of the Daleville Christian Fellowship Worship Center.

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