Prayer breakfast recognizes women who serve their community

By Corey Poole

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The Natchitoches Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority held its annual Prayer Breakfast May 21 at the MLK Center. The theme was “Dedicated Women Called to Serve and Transform Lives in our Community through Public Service.”

Alice Hardison, a Natchitoches native known for her passion to serve others, was recognized at the event. She serves as the victim’s advocacy coordinator for the Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office and coordinator and co-counselor of an anger management class. She is the daughter of the late Gentry and Alberta Pantallion Davis. She enjoyed wedded bliss with the late Earl “Red” Hardison Jr. for 43 years. Together they created a lasting legacy of family and love that’s shared with her children and many others.

Merry Byers received an award for her heartfelt message to the crowd as the speaker for the event.

“I see examples of women right here with you Deltas who so impress me with your spirit and dedication to the Lord and your community,” she said. “You are women who have found your way into the hearts of entire wards through your good works. You allowed nothing to obstruct your mission to transform lives in your community. As sisters of the gospel, we are linked together by the service we render so that individuals, families and communities will be strengthened.”

As a child, Byers was profoundly affected by the prayers and spiritual life example her parents lived. She was touched by God at an early age and accepted Christ.

She received a bachelor of science degree in social work with a minor in criminal justice from West Texas A&M University. She received a master’s in social work from LSU. She works as the director of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Community Service Division. She is also a hostage negotiator on the SWAT team and serves on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of El Camino Real, Children Youth Planning Board and NSU School of Social Work Advisory Board.