Easter Sunday 2017: A Day of Resurrection at Southside Baptist Church

Warner Robins, Ga.-Spring was in the air on this glorious Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017. The weather was perfect for a day of fellowship and family outings. Southside Baptist Church’s Easter Sunday Service highlighted the importance of this day. Greeters welcomed churchgoers upon entrance with a hello, a handshake, or a hug. There was much fellowshipping throughout the lobby, and complimentary coffee and doughnuts were readily available. Church-goers dressed in the traditional Easter attire of pastels adorned the halls of the sanctuary. Everyone embraced the theme of Easter, from the young to the old and even the newborn babies, who stole the show.

Photo by Donja M. Harper

The church handed bulletins as attendees congregated for worship services. The announcement gave insight on the numerous services that Southside Baptist offers. Services such as “Life Groups” that cover all different stages of life, “Celebrate Recovery” which is a 12-step program based on the teachings of Jesus, and the various programs for kids and young adults. The programs for children included “Awali Land”, “252 Kids”, “Ignition”, and “Collide”.

Photo by Donja M. Harper

The program began with Southside’s Band performing an uplifting rendition of David Crowder’s “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner.” The ensemble gave an excellent performance backed by impressive background lighting effects. Following the musical procession, the church performed baptisms. Pastor Jerry Walls proceeded with the morning worship with a message of theories and beliefs of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pastor Walls spoke about his family and how much he enjoys Easter, which is his second favorite holiday following Christmas. Pastor Walls continued a three-week epilog which included the seven last statements Jesus made before his demise. The service concluded with prayer and offerings.

For more information about Southside Baptist Church visit their website.

Or call 478.953.9388

Great Greek, Mediterranean and Indian food at Metropolis Grill

Warner Robins, Ga.- When it comes to Indian and Mediterranean cuisine that’s fulfilling and flavorful Metropolis Grill looms high on the list. The address is 866 Georgia Hwy 96 Suite 104 in Warner Robins.

The first time I experienced Greek cuisine I was hooked. The combination of spices, sauces, and tantalizing taste of lamb sautéed in olive oil just seemed so right. But I must admit the first place I dined was mediocre compared to the experience I received at Metropolis Grill. They take the cuisine to another level. I have never eaten in Greece, India, or anywhere near the Mediterranean but I am sure Metropolis would hold their own against the best that part of the world has to offer. The tzatziki sauce they make is amazing, it’s perfect with their pita bread, and it compliments the lamb quite nicely.

The owner Rajesh K. Gandhi, commonly known to patrons as “Bobby” is originally from Punjab, India and has been a restauranteur for about 27-years. Bobby entered the restaurant business because he likes cooking, so much so that he creates all his recipes. The restaurant started out on Watson Blvd. but is now located on Hwy 96. It’s no secret that Metropolis has a unique flare, so when asked how does his establishment differ from the rest, Bobby said, “It’s all authentic food, and everything is made fresh to order.”

The menu at Metropolis is very diverse. You will certainly find something that will suit your palate, from the Metropolis Sampler appetizer, a salad from the Mediterranean Garden section, and even a section designated as Dinner for Two. I’m a huge fan of the Combination Greek Platter, mainly because it is served with lamb and spanakopita which is a spinach pie consisting of feta cheese, scallions, egg, and seasoning.

Metropolis also offers Indian dishes that consists of the most delectable cumin and curry sauces as well as masalas. I recommend the Chef Special if it’s an aromatic traditional Indian dish you desire. Metropolis Grill is a taste like non-other, with flavors that your taste buds will love.

Middle Georgia State University Award Student Leaders

Warner Robins, Ga. – Middle Georgia State University hosted a ceremony honoring thirty-eight students for their noteworthy commitment, dedication, and overall achievements contributed to their student body organizations during the 2016-2017 school year. The ceremony was held April 12,2017, in the Student Success Center on the Warner Robins campus. The décor of the ceremony was artfully designed; it resonated a theme of global significance; a passport to success. A constructed portal which led to a 6-foot tall replica of the Eiffel Tower added a stunning touch to the ceremony, as well as the other visual aids.

Photo by Donja M. Harper.

Michael Stewart, Ph.D. in Education and Assistant Vice-President of Student Affair’s, said the Student Leadership Awards recognize outstanding leadership and service exhibited by students involved in student engagement programs. “Student Engagement focuses on learning outside the classroom through involvement in student organizations, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, intramural, club sports and campus/ community service projects,” Dr. Stewart explained.

The ceremony began with a welcoming speech from Corey Guyton, Ph.D. in Philosophy. Guyton’s momentous prelude included thunderous applause for all those that helped make the ceremony a success. He talked about the significance of honoring students who exemplify the inspiring attributes of leaders.

Photo by Donja M. Harper.

Dr. Guyton’s speech was followed up by MGSU’s President, Dr. Christopher Blake. Blake proceeded with acknowledging the importance of celebrating success and finding greatness. He discussed that students should view the ceremony as a way of passing the torch for fellow peers to aspire to.

The highlight of the ceremony was the “Presentation of Awards” to the student leaders. The awards were presented by Dr. Jennifer Brannon. It consisted of distinctive leadership awards for recognition within the various student organizations and concluded with three overall awards for outstanding recognition.

Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The 38 students honored included:
Christopher Price, Brothers of Leadership & Distinction
Ciyanni Hunter, Campus Activity Board – Cochran
Brandi M. Harrison, Canterbury Club
Grace Terry, Georgia Academy
Kieston Standfield, Men’s Varsity Basketball
Julie J. Davis, Mock Mediation Team
Thomas Smith, Peer Career Advisor Club
Jasmine Miller, Queens of Knights
Samantha Morgan, Sigma Kappa Delta
Jamia Orange, Sisters Attaining Self Success
Alan Kalinda, Southeast Model African Union
Kristina R. Troili, Student Art League
TyAsia Grayer, Women’s Varsity Basketball
Hannah Gullickson, Women’s Varsity Soccer
Tiana Bell, Multi-Cultural Association
Victoria Monetta, Campus Activity Board – Eastman
Emily Lambert, Women in Aviation
Clayton Vedder, Accounting Association
Quaid Stone, Association of Healthcare Executives
Shaniqua Smith, Black Student Unification
MiTyrra Montgomery, Campus Activity Board – Macon
Erin R. Lucas, Central GA Information Systems Security Association
Jennifer Martin, Chamber Singers
Sarah L. Kirk, Cyber Knights
Patrick Layson, English Studies Organization
DeMarcus Beckham, Gay-Straight Alliance
John R. Legg, History Student Organization
Rachel Hastings, Honors Student Association
Alexandra Cooper, Internal Audit Association
Hunter Holland, Kappa Sigma Fraternity
Chris Ely, Middle Georgia Respiratory Education Action Team
Shekennia Grover, Model African Union
Amanda Johnson, President’s Torch Society
TeAndre Dennis, Student Government Association
Stephanie Breitenbach, Student Media
Jonathan Almendras, Student Veteran Association
Tina Scott, Campus Activity Board – Warner Robins
Carmeshia Primus, Student Employee of the Year

Following the ceremony, there was fellowship, with guests joining faculty, staff, and honorees for a reception which included a full buffet of refreshments.

Mercer Theatre hosted performance of August: Osage County

Mercer Theatre hosted the critically acclaimed stage play August: Osage County. The play Originally premiering in June 2007 at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and opened on Broadway in December 4, 2007. It is making a well-deserved run almost 10-years later.

The play, written by Tracy Letts, is directed by Scot J. Mann. Mann is an award winning and internationally recognized Fight Master through the Society of American Fight Directors, the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat and Director of Theatre at Mercer University.

Backstage with some actors from Mercer Theatre. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The cast which consists of aspiring actors such as Julie Allen who appeared in such works as Legacy of Light, Tartuffe, and Love Kills, joins Stuart Appleton, Jay Black and others in a stellar performance. August: Osage County is a play about a vanished father, a pill-popping mother, and 3 sisters harboring shady secrets. The show was performed at the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. Prior to being a theater, the building was a historic church and has stood for more than 100-years at the corner of Macon’s College and Oglethorpe Streets.

Stage set for “August: Osage County.” Photo by Donja M. Harper.

Mann said that after attending Mercer University he became an actor for approximately 18 years. His professional accomplishments include working with the likes of actors such as Danny Trejo and Adrian Paul (popularly known for his lead in the TV series Highlander), and author/actor Stephen King. He credits working with directors at the Alliance and The Alabama Shakespeare Festival for inspiring him to pursue a career as a Director of Theatre. Mann said, “The growth of the actors, from the time of rehearsal up until the opening of the show, seeing how they develop and discover the character and work they’re putting into it, because they always do things I never envisioned…” is the most exciting part of being a theatre director.

Tattnal Square Center for the Arts. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The play is “Recognized internationally as one of the most important works of modern theatre, August: Osage County is a masterfully structured play, a compelling dark comedy and perhaps least recognized, heavily autobiographical.”

For more information about future events at Tattnall Square Center of the Arts call The Grand Opera House box office at (478) 301-5470 or visit www.tickets.mercer.edu.

Ampersand Guild is a supportive environment that caters to the artist

When it comes to being creative, the Ampersand Guild shines like a dark and starry night. It’s an eclectic composition, a canvas that connects the stars into eye-catching constellations; much so like the Guild’s resident artists. Everything about this place exudes art. The Guild’s location is in Macon’s downtown district an area most Maconites today would consider to be off the beaten path.

Downtown Macon is full off history, from the railroad to the old mills it’s a place that leaves you in awe. The Guild calls home to an abandoned warehouse near Macon’s Terminal Station. The building is a historic landmark and aside from the dated facade, once you step inside you get a feeling of tranquility. It’s fascinating; the ambience has a sort of je ne sais quoi. Yet another aspect that’s quite crafty is the name itself, Ampersand which if stylized is the “&” character and “Guild” which is defined as an organized group of people who have joined together because they share the same interest.

Ampersand Guild member Nik Nerburn introducing his documentary "In the Shadow of Paul Bunyan" Photo by Donja M. Harper.
Ampersand Guild member Nik Nerburn introducing his documentary “In the Shadow of Paul Bunyan” Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The Ampersand Guild Hall is created by artists for artists, and I had the pleasure of speaking with a few. Daniel Montoule who is an artist and curator of the guild gave me insight on the Guild’s mission and how the artwork is organized. He said, “It is home to over 100 members, ranging from painters, musicians, actors, and photographers.” I also had the pleasure of speaking with Nik Nerburn, who is a budding videographer from Bemidji, Minnesota. He has been living in Georgia for about 3-years now and is in the process of filming a documentary focusing on East Macon’s Mill Hill area. I found the idea quite interesting being that when I first came to Macon. I resided in one of the homes on Schell Ave.

Nerburn premiered a short documentary titled, “In the Shadow of Paul Bunyan” which happen to expound upon the tall tale that encapsulates his hometown of Bemidji, Minn. Nerburn hopes to have one of his films featured during Macon’s annual Film Festival. It’s no secret that Macon is deeply rooted in artistry with its musical background and various authors. Nerburn said, “If you come to Macon with a preconception of what it is, you will find something to confirm that.” I found the statement very suitable from an artist standpoint.

Ampersand Guild features artwork from resident artists. Photo by Donja M. Harper.
Ampersand Guild features artwork from resident artists. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The Ampersand Guild Hall is an artsy environment that caters to the creative enthusiast and those who seek refuge from the hustle and bustle or everyday life. Be sure to take time out and visit if you are in downtown Macon, Ga. It is open from 9am-9pm Tuesday-Saturday and 1pm-9pm Sunday and closed Monday.

www.ampersandguild.com / facebook.com/ampersandguild