REV. DONALD TURNER
Reverend Donald Turner, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Homestead and three-term Homestead Borough Council member, was honored for his tireless service to the community.
In a July 27 ceremony, the 100 block of West 12th Avenue was renamed “Turner’s Place.” The block, near Second Baptist Church, stretches to Sarah Street near Mclean Playground.
LOVING FAMILY—From left: Gabriele Randall, granddaughter, 11; Norma Turner, wife; Caleb Randall, grandson, 9; Rev. Donald P. Turner, and Nicole Randall, daughter. (Photos by Rossano P. Stewart)
“I am thankful that the council would make this mark that will stand for all time,” said Rev. Turner, although, he doesn’t accept this honor alone. “I really don’t take this as a personal honor. It belongs to the church. This church really fulfills the gospel ministry of helping people. And I’ve been blessed to be a part of it for 42 years. This church does everything for everybody—I’m not talking about members—I mean nonmembers.”
Wanda Burwell, Homestead’s first Black councilwoman and long-time Second Baptist member, spearheaded the endeavor to honor Rev. Turner. “He deserves this recognition because of his continuous support to council and for his dedication and service to the community,” Burwell said.
Burwell praised Rev. Turner for some of his civic actions such as the community vegetable garden that is shared freely with the Homestead community. Rev. Turner also founded the Kids for Christ outreach program, in addition to a substance abuse support group. The church regularly holds clothing and food drives for those who have fallen victim to fire. In 2011, after the devastating tsunami hit Japan, Rev. Turner led the church’s drive to raise $6,000 for relief efforts. Church members also hold an annual walk to raise funds benefiting the Sickle Cell Society.
Reverend Turner, 77, a three-term borough council member, said he loves people. “I don’t meet strangers. Everyone I meet is a friend, until they show themselves as not a friend.”
Second Baptist Church has a membership of about 300. “It’s not a great big church, but we do big work,” Rev. Turner said.
The secret to his long, successful ministry, he said is “Just trying to do what Jesus said to do, make disciples.”
THE HONORABLE MAYOR—Betty Esper, mayor of Homestead
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