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Herbert Dennard, Sr., Men's Day Speaker
New Pleasant Grove Missionary
Baptist Church

Herbert Dennard was born to Zeddie Willie Dennard, Sr. and Annie Kate Denson Dennard on May 20th, 1945, in Macon, Georgia. He spent the first eight years of his life in Macon with his family, but when Herbert's parents divorced, he and his brothers, Zeddie W. and Marvin along with his sister, Dorothy, moved to live in Buffalo, New York, with his dad and stepmother. He also has two other sisters, Gwen Robinson and Karen Middlebrooks.

After graduating from High School in Buffalo, he joined the United States Marine Corps. When the first combat infantry landed in Vietnam, Herbert was with them. Sgt. Dennard was honorably discharged in July of 1967.

Herbert and Berdine Dillard Dennard were married on November 26, 1966, and shared 41 years until the death of Berdine in October of 2008. To this union were born three children: Deborah, Herbert Jr., and Kenney.

He began working at Norfolk Southern as a mechanical inspector in January 1968. A month later, He went to the YMCA with a friend to play basketball. Although Herbert was a member, he was turned away because he was black. He was outraged; he had gone to war for this very country, yet he wasn't allowed to play ball in a public institution. Herbert, Bert Bivins, Jessie Williams and some others met with Mayor Ronnie Thompson to no avail. This group was later arrested for attempting to integrate the local YMCA. Herbert along with a small group of people formed the Macon Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Some of its members were Councilman Henry C. Fickling and Senator Robert Brown. Herbert and others planned marches and boycotts in Macon for economic equality. Because of their persistence, many companies that hadn’t made a practice of hiring blacks began to employ them. Herbert later worked with a small group called the Black liberation Front as well as the NAACP.

Dennard attended Macon College for two years and Fort Valley State College for two years. Herbert founded the Georgia Informer in a room in his home. This paper was formed to give blacks a voice in the community. Month after month, he prints stories that promote black businesses and churches as well as entertain and inform his readers. He also hosts The Herbert Dennard Show which does the same.

In the early 70's, Herbert opened an African Boutique downtown because he saw a need for black culture and books in this area. This later became a meeting place for blacks to discuss issues and make plans of action. Later he and a friend, Bennie E. Lester founded the Medgar Malcolm Martin Educational Center. The mission of this center was to teach black kids academic and social skills in a daycare center, give them a place to play and socialize, as well as assist adults with test taking skills for finding jobs.

Later, he was elected on the Macon Water Authority where he served from 1981 to 1996. Herbert’s first item of business was making King's birthday an official holiday for the employees. He continued to work with King's spirit and made sure blacks were hired in management on the water authority. Herbert also initiated the first King Holiday programs and marches in Macon. He still sponsors an award program during the King Holiday weekend. He has become well-known for fighting for the advancement of blacks, the working poor, and the middle class.

He was appointed as a Bibb County Tax Assessor in October 2000 and when the "best chief appraiser in Georgia", Calvin Hicks, was fired, Herbert went to bat for Mr. Hicks. Mr. Dennard questioned whether or not the Bibb County Board of Commissioners had a reason or the authority to want to fire Mr. Hicks. Herbert felt that the only reason that they wanted to fire him was to hire an unqualified white person. The white man was hired and was soon fired. Mr. Hicks went on to become the chief tax appraiser in Dekalb County where he earns way more than he ever earned in Bibb County.

Herbert Dennard is a member of New Pleasant Grove where he serves as a deacon. At New pleasant Grove, he has enjoyed co-sponsoring Dinner and a Movie. The Youth Department of New Pleasant Grove honored him as an outstanding individual in 2011.Not only does Mr. Dennard stand tall, but he acts with a big heart especially in feeding the hungry, aiding the homeless, and assisting those who're trying to get off drugs. He truly feels that when he is showing justice, kindness, and mercy, he is doing the will of God.

lonzy edwards
Herbert Dennard, Sr.