Albemarle Council approves ordinance renaming Glendale Avenue to Bishop J.E.R. Drive

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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The Albemarle City Council honored a giant within the South Albemarle Community Monday night, as it unanimously passed an ordinance to rename Glendale Avenue to Bishop J.E.R. Drive, after the late Bishop James E. Richardson, former pastor of Saints Delight Church, who died in 2021.

“He was a pillar in our community,” Brenda Stanback told the council, noting there should not be a problem with the signage change, as the only building on the street that would be impacted is the former Saints Delight Church. The road has no residential dwellings.

Saints Delight Church is currently at 520 Wall St.

During council’s Jan. 23 meeting, Councilman Dexter Townsend had received a request to consider renaming the street. The original request was to rename Glendale Avenue to Bishop James E. Richardson Drive, but as there is already a Richardson Drive in the county, the similarities would be too confusing for Stanly County EMS.

An Albemarle native, after graduating from Kingville High School, Richardson accepted the call into the ministry and preached his first sermon at Saints Delight in 1963. He spent 40 years as pastor of Saints Delight. He also served in the U.S. Army and was a chaplain with the Albemarle police and fire departments.

James Richardson, former pastor at Saints Delight Church in Albemarle.

Following the public hearing, Townsend talked about the importance of honoring the faith leader.

“It’s not a matter of whether or not he’s worthy of this, it’s just a matter of whether or not we as a council want to give honor where honor is due,” Townsend said, noting the work Richardson put into the community “speaks for itself.”

Townsend said he planned to submit paperwork to the public works department to formally adopt the road in memory of Richardson, which would create a marker detailing his full name.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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