The City of Aurora’s African-American Heritage Advisory Board (AAHAB) will host its 16th Annual Heritage Scholarship Dinner next month.
During the annual crowning event of Black History Month, AAHAB will present scholarships to achieving high school seniors, recognize community members for their contributions to Aurora and fete the 2020 African-American Leader of the Year, the Reverend Dr. Julian Spencer, senior pastor of Main Baptist Church.
Pastor Spencer is the 20th pastor of Main Baptist Church in its 153-year history. Appointed on June 2, 2007, he took the helm of one of Aurora’s oldest congregations, and his leadership has ushered in a revival that has caused the membership of the church to experience remarkable growth quantitatively and qualitatively.
“Since I first met Dr. Spencer upon his arrival in Aurora, I have been impressed with his commitment to the congregation and the community,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “From my time as alderman to my current role as mayor, Dr. Spencer has been a consistent voice for the people and for positive change in our city.”
Actively involved in the community in a hands-on way, Pastor Spencer serves in a variety of volunteer capacities in addition to his pastoral role. He is a chaplain for the Aurora Police Department and a board member of Fox Valley Christian Action through which he has helped to develop and implement programming for public and low-income housing communities throughout the area. Pastor Spencer also co-founded and currently serves as chairman of the Good Samaritan Network, Inc., a not-for-profit organization aimed at connecting helping hands across the community in order to provide holistic services to those in need.
During the scholarship dinner, AAHAB will also present its Nia Award to Rev. John Thompson, senior pastor of New Covenant Full Gospel Church, and the Henry Cowherd Scholarship to college-bound seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership skills and community service.
Mayor Irvin will bestow the 2020 Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award upon the AAHAB Founding Chairwoman and longtime community advocate Cynthia Miller and attorney Herbert Hill, both trailblazers in their respective fields who continue to strengthen the Aurora community through service.
The 16th Annual Heritage Scholarship Dinner will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020 at Gaslite Manor, 2485 Church Road. The social hour is at 6 p.m. with the program and dinner beginning at 7 p.m.
Individuals seats are $60 and tables of 10 are $550. Tickets can be purchased online at www.aurora-il.org/heritagedinner or via phone at 630.256.3408.