Longtime Hillsboro postmaster, minister and veteran the Rev. Wendell L. Harewood will be honored Saturday during an annual Black History/Juneteenth program being held this year at the Hillsboro Nazarene Church.
Presented by the African American Awareness Research Council (AAARC) and the Highland County District Library, the program will begin at 1 p.m. at the church located at 8230 U.S. Route 50.
Free COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered the same day at the church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Moderna vaccine will be given to those 18 and older and the Pfizer vaccine will be available for those 12-17. There will be a $25 gift bag for all vaccine participants.
There are three ways to register for the vaccines: at http://aaarc.timetap.com, by texting or calling 216-338-2233 or messaging Maurice Cole on Facebook. Walk-ins are also welcome. The vaccines will be provided in partnership with the Highland County Health Department.
AAARC scholarship winners will be recognized and the guest speaker will be Dr. Craig McKinney.
Following is a copy of a speech that will be read on Saturday in honor of Harewood:
“Today we gather to honor a community treasure, the Rev. Wendell L. Harewood, who was born on Feb. 27, 1937 to the late H. Bernard “Barney” and Harriett (Williams) Harewood in Hillsboro.
“As a young boy, Wendell attended Wayman Chapel AME and joined the Boy Scouts alongside his father who was a Scout Master for over six decades. Wendell was a natural leader and attained the rank of Star Scout during his tenure. He also attended the ‘Colored’ Lincoln School where he continued to excel before moving to Hillsboro High School. Ever the leader, Wendell served as senior class president at the age of 16 before graduating in 1953.
“After graduation, Wendell attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio before joining the workforce at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Wendell served as coordinator of classified material destruction and eventually moved to the U.S. Postal Service where he became the acting supervisor of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Postal Branch.
“1960 was a significant year in Wendell’s life of service as he was drafted to serve our country in 1960. Reporting to Fort Knox, Kentucky, Wendell was soon appointed platoon sergeant of his company and enrolled in the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, Maryland where he graduated at the top of his class. From there, he was assigned to the 513th Military Intelligence Group in BremerHaven and stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. Also in 1960, Wendell married Freda Adams of Chillicothe. Together they had two children, Tammy Jo and Wendell Lee, who is deceased. He served both his family and our country with honor … then … and now.
“Upon his discharge from the Army in 1962 (extended due to the construction of the Berlin Wall), Wendell returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Postal Branch. During this time, Wendell accepted the call of his Lord and entered the Christian ministry. He was ordained an itinerant elder in 1964 serving as associate minister at Wayman Chapel AME Church. His ministry included pastoral duties at Shorter Chapel AME in Greenfield and Wayman AME Bainbridge before returning to his home church in 1972. Reverend Harewood served as pastor of Wayman Chapel AME in Hillsboro for 28 years. Professionally, he continued to serve the U.S. Postal Service during the same time as he transferred to the Hillsboro Post Office from Wright-Pat. Wendell was promoted to superintendent of postal operations in 1973. In 1979, he became postmaster of the Hillsboro Post Office making him the first African American Postmaster in Hillsboro and Highland County.
“During his years of postal service, Wendell served in several capacities as superintendent of delivery and collection; safety instructor; manager of markup; and officer in charge covering the communities of Cincinnati, Dayton, Hillsboro and Middletown, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky.
“He was also a member of the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS) and served as district director, state president, national vice president (two terms) and chair of the National Budget Committee (two terms). Wendell has received many outstanding performance awards including Postmaster of the Year. He was a member of the People to People Educational Tour to Japan, China and Hong Kong, which included 85 postmasters and their spouses for 30 days. He retired after 45 years of service and is a retired member of the United Postmasters and Managers Association.
“In addition to both of his jobs, Revered Harewood found time to do his civic duty and served his community in many other capacities including:
· Member and president of the Human Relations Group in Hillsboro;
· Highland County Housing Corporations Board, which built Hi-Land Terrance and Golden Manor (after local government had determined that Hillsboro had enough apartments);
· Founding board member of the Highland County Senior Citizen Center and former vice chairman;
· Highland County Historical Society;
· The Hillsboro Symphony Committee;
· Highland County Society for Children and Adults, where he continues to serve;
· Highland District Hospital Board of Governors (1967) where he served for over 30 years including as vice chairman;
· An original member of the Highland District Hospital Foundation, he served as its first president and continues to serve (54 years and counting);
· Member of local chapter, American Red Cross;
· Chairman, district commissioner, and committee member of the Boy Scouts of America earning the Silver Beaver Award for Exemplary Service to Scouting at the district and council level;
· Chair of the Civil Service Commission serving Hillsboro and Highland County;
· Selective Service System;
· Outstanding Citizen in 1988 and 1999 under former mayors Betty Bishop and Sandy Harsha;
· Hillsboro Rotary Club including former president, board member and Paul Harris Fellow.
“Yes, Reverend Harewood has paved the way for others to follow as a child that excelled in education, as an exceptional leader in his work and volunteerism in his civic duties and an eloquent speaker as a pastor using all of his God given talents to help make Hillsboro and the world around him a better place to live.
“Reverend Harewood memorabilia is currently displayed at the Highland District Library in Hillsboro until the end of the month. Please visit and view at your convenience.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the Rev. Wendell L. Harewood, our 2021 African American Awareness Research Council Honoree.”
For those unable to attend in person, the event will also be available via Zoom. To join the meeting visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89170360497?pwd=Y3dva1RZaXhvYVg0cnY2bThtcTdDZz09. The meeting ID is: 891 7036 0497. The passcode is 765853.