Mays Lick Pastor Appointed to Heritage Commission
For L. Rodney Bennett, appointment to the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission is , “... truly a blessing.”
Bennett currently lives in Frankfort with his wife, Vonita, and sons, Britain and LuMar, and maintains his local ties through civic organizations and as senior pastor at Second Baptist Church in Mays Lick.
“I am thankful to be considered worthy,” Bennett said.
It will help efforts to, “... celebrate different cultures and heritages to blend into a fabric of unity,” Bennett said.
Bennett is looking forward to expand his activities in Frankfort, in addition to civic and community activities in Mason County, he said.
Kentucky African American Heritage Commission works to promote, preserve and protect the African American heritage of Kentucky; represent those interested in promoting awareness of African American history; advocate for the conservation, preservation and interpretation of sites and history and encourage the inclusion of the African American stories in educational programs and materials throughout the state.
“It has been an honor, and I have already begun to think about the great work before us,” Bennett said.
He received his degree in business administration – information processing systems from Winston-Salem State University. He was previously employed as a systems analyst and senior systems engineer with Ashland Oil, Inc. and at University of Kentucky Medical Center, in addition to being an adjunct business/technology instructor for Sullivan College (University), and as an independent technology consultant in Lexington and surrounding areas.
In December 1994, he joined the Kentucky Education, Arts and Humanities Cabinet. Currently, he serves as an educational consultant - chief systems Consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education Facilities management division.
Bennett wants to encourage young people to embrace the positive aspects of their heritage and carry it forward for future generations to learn from.
“Making an impact is important, but we must look at the contributions of our fore-fathers and fore-mothers and see the positive perspectives of their lives,” Bennett said. “By doing this they will be prepared when opportunities are presented to them.”
"Working with the commission will enable me to promote the message of ‘excellence’ through celebrating the heritage and contributions to America’s landscape by African-Americas," Bennett said. "Additionally, by raising educational awareness and ensuring that legacy material is properly documented, greater accountability should occur within families, our Kentucky educational system and communities at large across Kentucky."
Bennett also serves on the Kentucky Department of Education Web Page Development Committee, KDE Getting To Proficiency Cross Agency Team, Human Resources Interviewing Team, and as a departmental Technology Point-of-Contact and Web Point-of-Contact.
Bennett would like to use the connections he has made in his life to help spread the message of unity.
He is also a member of Gov. Paul Patton’s Minority Management Trainee Program , Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Pi Professional Fraternity, Mutual Growth Investment Club, The Consolidated District Men’s Retreat Committee, and Bethesda Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon and trustee.
Bennett also worked with state and local officials on the U. S. Army Col. Charles Young Commission, which in 2014 unveiled a restoration of Young's family home in May's Lick.
Young was born into slavery at the log cabin in May's Lick in 1864. His family later moved to Ripley, Ohio and he went on to have a distinguished military career that included many firsts for African-American soldiers in the United States Army. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1889; served as a Buffalo soldier, as well as military attache' to Haiti and Liberia during his career; served in the Spanish-American War; and served as acting superintendent of Sequoia National Park.
"As my Vonita and I often say, it’s not just Black History but it’s American history, and there is much truth to gain from recognizing that like other cultures, African-American culture has survived and continues to thrive," Bennett said.
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