Albemarle road name change honors Richardson

The Albemarle street located behind Victory Temple Apostolic Holiness Church is no longer known as Glendale Avenue.

At a ceremony Sunday afternoon, members of the community along with public officials gathered to celebrate the street name change to Bishop J.E.R. Drive, for former Saints Delight Church pastor, the late Bishop James E. Richardson.

Richardson, who passed away in 2021, served for more than 50 years as a community and religious leader, including serving the city of Albemarle as its chaplain for the police and fire departments.

Members of the South Albemarle Ministerial Alliance, a group of pastors for approximately 15 churches of which Richardson created and served as chairman, spoke at the ceremony.

Included in the group were Spirit and Truth United Church of Worship’s Darryl Medley, Pastor Marcus Fairley of Saint Luke Baptist Church in Salisbury and Saints Delight Pastor Charles Barrino.

Present at the ceremony was Richardson’s wife, Peggy, and his niece, Juliet, who spoke and shared stories about her uncle.

Also in attendance representing the city were Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael and City Council member Martha Sue Hall.

“I really can’t put into words how it makes me feel,” Juliet Richardson said after the ceremony. “The different ones have come out from the different churches…it’s just a great joy for me. I know what Bishop went through, and it’s just so good to see this.”

Juliet Richardson talks about the impact her uncle, the late Bishop James E. Richardson, had on the community. (Photo by CHARLES CURCIO/staff)

She added, “you can’t tell all of his work that he did for his community because he had a love for his people. That was just the type of person he was.”