For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
The Senior Usher Board was organized by Fannie Coleman in 1929. Sister Coleman had visited Memphis, TN, where she witnessed the functions of an usher board. As a result, she organized the first usher board in the city of Greenville for black churches. She served as president of the board until her death. Sister Coleman believed that a person should be appointed to the usher board rather than joining the board and her first appointee was Edna Sutton.
Deacon Charlie Allen became the president of the usher board after the death of Sister Coleman. Following Deacon Allen, Deacon A. F. Patterson became the president followed by Sister Anita Parish, Brother Ed Kelly, Sister Luvenia Brown, Sister Olivia Greer, and Sister Prentiss Sutton. Sister Gloria Dukes currently serves as president.
In 1973, two young enthusiastic women joined the usher board and wanted to give the dress a new look. Sister Gloria McCray and Sister Gloria Sturdevant were given permission by Rev. Hosie Robinson to choose a pattern suitable for church wear and thus the Senior Usher Board began to wear uniforms other than those of the standard uniforms worn by nurses. This “new look” opened the door to many others who wanted to work serve as doorkeepers for the Lord.
Some others who have gone home and served as doorkeepers include: Ellis Young, Rosie Young, Johnny Young, D. W. Brown, Tommie Lee Brown, Inez Nolls, Lee Scott, Mary Douglas, Benny Dorsey, Vernell Rosenthal, Louis “Chilly Willie” Williams, Annie Hampton, James Hall, Ernest Cleveland, Roberta Jackson, Bertha Shelton, Ella Cleveland, and Elmus Thompson.