2018-08-15 / Society

Jakin community celebrates 40th reunion


Rev. Jeremiah Ford and Mrs. Roxie Davis Rev. Jeremiah Ford and Mrs. Roxie Davis The Jakin Community celebrated their 40th Jakin Georgia Family Reunion July 26 - 29 in Dothan.

Many Jakin family members migrated to the North in search of better vocational opportunities. Those who remained went from sharecroppers to landowners, tradesmen, cattlemen, farmers, educators, businessmen, lawyers, etc.

Today, the Jakin community extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The reunion brought many of Jakin community together again.

A Thursday meet and greet kicked off the four day reunion at The Hilton Garden Inn.

A banquet followed Friday, July 27 at the Westgate Park, with approximately 350 in attendance. The speaker for the banquet was Jennifer Hunter, attorney at law, who is a graduate of Early County High. Entertainment for the evening included the Blakely Mass Choir, a praise dance by Ryan Ford, a poem by Dr. Shirley Hardin, a memorial service, and special presentations to Anna Hilliard (founder and president of the Jakin Georgia Family Reunion), Roxie Davis, John Hunter Jr., Henry Mills, Genie Mills, Betty Mills and Freddie Speight (who have been local JGFR committee members since its origin in 1978).


Anna L. Hilliard Anna L. Hilliard Approximately 25 persons born and reared in Jakin, now 80 years and above, were recognized at the family gathering Saturday at Westgate Park. Several reunion participants were 90+, including Rev. Jeremiah Ford, uncle of JGFR founder/president of Anna Hilliard.

Sunday was the climax of the reunion with Sunday school and worship services at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Jakin with Rev. Alvetta Butler and music by Crystal Tolbert and LaChandra Burgess. One of the old spiritual songs that was led by Crystal.

Anna Hilliard is the youngest of four children born to the late Anna M. Hilliard and Lewis Hilliard Sr. of Jakin. Every 10 years, since 1978, the reunion has been hosted by the Jakin Reunion Committee. The reunion is hosted every two years in other states. The 2020 reunion will be held in Detroit, Mich..

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