Diane Monts celebrated her birthday on July 12.

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Protecting elders from abuse means paying attention to warning signs.

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Bruce Allen Deriso, Sr.
Oct. 10, 1972 – June 22, 2017

“Gone Too Soon”

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‘RHOA’ reportedly threatens to fire Kenya Moore over new husband.

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Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors wins the 2017 NBA Championship against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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June 2017

Vol. XX No. 5

History Fact:

A half century after Congress banned importation of slaves, Clotilde lands in Mobile, Alabama as last recorded slave ship docking in U.S.; Africans aboard are freed and found Africatown, July, 8 1860.

Choates Destroys Sumter County Schools

Dr. Torrance Choates Sumter Schools Superintendent

Sumter County Board of Education building

Staff Reports

“The Sumter County School System is in deep trouble with Superintendent Torrance Choates. He has run off several good teachers and principals with a large number of job vacancies”, says Dr Marshall, Americus Sumter Observer (ASO) publisher. It was report ed in the October 2016 issue of the ASO what the citizens and educators said about how bad Choates was as a superintendent in Newton, GA. Choates, who was a principal in Pelham, GA and non-renewal of his contract led him to Thomasville, GA as an assistant principal. It was reported that he later moved to Newton, GA (Baker County) and was made principal and school superintendent. Citizens and informants in Baker County reported some very discouraging and anti-Black behavior by Choates. Allegedly, he clashed with Black parents and frequently called the police on them. There was a protest march by the Black community because of Choates’ treatment of Black parents, students and staff

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Kelvin Pless: A Favorite Son of Americus, GA

Staff Reports

“In 1986, at Campbell Chapel AME Church in Americus, GA there was a celebration in a packed house with a huge choir, band, and some of the best music at the Gospel Workshop of Americus. I was new to Americus, GA and happened to attend such a lively and spiritual event in this little town,” says Dr John Marshall, publisher of the Americus Sumter Observer. We never had a grand celebration in my hometown of Savannah, GA; so I was amazed to see a community come together and rocked the house. Thanks to Kelvin Pless, we have enjoyed over 30 years of such celebrations in Americus. Pless has been very active in our community since his childhood. He was raised in Allen Chapel AME church and has served in many capacities. He has an extensive resume over the years and because of his dedication to our community, we are naming him the Observer’s “Favorite Son of Americus, GA for 2017.

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Georgia Hospital Crisis

By Bryan Long, Better Georgia

The Senate health care bill, or Trumpcare, would force more Georgia hospitals to close their doors to communities that desperately need them. Lives will be lost. The health care bill would slash Medicaid and leave almost a million Georgians uninsured. Uninsured patients put financial pressure on our rural hospitals, causing them to close and inevitably leading to more deaths when Georgia patients are unable to find effective, timely and nearby health care. As of April, seven hospitals in rural Georgia have closed in the past four years.

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Christian Community Calendar

  • MOUNT SALEM BAPTIST CHURCH (Rev. W. R. Campbell), Americus

    • Sunday, July 23rd (11 am): Annual Mission Program
    • The guest speaker for the Annual Mission Program is Minister Sarah Dice of Zion Hope Baptist Church. Everyone is invited to attend all events.
  • CAMPBELL CHAPELAME CHURCH (Rev. Dr. John F. Williams), Americus

    • Tuesday, July 11th – Thursday, July 13th (7 pm): Summer Youth Revival
    • Sunday, July 16th (2 pm): Annual Youth Day Celebration Program Church families are invited to join in celebrating the Summer Youth Revival. The theme is “Catch on Fire for Jesus.” The event will climax on Sunday.
  • NEW BEGINNINGS OUTREACH MINISTRY (Apostle John Lundy), Americus

    • Saturdays: Building on God’s Foundation
    • Apostle John Keith Lundy is currently building on God’s foundation by remodeling God’s house located on 2nd Montgomery Street. Members and friends meet on Saturdays to work on the project. If you are interested in supporting the effort, contact Apostle Lundy or Prophetess Phyllis Lundy at 229-942-4120 for more information.
  • NEW UNION GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH (Rev. Mathis Wright), Americus

    • Sunday, July 16th – Friday, July 21st (Various times): Revival Services
    • Revival services will be held at 5 pm on Sunday evening and at 7:30 pm nightly Monday through Friday. The public is invited to attend.
  • One ARK Apostolic Outreach Ministries (Dr. Adrienne Beach-Duncan), Montezuma

    • Saturday, August 26th (10 am): Conference
    • Dr. Beach-Duncan, Founder and Host, of One ARK Ministries, presents the “Courage in the Face of Adversity” Encouragement & Empowerment Conference. Speakers include Bishop Jeray Randall and Co-Pastor Cynthia Johnson. The event will be held at the Preston Williams Center located at 708 Vienna Road in Montezuma. Pre-registration is required. Please call or text 478-316-0275 or email

    • Monday, June 5th – Friday, July 21st (7:30 am – 6:00 pm): Transformation Summer Camp
    • Camp began on Monday, June 5th, and continues through July 21st for boys and girls ages 10 to 15 years. Camp hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. Please call Ms. Eddye Coley at 229-924-0421 for more information.

We welcome the opportunity to highlight upcoming Christian community events. Please submit your local ministry events for February, March, and April to