The Richmond County Branch of the NAACP will host its 34th annual Banquet on May 11, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. at the East Hamlet Concerned Citizens Center, 155 Laurel Hill St., Hamlet.
The keynote speaker for this event will be Rev. Dian Griffin Jackson, Pastor of Mt. Zion United Church of Christ in Rockingham.
Jackson was born the sixth of 13 children in Grifton to the late Mr. and Mrs. Earl and Nettie Mae Rogers Griffin. She received her early education in the Pitt County School system and is a graduate of North Carolina Central University, with a B.A. in Sociology. Believing that God had called her into the ordained ministry and that the call included preparation for the journey, Dian entered the Divinity School of Duke University and received her Master of Divinity in May 2000. A consistent Dean’s List student, she also served as Student Chapel Assistant, secretary of the Black Seminarians Union, class representative of the Class of 2000, and member of the chapel choir. In addition, she was the Class of 2000 recipient of the prestigious Jameson Jones Preaching Award, an award given by the Divinity School faculty to the student who excels in homilectics and whose preaching skills are commendable. Reverend Jackson was ordained by the United Church of Christ in May 2000. She is currently completing graduate work in the Doctor of Ministry program at Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, N.C.
Jackson worked faithfully as a member of the New Rock Spring United Church of Christ for eight years, serving as President of the Pastor’s Aide Society, Sunday school teacher, Youth Minister, Christian Education Director, and Associate to the Pastor. After being called by God into the preaching ministry, Reverend Jackson served as guest minister in various churches throughout eastern and western North Carolina, as well as in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Georgia. She also participated as a liturgist in the worship service during her tour to the Middle East.
During her seminary training, Jackson was called to Poplar Springs United Church of Christ, Raleigh, and served as the Associate Pastor for two years. Following that time, she was called to the Elon Community Church United Church of Christ, Elon, where she also served as the Associate Pastor. From Nov. 2005 through March 2008, Reverend Jackson served as the founder/pastor/teacher of Vessels of Clay United Church of Christ, Whitsett. She currently serves as the Senior Minister of Mt. Zion United Church of Christ, Rockingham. She is also the Immediate Past President of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ. This Conference consists of over 260 churches in eastern and western North Carolina and eastern Virginia.
Other areas of service include member of the Board of Trustees of Elon University, Elon,; Johns River Valley Camp Board of Directors; Justice and Witness Ministries Board of Directors; Church and Ministry Commission, Eastern North Carolina Association of the Southern Conference; representative to the 2003 and 2005 General Synod of the United Church of Christ. In addition, Reverend Jackson has taught New Testament classes at Maranatha Bible College, Durham, and Ebenezer Bible Institute, Burlington.
She and her late husband Garland Lee Jackson Jr. have five children: Crystle K. Dixon, D. Adriece Jackson, Darian A. Jackson, Kesha Jackson, and Franciscus James Dixon who was the victim of a homicide in Durham on Feb. 2, 2005. Reverend Jackson enjoys reading, writing, preaching, teaching, and singing. She is currently working on two books, Faces Behind the Pulpit and The Fourth Generation. She also is contemplating writing a book of prayers and meditations, and other books as she is led by God’s Spirit.
Her testimony is “I will bless the Lord at all times. God’s praises will continuously be in mouth.”