GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Sunday morning, new Greenville mayor Kandie Smith was honored at her church for being the first female African American mayor of the city.
People packed the pews of York Memorial AME Zion Church. Bishop Kenneth Monroe presented her with a certificate of achievement, while the congregation sang songs of celebration and praise.
“When God has elevated one of our own, it is a poor frog that does not praise his own pond,” pastor Laticia Godette said. “I want to thank God for this opportunity to be her pastor and to witness history. ”
“Praising God for every thing he has done for me,” Smith said. “For bringing me this far, and I know that he is not going to leave me. It made me a little emotional.”
Smith’s story inspires men and women alike.
“I have three daughters and any kind of role model that shows African American women succeeding, I am all for it,” church board member Dante Godette said.
“She really inspires me to let me know that I can do anything that I put my mind to,” church member Jordan Godette added.
“I do not want anyone to just think just because I am a woman or female, I can’t do it,” Smith said. “Or because I am black, I can’t do it. I don’t want anybody to think that. I think we can all serve our community.”
“I feel like there always should be change,” church member Nakima Harris said. “There’s always new things. And her being elected is just amazing especially for the African American community.”
People say they are excited for what the future brings with Mayor Smith.
“She will be the mayor of Greenville,” church member Lucille Sayles said. “Not black Greenville, not yellow Greenville, not pink Greenville, not white Greenville, not red Greenville, but she will be the mayor of Greenville.”