1st graduating class of EHS in G'ville ends reunion at Upper Room Ministries on Sunday

Voleer Thomas

Classmates of the first graduating class from Eastside High School ended their 50th anniversary graduation reunion with a church service Sunday at Upper Room Ministries in northeast Gainesville.

“We want to thank the class of 1973 for 50 years,” said Shepherdess Pearlie Shelton, senior pastor at Upper Room Ministries at 3575 NE 15th St., whose sister Marsha Brewton was a member of the EHS class of 1973 . 

The service included praise and worship led by Raheem Herbert of Upper Room Ministries. 

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EHS class of 1973 member Anthony Johnson spent a few moments talking about how God was by students' side during the transition from Lincoln High School to Eastside High School in 1970.

“As I look at the reunion and notice bandmates and teammates, it makes me proud that the Lord was with us,” Johnson said. “When we have God’s blessing, you can do anything. That’s the perspective I look at it. During the transition from Lincoln High School to Eastside High School, God was with us.”

Shirley Satcher, chairperson of the reunion, thanked her classmates for attending the three-day weekend reunion and for spending time with their peers during the last day of the reunion at church.

“I’m so blessed, grateful and honored by our class,” Satcher said. “After 50 years, we came together and I’m glad because of that. When I come to the house of the Lord, I’d like to have a good time. Cherish the moment of life and know who God is.”

She encouraged her classmates to continue reading the word of God and stand by the community.

“If you didn’t do it right yesterday, you can do it right today,” Satcher said. “It’s not always about material things. You can lend a helping hand. He blesses us so much. We sometimes forget how much he blesses us. The price has been paid. No matter what it looks like — we have the victory.”

Trumpeter Alonzo Young, a member of the EHS class of 1973, performed during the service. Young was one of the first band members at Eastside and was taught under the leadership of its first band director, the legendary Richard E. Parker.

Young sang “God Has Not Forsaken You,” and performed a trumpet solo.

“After going through what we went through, I thought God left us, but he never leaves us,” Young said. “Those of you that are alone or feel like you are a nobody, I want you to know that God has not forsaken you.”

Superintendent Karl Anderson, senior pastor of Upper Room Ministries, thanked the class for choosing Upper Room Ministries to conclude its 50th reunion celebration.

“Thank you for all you’ve done for us,” Anderson said. “I’m so happy they decided to worship here with us today.”

The title of his sermon was “After 50,” and he used Acts 2: 42-47 as the text for his sermon.

Anderson said that even though the class completed a great accomplishment for staying together for 50 years, they must continue trailblazing the path for those who are coming behind them.

“It’s important that we are there for one another,” Anderson said. “Prayer changes things. It may not look good, but if you pray, he can turn it around.”

Anderson said when you see someone in need, lend a helping hand.

“We’re better together,” Anderson said. “God can’t bless you with a closed fist. When there’s someone in need, please be there for them.”

Classmates of the first graduating class of Eastside High School -the class of 1973- end their 50th graduation anniversary reunion by attending a church service at Upper Room Ministries in northeast Gainesville
(Photo: Photo by Voleer Thomas/For The Guardian)

He encouraged parishioners to continue working for the kingdom of God.

Superintendent Karl Anderson, senior pastor of Upper Room Ministries in northeast Gainesville, delivers the sermon during a service that concluded the 50th graduation anniversary reunion of the first class to graduate from Eastside High School - the class of 1973.
(Photo: Photo by Voleer Thomas/For The Guardian)

“After 50, don’t sit on your hands. Go to work,” Anderson said. “Don’t let it end. This is just the beginning. Let’s be about the Father’s business.”