Columnist’s dad celebrates 100th birthday on Long Island

Rufus S. Coaxum

My dad, Rufus S. Coaxum, an Army vet of World War II and a retired U.S. postal worker, along with my late mom, Clara Coaxum, raised my brother, Ronnie, and me in Harlem, and afforded us the best opportunities. 

All to Jesus, Daddy is of sound mind, a man of faith, and a good man, who marked his 100th birthday in a 14-person celebration of family and friends on June 15 at Ruby Tuesday in Westbury, Long Island. 

The celebration made great memories of a landmark birthday and a Father’s Day weekend to salute a great dad, granddad, and a surrogate dad, who enjoys playing his trumpet and golf.

And, whenever possible, Daddy goes to the golf range with Ronnie, who lives a few buildings away at their Bronx co-op. 

Daddy is our inspiration, and we wish him a Happy, Happy 100th birthday!

Rufus S. Coaxum


Jeroline McCarthy is shown with her brother, Ronald Coaxum, and their dad, Rufus S. Coaxum.

Group traces Apostle Paul’s route in Greece 

Group writer Dr. Awilda Hamilton penned that members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church of Orlando and Palm Coast United Methodist Church traveled on one of the most remarkable religious routes in Greece, which the Apostle Paul followed, as described in Chapters 15-18 in the Book of Acts. 

The route is known as Paul’s second missionary journey.

There were 35, modern-day believers from the two churches – multi-cultural and intergenerational (16 to 60-plus years old) – led by clergy members Dr. Bill Barnes, the Rev. Theresa Waters, and Dr. Kevin James, Sr.  

Dr. Hamilton said that they left Orlando, filled with excitement, and returned spiritually full and richly blessed! 

After their arrival in Thessaloniki, their guide Aliki (pronounced A-lee-kee), took them under her loving and learned wings.

As a native of Thessaloniki living in Athens – a history major with 27 years of formal training and experience – there wasn’t anything that she didn’t know. 

Rufus S. Coaxum
Rufus S. Coaxum, the father of columnist Jeroline McCarthy, is shown seated third on the right.

Museums, monasteries 

Every day was an adventure, literally from dawn to dusk, allowing everyone to taste, see, hear, and feel the Bronze-Age to Modern-Age Greece. 

By visiting museums and monasteries, climbing mountains, walking marble pathways, viewing archaeological digs, entering ancient and modern-age churches, Paul’s second missionary journey became more easily understood and seared in everyone’s memory. 

The places explored in addition to Thessaloniki were Amphipolis, Philippi, Kavalla, Meteora, Kalambaka, Delphi, Corinth, Athens, as well as the smaller villages. 

Here are the pilgrims traveling the route of Paul’s second missionary journey.

Port to Parthenon

As for Dr. Hamilton, she will long remember the ancient city’s port, where the Apostle Paul landed; being baptized in an ancient stream as was Lydia, a noblewoman and the first to be baptized; visiting a Byzantine monastery and viewing the Monastic Community in the ‘Forest of Rocks’ literally carved into the rocks; standing at the foot of the Bema Seat; standing on Mars Hill; and seeing the great Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena.

To be honest, this trip was not on Dr. Hamilton’s bucket list, though she said it should have been.  

Moreover, they cruised seeing some Greek islands, but nothing compared to being culturally immersed in Greece from the days of old to the modern days. The pilgrimage truly informed Dr. Hamilton’s understanding and appreciation of the New Testament.  

In short, the trip was transformational. 

Artists to present ‘Enroute’ at gallery 

An “Enroute” exhibition will be an enlightening experience at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center/Visual Arts Gallery through June 30, 10 to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. 

Artist Weldon Ryan shared that the exhibition will feature dynamic, contemporary artists from various stages of their journey, poised to make noise on the scene, and embarking from Jacksonville, Orlando, and Daytona Beach.

The artists are Christopher Clark, Joy Hayes, Erin Kendrick, Jamerika Ramsey, and Martin T. Reese. 

The gallery will be the center of hosting the exhibit’s reception, June 27, 6 to 8 p.m., at 698 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. 


As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved. 


Birthday wishes to Mattie DeVore, June 29; Bob Banks, June 30; and Jimmy Goodridge, July 1.



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