On Saturday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m., guests will gather at the Summit Club in Longview in support of the 2014 Black and Gold Gala. This annual event, hosted by the Mu Rho Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, raises funds to benefit the local chapter’s scholarship fund.
John Wesley Preston, Sr., is a 25-year member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Founded in 1906, the fraternity has more than 290,000 members and 730 active chapters in America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. The mission of this world-wide organization is to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence, and provide service and advocacy in local communities.
In addition to his commitment to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Mr. Preston volunteers his time to the March of Dimes, the city-wide Thanksgiving Food Drive, and the Coats for Kids project. He also served for 16 years on the Longview Independent School District’s board of trustees, district five.
“There were people who volunteered their time to impact my life,” Mr. Preston said. “I’m grateful for these people because they inspired me to give back and become a volunteer.”
Mr. Preston was born and reared in Tampa Bay, Florida, and has lived in Longview for 33 years. He graduated from King High School in Tampa Bay, and earned his bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas. He is a master certified salesman with Peters Chevrolet. Mr. Preston and his wife, Janice, have been married for 31 years and are the parents of three adult children, Jeanine, Jacqueline, and John, Jr., and the grandparents of Jea’Mya, 9, Terrell, 7, and M. J., 6. Mr. Preston serves as chairman of Deacon Ministry at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
As a long-time school board member, Mr. Preston enjoys Friday night football as a season ticket holder for the Longview Lobos, and has enjoyed watching children graduate and “become productive citizens,” he said. When asked what he enjoyed most about living in the East Texas area, Mr. Preston said, “(It’s a) great community to raise a family.”