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Tennessee Federation of Colored Women's and Youth Clubs, Inc.
"Liftng As We Climb"


History of Tennessee Federation of Colored Women's Club

Tennessee Federation History
June 06, 2022

In 1905, Mrs. Beulah Bray, a woman of fine character and broad experience, came to Jackson, Tennessee with her husband, Bishop James A Bray who at that time was President of Lane College. Mrs. Bray was in Jackson only a short time, until she began to plan how she could bring about a better civic and social relationship among women of the city. She worked with different groups of various clubs. This association led to a wider expansion of club activities. Soon there was a whole-hearted cooperation of club members anxious to promote her effort. In 1906, in the early fall season, a group of clubwomen met on Lane College Campus to talk of a State organization. Not long after this initial meeting, a second meeting was held in the home of Mrs. Bray. In this meeting, the Tennessee Federation of Colored Women’s Club was born. Mrs. Beulah Bray was elected President.

Other charter members were: Mrs. May E. Lane, wife of Bishop Isaac Lane; Mrs. Mary J. Lane wife of the former President of Lane College; Mrs. Mamie Cain, Lizzie Robinson, Lula Neely, Mattie Lane, Janie Edwards, Lena Trimble, Phyllis Saunders, Fred Wilkins, and Bessye Merry.

Today the Tennessee Federation of Colored Women’s and Youth Clubs, Inc. has 48 active adult members with six clubs located in Nashville, Jackson, Humboldt, and Covington two of which are Young Adult Clubs. 1995 Mrs. Hazel Frierson, organized (WOE), The Frankie J Pierce Chapter on the campus of Tennessee State University with 66 members.(LIFE)The Ella Sheppard Moore Ladies Intellectually Fulfilling Excellence our second young adults club on the campus of Fisk University was organized in 2016 has 18 members.

In 2016 under the leadership of State President Shelia Barlow and Charlotte Harwell Covington Teen Empowerment Youth Club (TEN) was organized with 14 members. Tennessee Federation gives a $750 scholarship yearly to a deserving high school senior. Athenian Literary & Arts Club in Jackson, Tennessee gives a Scholarship each year to a deserving student at Lane College. Humboldt City Federation gives a Dorothy Sherron Scholarship each year to a deserving senior. The Jackson City Federation gives a Vivian Bell Scholarship each year to a deserving senior. The federation has other clubs who buy shoes and clothing for needy children through school counselors and the Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center. Women of Empowerment on the campus of TSU participates in Relay for Life Walks, Seminars, Youth Lock Ins, Feeding the Homeless, STD/HIV Awareness, Voters Registration and many other activities. The Tennessee Federation Clubs across the state are very active in their communities and churches.

We are always recruiting and looking for new members and to add new clubs. Ms. Faye Thomas, a member of the Jackson City Federation and Semper Fidelis Council Club designed The Tennessee Federation of Colored Women’s and Youth Clubs, Inc. Website website went up officially in May of 2008. In April of 2009 the Federation published its first Tennessee Federation of Colored Women’s and Youth Clubs Inc., Cookbook and our State Scholarship was increased from $500 to $700. The cookbook, website and increase of Scholarship Funds were all accomplished under the leadership of State President Erma J. Johnson of Jackson, Tennessee. In October 2009 Tennessee Club sisters Travel to Columbia Tennessee and after a very successful meeting with a group of women from Columbia Tennessee the Columbia club made a commitment to become an active club again of the Tennessee Federation. In July 2010 club sister Joy Stephenson of the Covington/Tipton County Federation designed the Tennessee Federation Facebook Page.

In 2007 the Tennessee Federation of Colored Women presented its first Club Sister of the Year Award. 2007 – Mrs. Lydia Glanton Nashville, Tennessee Golden Hour Bible Study Club 2008 - John Etta Hayes Nashville, Tennessee College View/Good Will Club 2009 - Mrs. Helen Harris Jackson, Tennessee a founding club sister of Semper Fidelis Council 2010 - Mrs. Mable Beatrice Davis Jackson, Tennessee Semper Fidelis Council Club 2011 - Mrs. Mary Mills Nashville Tennessee Golden Hour Bible Study Club 2012 – Mrs. Dorothy Douglass Jackson, Tennessee Semper Fidelis Council Club 2013 – Mrs. Lydia Hunt Jackson, Tennessee Athenian Literary and Arts Club 2014 – Ms. Organie Herron Humboldt, Tennessee Loyal Friendship Club 2018 – Mona Hayes Franklin, Tennessee Golden Hour Bible Study Hour 2019 – Erma J. Johnson Jackson, Tennessee Semper Fidelis Council 2022 – Dorothy Johnson Nashville, Tennessee Golden Hour Bible Study Club

On August 14, 2010 the Jackson City Federation had its first Vivian Bell Memorial Scholarship Luncheon and in 2011 gave its first $500 Vivian Bell Memorial Scholarship to Maya Olivia Lake. In 2010 the Humboldt City Federation held its first Scholarship Banquet honoring there late Humboldt city president Dorothy Sherron.

Tennessee Federation won first place in scrapbook competition, third place in the umbrella parade, and first place for the state with the most new members in 2010, at the Southeastern Regional Convention in Greensboro North Carolina. In 2011 the Tennessee Federation took in 14 new members. On Sunday April 22, 2012 Alpha Arts and Civic Club Covington, Tennessee held its Founders Day. On Sunday June 3, 2012, The Jackson Sun Newspaper ran a full page and half story in the Sunday edition about the Jackson City Federation hosting the Tennessee Federation of Colored Women and Youth Clubs Inc. 104th State Convention. On Tuesday June 05, 2012, President Erma Johnson, along with club sister Dorothy Douglass and Kendra Bufford went on a live TV talk show, Six in The City to discuss the 104th State Convention and the Federation of Colored Women and its objectives.

On June 9, 2012 at our 104th State Convention Prayer Breakfast our 19th President Erma Johnson installed all new officers to serve a 2-year term for 2012-2014. Shelia Barlow became our 20th State President. The Tennessee Federation won 2nd place for new memberships and 1st place in the scrapbook competition at the 116th Anniversary and 58 Biennial Convention in 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa.

In 2013, at the Regional Convention, the Tennessee Federation received the Membership Recruitment Award for the most members added. President Shelia Barlow won the Presidents’ March. Under the leader of President Shelia Barlow the scholarship was raised from $700 to $750. Humboldt City Federation held its first official Founder’s Day in 2013 at Saint James Baptist Church. At our 2014 State Convention we held our first Purse Auction which was a total Success. In September of 2014, College View Club and Goodwill Club merged with Golden Hour Bible Study Club under the leadership of Mary Mills.

In June 11, 2016 at our 108th Annual Convention our 20th President Shelia Barlow installed all new officers and our 21th President Reva Fisher of Jackson, Tennessee. Nashville City Federation held its first Founder’s Day on April 8, 2017 at First Baptist Capitol Hill. Club sisters Edna Barnett, Carlin Walker, Sandra Lark, Erma Johnson, Shelia Barlow and State President Reva Fisher travel to Nashville to share in their first Founder’s Day Program. Former state president Shelia Barlow was the keynote speaker.

In 2017 at the Southeastern Regional 51st Biennial and 88th Anniversary Convention in Birmingham Alabama Tennessee 21st President Reva Fisher won the President March. In June 2018 in Covington, Tennessee Reva Fisher our 21st President installed our 22nd President Shelia Barlow and officers. Golden Hour Bible Study Club of Franklin, Tennessee celebrated its 98th anniversary on May 21, 2019. At the 2019 52nd Biennial 89th Anniversary Regional Convention Tennessee for the first time in many years Charlotte Harwell Tennessee Youth Supervisor took 9 Youth to the Convention who won several awards. We also had 10 adults to attend the Regional Convention. Tennessee left the convention with 3 regional officers Sandra Lark Secretary, Erma Johnson Treasurer and Phillis Barlow Member-At-Large and Kala McCall president of LIFE young adult chapter at Fisk University accepted 4th Vice President at our Regional Executive Board meeting in Atlanta Georgia. Our president Shelia Barlow won the first place in Regional Umbrella and Hat March. On November 23, 2019 NACWC had 29 young ladies Women of Knowledge & Excellence (WOKE)who were inducted and officially became members of The National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs Inc. at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Induction service was officiated by NACWC National President Andrea Brooks-Smith. Tennessee Federation Financial Secretary Erma J. Johnson 1st Vice President Edna Barnett, Young Adult Supervisor Eleanor Bass and Women of Empowerment Tennessee State University Chapter Young Adult president Olivia Bohanon. On Sunday March 8, 2020 the Jackson City Federation had a very successful interest group meeting with the young ladies on the campus of Lane College. Jackson City President Lonette Cobb was excited with the prospect of finally getting a NACWC chapter started at Lane College. Tennessee Federation had 2 new adult clubs and Young adult club to join the federation in 2019. The Federation now has 7 Adult Clubs 3 Young Adults and 1 Youth club.

In March of 2020 COVID-19 virus took many lives and many events had to be cancel due to the Virus. The 2020 State Convention and the Vivian Bell Scholarship Luncheon, Semper Fidelis Rainbow Tea, Golden Hours Founders Day Program all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

The 2021 State Convention was a Virtual Convention due to COVID-19 with 29 Adults, 6 Young Adults and 2 Youths in attendance making a total of 37 for first virtual convention our workshop speaker Lynn Henning spoke on Financial Planning for the future which was helpful to the young and old. President Shelia Barlow decided that due to COVID-19 all the club presidents had worked so hard trying to keep everything together and going that all the Club Presidents would be the Club Sisters of the Year for 2021. For the 2021 President March we had 2 Queens Shelia Barlow from Covington, Tennessee and Orangie Herron Humboldt, Tennessee both ladies turned in $250.00 each for the President March. The state convention will be in Jackson, Tennessee in 2022 and in Humboldt, Tennessee in 2023 Nashville, Tennessee 2024 and in Covington, Tennessee in 2025. The new slate of officers for 2021-2023 are Phllis Barlow, President, Shelia Barlow 1st Vice President, Lonette Cobb 2nd Vice President, Brionna Tolbert, 3rd Vice President, Edna Barnett, Secretary, Sandra Lark, Asst Secretary, Ella Abbott, Financial Secretary, Erma Johnson, Treasurer, Clara L. Ferguson, Chaplin, Mona Hayes Statistician, Pearlette Green, Historian. Our TECH TEAM for 2021 Virtual Convention was Brionna Tolbert and Sonia Hordge from LIFE at Fisk University Blake Allen from WOE Tennessee State University these young ladies were Awesome and did a Great job!!! The Tennessee Federation is looking forward to 2021 and 2022 to great year for the State of Tennessee. The 2021 Scholarship went to Taylor Ja’Marvinal Harris a graduate from Madison Academic Magnet High School Jackson, Tennessee who will be attending UT Martin this Fall.

On Sunday May 22, 2022, Nashville, Tennessee inducted a new adult club Nashville Economically Empowered Women the Induction Ceremony was conducted by NACWC President Andera Brooks-Smith, NACWC 2nd Vice President Opal Bacon, Southeastern Regional President, Laura Jamerson and Southeastern Region Young Adult Coordinator Erma J Johnson. The club was organized and founded by Dr. Katherine Y. Brown and Sydney Y. E. Brown. Charter members of the club are Dr. Stacey Floyd Thomas, Traci Gochett, Shay Gresham Howard, Monchiere Holmes-Jones, Dr. Tamika Hudson, Sylvia Johnson, Brittany Paschall, Kisha Davis, and Dr. Donna Goodrich. Tennessee Federation held its 114th State Convention on June 4, 2022, Virtual TECH TEAM was Blake Allen Women of Empowerment TSU and Brionna Tolbert Ladies Intellectually Fulfilling Excellence Fisk University and Erma J Johnson Semper Fidelis Council. Our 114th State Convention had 29 Adults, 9 Young Adults and 9 Youth in attendance. The Federation 2022 Club Sister of the Year was Mrs. Dorothy Johnson of Golden Hour Bible Study Nashville,Tennessee Edna Barnett of Athenian Literary and Arts Club Jackson, Tennessee was presented the President Award, Erma J Johnson of Semper Fidelis Council Jackson, Tennessee was presented the sister, of the Year Appreciation Award. The 2022 Tennessee Federation Scholarship went to Sidney Alexandria Ivory from Covington, High School with a 3.82 grade point average. Our 2023 convention will be held in Jackson, Tennessee 2024 Convention Humboldt, Tennessee 2025 Convention Covington, Tennessee and the 2026 Convention will be in Nashville, Tennessee.

Youth State Supervisors

*Ms. Nan Deadrick – Nashville, Tennessee
*Mrs. Mary L. Robinson – Memphis, Tennessee
*Mrs. Gladys L. Davis – Jackson, Tennessee
*Mrs. Florence Taylor – Nashville, Tennessee
Mrs. Macie Pryor – Nashville, Tennessee
Ms. Ursula Smith – Nashville, Tennessee
Ms. Joy Stephenson – Covington, Tennessee
Mrs. Vivian Holloway – Humboldt, Tennessee
Mrs. Mary Luster Boyle – Jackson, Tennessee
Ms.Charlotte Harwell – Covington, Tennessee

Tennessee Presidents - Deceased*

Mrs. Beulah Bray Jackson, Tennessee *
Mrs. Nannie Whiteman Memphis, Tennessee *
Mrs. Mary J. Lane Jackson, Tennessee *
Mrs. Florence Cooper Memphis, Tennessee *
Mrs. Florence McDade Knoxville Tennessee *
Mrs. Annie L. Brown Memphis, Tennessee *
Mrs. J. Frankie Pierce Nashville, Tennessee *
Mrs. Cora B. Robinson Chattanooga, Tennessee
Mrs. Alice J. Coleman Pulaski, Tennessee*
Mrs. Lydia Glanton Murfreesboro, Tennessee *
Mrs. Jennie B. Vance Humboldt, Tennessee *
Mrs. Vivian Bell Jackson, Tennessee*
Mrs. Marion Robinson Nashville, Tennessee *
Mrs. Pearl Bryant Nashville, Tennessee *
Mrs. Olga Baskerville Humboldt, Tennessee*
Mrs. Amanda Gordon Murfreesboro, Tennessee *
Mrs. Darlene Anderson Nashville, Tennessee*
Mrs. Phillis Barlow Covington, Tennessee
Ms. Erma J. Johnson Jackson, Tennessee
Mrs. Shelia Barlow Covington, Tennessee
Mrs. Reva Fisher Jackson, Tennessee
Mrs. Shelia Barlow Covington, Tennessee
Mrs. Phillis Barlow Covington, Tennessee