Community & Church Events

Guidelines for Submitting your Church/Community Announcements
These are free as long as there are no personal messages and the event is not being charged for (love offerings do not count). Please keep the announcement to one paragraph with who is presenting the event, what the event is, date, time, where it will be held and contact information. Email them to [email protected]. The front office is closed due to COVID-19. We can not take anything over the phone due to company policy.

2024 Upcoming Holiday deadlines: SCRJ will be closed for the 4th of July Thursday, July 4 & Friday, July 5th. Hard deadline is Monday by noon, July 1. We have to go to press a day early that week. SCRJ will be closed for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2 and has a late deadline for Tues., Sept. 3 before noon. SCRJ will be closed for Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11 and has a late deadline for Tues., Nov. 12 before noon. Deadline for Thanksgiving is Friday, Nov. 22. SCRJ will be closed for Thanksgiving week and will reopen Monday, Dec. 2. Santa Letters deadline is Friday, Dec. 6. Deadline for the Christmas ads for the Christmas/Santa Letter Edition 12-18-24 is Friday, Dec. 13. These are special editions that must be sent in early to the printers. New Year’s Edition 12-26-24 & 1-2-25 is Friday, Dec. 19. We have to submit both papers early due to the printing company being closed for the holidays.

Annual Epes Independence Day Parade
Join the fun and fellowship June 29 for the annual Epes Independence Day Parade.

Doodle with Muralist Banks Compton
This event will be open to the public on Community Night June 14 and UWA Student Night June 15, 5-7 p.m. at 104 Main St. A doodle grid is used to scale a small rendering of the mural onto a large wall. Each doodle becomes a landmark to guide the transfer of the rendering to the mural. Open to all skill levels, this temporary activity allows everyone to get involved with the new mural coming to downtown Livingston. Come an be a part of creating something beautiful for our community and learn about the process of mural painting! No artistic experience is needed. Just bring your enthusiasim and creativity. UCS students who have registered for the program will be completing the mural with Banks Compton on June 24-28.

Harvest Ministries
Harvest Ministries, located in Cromwell, will be open on Wed., June 19, 8 a.m. -1 p.m. Free clothes, children clothes, shoes, household items, and much more.

The Gathering of the Lambs
The Good News Club presents “The Gathering of the Lambs” to take place Sat., June 22, at Jaycee Park in Livingston, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Children of all ages are welcome. For more information, contact Leola Washington at [email protected], or call: 205-652-6654.

Are You Smarter Than a Farmer?
The Sumter County Extension Office will host a free educational session, “Are You Smarter Than a Farmer?” facilitated by Ken Kelley, Regional Extension Agent. This session will enlighten participants knowledge on farm and agricultural management on Tuesday, June 25, at 11 a.m. at the Alfa Environment Training Center, UWA Campus 316 Bartram Street, Livingston. Please register by calling 205-652-9501 and to learn more about this program. Share this information with friends and family. We appreciate you in advance for your participation!

Union Chapel C. M. E. Men’s Day Program
You and your church family are cordially invite to come and worship with us, Union Chapel C. M. E. Church, 5277 Sumter 9, Ward, on our Men’s Day Program, on the 2nd Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m. Rev. Christopher Holcombe, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Whitfield, and First Baptist Church Epes, will deliver the message for this occasion. Rev. Holcombe will be accompanied by his church families and choirs. We appreciate you in advance for your support. Rev. Joyce C. McCoy, church pastor. Bro. Clifton Johnson is Men’s Ministry Director and Bro. Douglas Grady is Men’s Ministry President. We are looking forward to see you all.

My Alabama Hometown’ Children’s Art Contest
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The third annual National Homeownership Month art contest sponsored by the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) is open for entries. Held each June, the contest is designed to celebrate the impact and value of homeownership during the national observance. This year’s theme, “My Alabama Hometown,” encourages Alabama children between the ages of 5 and 12 to illustrate why their home and hometown are special. Photos of their entries can be uploaded to from June 1-30. Public voting runs July 1-10 and winners will be announced on July 12. Contest entry is free, and the top three vote-getters will win deluxe art supply sets and Kiwi Crate subscriptions, which deliver monthly craft, STEM, and science activity kits to their homes. Contest details, an entry link and voting information are available at To learn more about AHFA Kids programs and financial literacy, visit

Are You Smarter Than a Farmer?
June 25 at 11 a.m. at Alfa Environmental Training Center, UWA Campus, 316 Battram St., Livingston. Register by calling 205-652-9501. Facilitated by Ken Kelly, Regional Extension Agent in the area of Farm & Agribusiness Management.

Drive Thru Free Food Give’A’way
In collaboration with West Alabama Food Bank, Sumter County Rescue Squad, 1509 E. 4th Ave., Hwy. 11, York, will have a Drive Thru Free Food Give’A’way on Wed., June 12 at 10 a.m. – until gone. ID required. first come, first served. Non-profits working together with elected officials BlackBelt Gospel Ministry, WAC, SCRS, IV VETS, Commissioner Marcus Campbell, Commissioner D. Jones, Commissioner Tommie Armistead.

Sumter County Day
Sumter County Day will be June 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Sumter County Courthouse Square, Livingston. Sponsored by Sumter County Chapter Alabama New South Coalition.

Phyllis D. Pruitt Memorial Library Juneteenth Celebration
Looking for a good book to read or want to help your child/ren improve their reading skills this summer, stop by the Phyllis D. Pruitt Memorial Library, corner Chestnut and Webster St., Gainesville, for Juneteenth Celebration. Bring your child for reading under the tent every Friday during month of June, from 10 a.m.-noon. For more information call Bertha l. Pruitt at 205-652-2923.

City of Livingston Beautification Board Celebrates Freedom
The City of Livingston Beautifucation Board purchased beautiful flags for downtown in honor of Memorial Day and Independence Day. Fly your flags at home and decorate your storefront starting May 20 – July 6.

Juneteenth Dance Camp
Dancer, Choreographer, and Teacher Jayla Gellington will host a Juneteenth themed and inspired dance camp and community performance for 3rd – 12th graders, June 17 – 22, at CCA Elite Dance Studio, York. Participants will learn choreography over a one week period and perform at the Juneteenth Celebration in Demopolis, on Sat., June 22. Dance workshop sessions occur daily from 3 – 6 p.m. Snacks provided. Space is limited. Free registration. Find the registery on the Coleman Center for the Arts Facebook page.

Community Prayer
Community Prayer for the Sumter County area will be held Thurs., June 4, at noon for one hour at the Bored Well next to the Courthouse Square, Livingston. We are asking all residents, businesses, local leaders, pastors, governmental and city officials to join us as we come together as a community to pray.

Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready! RPT will be Blasting Off for a Month of Fun and Adventure
On Mon., June 3, Michal Morris will be there demonstrating the magic of his amazing truck. Come on out to see some fantastic “Engine-nuity” at 10:30. All ages are encouraged to attend. On Tues., June 4, you can experience the joy of rock painting and data collection. This event begins at 1:30 p.m. Every Wednesday is “Wellness Wednesday,” and on the 5th, Mrs. Madoline Thurn will be dishing out “Laughter, the Best Medicine,” at 10:30. You don’t want to miss that! A make and take journal will be presented on Thursday the 6th; and wrap up the week on Friday with the Park Rangers who will be dishing out safety skills for boats, fishing, etc. All of these activities are family oriented and suitable for all ages. See you there. Remember: adventure begings at Ruby Pickens Tartt Library, Livingston. RPT Summer Reading Program will be June 3 through 28. The theme for this year’s event is “There’s Adventure in Your Library.“ Register now on the library’s website, or by coming by the library

Hightower Memorial Library Summer Reading Program
Embark on a journey this summer! Dive into the pages of thrilling tales, explore far-off lands, and meet fascinating characters along the way. Our Hightower Memorial Library Summer Reading Program offers something for every reader. All are invited to join June 1-27. It’s free and fun for all ages 5 and up! All programs and activities for children, teens, and adults are free and include performers, magicians, authors, presenters, book clubs, and more! Earn a prize for reading a minimum of eight books and completing one activity this summer! Summer Reading starts on June 1st and ends June 27th. Completion prizes will be available while supplies last. Registration forms are available at the library. Please come and sign up! Space is limited. Your Humble Librarians: Edna Williams, Glenda James and Glenda Evans.

Union Chapel Vacation Bible School
The Union Chapel Vacation Bible School will be held July 8-10 at Union Chapel C. M. E. Church. Sis. Martinex Bryant is the director of Christian Education and Rev. Joyce McCoy is pastor. Come one, come all. Everyone is welcome from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Empowering Teen Girls: Florida-based Initiative ‘The Greatest Investment’ Summer Camp
In a move to uplift and empower the next generation of strong and confident female leaders, “The Greatest Investment (TGI) Summer Camp,” a 501(c)(3) pioneering initiative created in Orlando, Florida, is set to make its mark in Sumter County, Alabama, this summer. With a mission dedicated to providing support, mentorship, and resources for teenage girls, this initiative aims to catalyze positive change and foster a community of strength and resilience.The inaugural TGI Summer Camp Sumter County is a FREE one-week camp for young ladies of color ages 12-17 in Sumter County. It will be held from July 8 to 12 from 10am-4pm at the old Sumter County High School new gym in York. Applications due May 31 at 11:59 p.m. Led by Jerridine Evans, a Sumter County native and a team of passionate individuals deeply committed to female empowerment, the free camp will focus on leadership workshops, college readiness, mental health initiatives, social skills development, conflict resolution, financial literacy, and career development. The camp will also include community service activities, college tours, and fun excursions.  TGI recognizes the unique challenges teenage girls face today. From navigating social pressures to charting their educational and career paths, young women encounter countless obstacles to self-discovery and fulfillment. TGI recognizes the importance of fostering local partnerships and engaging with the community. The initiative aims to collaborate with schools, business leaders, and local organizations to tailor its programs to the specific needs and aspirations of Sumter County’s teenage girls. For more information about “The Greatest Investment” girls summer camp, how to register, volunteer or donate, please contact Jerridine Evans at 407-860-3414 or via email at [email protected].

Governor Ivey Invites Alabama Students to Join for Her Summer Reading Challenge
Governor Kay Ivey invited Alabama students to join her for her Summer Reading Challenge, encouraging children to include reading in their summer activities. Governor Ivey’s Summer Reading Challenge, May 21- July 31, is open to Alabama students. Whether receiving public, private or home school instruction, rising students in grades K through 8th for the 2024-25 school year are invited to join. To participate, grade-eligible students may write a letter to Governor Ivey, sharing what their preferred summer reading book was and why it was their favorite, whether it be assigned summer reading novels or books of choice. In addition to the written portion of the letter, students must include their name, grade they are entering and school he or she attends. All letters to Governor Ivey should be addressed and mailed to: Governor Kay Ivey, Attn: Governor Ivey’s Summer Reading Challenge, 600 Dexter Ave., Montgomery, AL 36130. At launch of the challenge, Governor Ivey offered her encouragement to students. Parents and teachers, you can even get in on the action by showing Governor Ivey what Alabama’s young learners are reading by sharing to Instagram and tweeting the governor at @GovernorKayIvey, using the hashtags #GKIsReadingChallenge.

Nu Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Coleman Center for the Arts Mental Health Wellness Fair
Fri., May 31, at CCA, 211B Broad St, York, 5-7 p.m., step into a realm of rejuvenation and self-discovery at our Mental Health and Wellness Fair! Join us for a transformative experience designed to nourish your mind, body, and soul. Explore a diverse array of interactive activities tailored to enhance your mental well-being and foster resilience. Engage with community resources offering valuable insights and support. Whether you seek relaxation techniques, stress management strategies, or simply a space to connect with others on a similar journey, our fair offers a welcoming haven for all. Embrace the opportunity to prioritize your mental wellness and embark on a path toward greater balance and vitality. Come, be part of a relaxing opportunity to enhance your mental health and wellness tailored for all ages. We look forward to seeing you.

122nd Church Anniversary Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church
The 122nd Church Anniversary Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, 3216 Mt. Nebo Rd., Lisman, will be June 2, at 2 p.m. Rev. Marvin L. Dixon, Sr., pastor. Guest speaker is Rev. Marcus Lawrence, Sr., pastor of First M. B. Church, of Wahalak, Miss., and Mt. Aratt M. B. Church, Scooba, Miss.

Linden Baptist Church Vacation Bible School
Linden Baptist Church, 100 Abbot St., Linden, Vacation Bible School is June 3-7, 9 a.m.-noon. Parents can register their kids ages 3-4 year olds (must be potty trained,) and K5 – 6th grade online on our Facebook page. VBS T-shirts are available, first come first serve for a small fee. Call the church office if you have any questions 334-295-4278.
Linden Baptist Church Gospel Music May 30
Linden Baptist Church, 100 Abbot St., Linden, will present the Hoppers and Kendricks of Jackson Thurs., May 30 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. A love offering will be recieved. For more information call Mon. – Thurs., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 334-295-4278.

May’s Grow More, Give More Harvest of the Month is Irish Potatoes
Find growing instructions as well as yummy recipes at

Alabama 4-H invites everyone ages 9 to 18 to test their fishing skills through 4-H BIGGEST Catch, a virtual fishing contest! To participate, all you have to do is go fishing in Alabama freshwater anytime between May 24 and June 3. Once you make your catch, measure the fish, take a photo with it, and submit an online contest entry form. Try to catch as many different species as you can to win the biggest variety award. Fish as many public water bodies as possible to win the award for the biggest variety of public water fished. New to this year’s contest, show off your artistic side to win the biggest fish art award. This year, there are four contest categories, with two age divisions in each category (Junior: 9 to 13; Senior: 14 to 18). First, second, and third place will be awarded in both age divisions. Biggest Catch—Catch a big fish in one or more fish categories: bass, sunfish (bream), catfish, and crappie. First, second, and third place will be awarded in each fish category. Biggest Variety of Fish Species—Catch as many different species of bass, sunfish (bream), catfish, and crappie as you can. Size does not matter. Biggest Variety of Public Water—Catch a fish in as many different public water bodies as you can. Size does not matter. Biggest Fish Art—Portray a bass, sunfish (bream), catfish, or crappie in a piece of art. Official Fishing Contest Rules and Information: Participants must submit their official contest entries between May 24 at 8 a.m. CST and June 3 at 8 p.m. CST using the online submission form at entries must include a photograph of the youth’s catch (Figure 1). The photograph must include the youth and their fish, the contest code AL4H24, and the total length (inches) of the fish. This can be written on a piece of paper and held up in the photograph or written on the participant’s hand.Total length of a fish is measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the caudal (tail) fin using a measuring tape or a measuring board (Figure 2 and Figure 3).Only complete entries will be considered.Youth ages 9 to 13 will compete in the Junior division, and youth ages 14 to 18 will compete in the Senior division.Youth must catch and land their own fish without the help of others.Each participant’s catch must be submitted to the correct fish category.Fish must be caught in Alabama waters.Participants must follow all state requirements for fishing license and permits and creel and size limits. Visit for more information on these requirements.Have fun and be safe!

York Day
The annual York Day celebratoin will be June 22. At 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. there will be a basketball tournament, “Rep “Yo Hood” contest, free gameing trailor for kids, and best trail ride group contest. At 1 p.m. – 12 a.m. live band in the downtown square. For more information contact York City Hall.

Community Prayer
Community Prayer for the Sumter County area will be held every 1st Thursday of each month at noon for one hour at the Bored Well, the Courthouse Square, Livingston. We’re asking all residents, businesses, local leaders, pastors, governmental and city officials to join us as we come together as a community to pray. Submitted by Min. Leola Washington, Volunteer Coordinator for NDPTF, Sumter County.

School Events

UA Preview: This Week at The University of Alabama
The Fulbright Program has selected 13 University of Alabama students for various awards for the 2024-2025 academic year. 
Why This Matters: Fulbright is the most prestigious United States international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals. The Fulbright Award of the U.S. Department of State offers one-year grants for independent study and research, and for English teaching assistantships overseas. 
The Buzz About Cicadas 
With billions of cicadas emerging across the nation this summer, Dr. John Abbott, an entomologist and chief curator and director of the department of museum research and collections, provided some interesting facts and dispelled several myths.  
Why This Matters: While their buzz may be annoying, cicadas are harmless creatures.  
First Udall Scholar in 23 Years 
Benjamin Trost, a junior from Tuscaloosa, was among 55 college students from around the nation to receive the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship which identifies future leaders in environmental, tribal public policy and health care fields. 
Why This Matters: The Udall Undergraduate Scholarship honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. The scholarship is highly competitive, with students participating in their schools’ internal competitions before receiving consideration from the Udall Foundation.  

Entrepreneur Resource Groups 
May 21; The EDGE