The Village of Natchez held an Inauguration Celebration for its new Mayor, Patsy Ward Hoover; Aldermen McKinley Hoover, Sheila Johnson, and Monique Sarpy; and Chief of Police Michael Gillie Jr. on July 1.
Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court David Stamey swore them in before friends, family, and community members. Attorney Howard Conday was Master of Ceremony and Rev. Joe Williams Sr, pastor at the Pentecostal Baptist Church in Natchez, led the invocation. Amiyah Akins and Des’lyn Hoover held up American flags as they led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
First Assistant District Attorney for Natchitoches Parish, Cloyd Benjamin Jr., greeted everyone in attendance and Barbara Bradley welcomed them to the event.
“It’s a new day in Natchez,” said Benjamin.
After the swearing in was complete, Earnestine Armstrong performed a moving vocal solo. The message to Pasty Ward Hoover was, “You have been faithful and true. It is your time.” Next, Natchitoches City Councilperson-at-Large Betty Smith recognized elected officials and special invited guests that were in attendance.
Then, Attorney Carmella Parker gave some words of encouragement to the newly installed officials. She said that everyone is cheering for their success as they enter their respective offices.
“You are the leaders for the moment,” she elaborated. “It’s your time.”
Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. introduced the Keynote Speaker, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Designee for the Delta Regional Authority, Roderick Scott.
Scott said it was an honor to be a part of such a special occasion. He said that perseverance with strategic planning is key to overcoming obstacles and that in the time he’s known Hoover, he’s been fascinated by her tenacity, her work, and her compassion.
“I know that she will show up for this community [Natchez],” he added.
Hoover presented him with the keys to the Village of Natchez before she was presented with the official keys to her office by Police Chief Gillie.
Caddo Parish District 7 Commissioner and President of the Louisiana Police Jury Black Caucus Association, Stormy Gage Watts, presented Hoover with an award in appreciation and in recognition for her commitment and dedication through her years as a member of the Natchitoches Parish Council.
Hoover then presented Conday, Danny Byrd, and Lee Edgar Dumars Jr. with certificates of recognition for the work they do for the community in Natchez.
Bishop James Johnson, pastor at the Rose of Sharon Baptist Church in Natchez, blessed the food provided by Southern Quality Events Service & Beaux Brothers. Rev. Rufus Sowell, pastor at New Birth Baptist Church in Natchez, closed out the event with a benediction. Special Coordinators included Gloria Smith-Gandy, Gwendolyn Robinson, Tonia Schnyder, Rose Payton, and Camilla Parker.
“For God get the glory,” said Hoover. “I want to thank each and every one of you in Natchez for your support. I’m going to be a mayor for all the people.”