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VOL. 11 | NO. 28 | Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pastor Dr. James Netters Sr. Receives Spirit of ALSAC Award

Updated 5:46PM
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ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has awarded its annual Spirit of ALSAC award to Dr. James LaVirt Netters Sr., pastor emeritus at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood.

Dr. James Netters accepts the Spirit of ALSAC Award from Rick Shadyac in Memphis, Tenn. on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital)

The organization bestows the award on St. Jude friends and advocates who have provided significant support to ALSAC in the areas of inspiration, fundraising or awareness efforts.

Netters has served his congregation for more than 61 years. Before becoming pastor emeritus in May, he served as the congregation’s senior pastor.

Netters expressed his appreciation for the honor, adding, “On behalf of my fellow Memphians, we thank everyone associated with this world-class institution for the critical role it plays in helping children and families around the world overcome childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

Netters, a native of Aliceville, Alabama, received his B.A. from LeMoyne-Owen College in 1963 and taught in Memphis City Schools. He became active in the civil rights movement; he was on stage as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech and was arrested, with six others, during bus sit-in demonstrations the following year.

A few years later, Netters, Rev. J.O. Patterson and Fred Davis were elected the Memphis City Council’s first black council members.

The sanitation workers strike began during Netters’ first year as councilman; he was instrumental in working out an agreement to end the strike.

“It is such a privilege for us to present Dr. Netters with the Spirit of ALSAC Award, especially during the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s untimely passing here in Memphis,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC. “When Danny Thomas founded ALSAC in 1957, he vowed the organization would be dedicated to the parable of the Good Samaritan, and we are honoring Dr. Netters because he is the embodiment of loving and caring for our neighbors regardless of color or creed – his lasting legacy of courage and servant leadership inspire us daily to continue raising the funds and awareness necessary to support the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

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