representative Calvin Smyre attended church Sunday morning, not knowing he was going to
be honored. He's
attended services at Greater Ward Chapel in Columbus for 60 years, but this one may be the
The congregation surprised him by dedicating the service to him and celebrating his 40 year public service to the Columbus community.
great feeling," says Smyre. "It's great to be honored especially by your own
Some of Smyre' most notable accomplishments are authoring the legislation making Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday a state holiday, becoming the first African-American from Georgia elected to the Democratic National Committee, and was
instrumental in the construction of the Columbus Rivercenter.
"We at Greater Ward Chapel are so proud to have him as a member of our church and not
just a member on the role, but an active supporter member," says Reverend Conitras M. Houston Moore, the senior pastor at Greater Ward Chapel.
Congressman Sanford Bishop, Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson, and other public officials were in attendance. State representative Al Williams came all the way from Savannah to be the guest-speaker and honor his friend.
Smyre was awarded the church's Heart of Community Award. He was
the founding honoree of the award, and the church plans on honoring someone in the community for their public service every year.
based this model on what representative Smyre stands for, a heart for the
community, an active heart for the community. Not just a speaker, but a doer,"
he hopes others will be encouraged to give to their community.
there's an opportunity for everyone because everybody can serve. I just would
ask everybody to give something back to the community and try to make Columbus better to live and work," says Smyre.
elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1974. Smyre represents District 135, which includes west and south Columbus. He is also the Executive Vice President of Corporate External Affairs at Synovus.