Published: Jan 11, 2012 02:00 AM
Modified: Mar 05, 2012 06:45 PM
Roses to the Rev. J. R. Manley, who addressed his flock at First Baptist Church for the last time Sunday.
At least, it was his last official address as pastor. It's hard to imagine Manley staying quiet for very long.
For 65 years he has been an indelible part of the local fabric, a leader whose influence reaches far outside the church doors.
He first came to preach at what was then called Rock Hill Baptist Church in Chapel Hill when he was a student at Shaw University, shortly after the end of World War II.
It took a couple of sermons before the congregation fully embraced the young pastor, but once it did, it did so wholeheartedly.
Manley led the church through the changing of its name to First Baptist - a name some in the white Baptist community considered theirs by right, he says - and oversaw an eightfold growth in church membership over the decades.
Under Manley, First Baptist has established many ministries, launched countless social service programs and become one of the focal points of civil rights activism in the community, at the same time building an important and fruitful relationship with University Baptist Church.
Manley was the first black member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, and he established Manley Estates, an affordable housing complex for the elderly on Merritt Mill Road.
He may not be ascending the pulpit anymore, but he has left a legacy in Chapel Hill that will last for a very long time.
Roses to Denzel Ingram, a 6-foot point guard for the Chapel Hill High School boys basketball team, who last weekend became the third Tiger ever to score 1,000 points in his career.
He didn't do it quietly, either. Ingram passed that milestone en route to leading CHHS to the championship of the HighschoolOT.com
Invitational tournament at Broughton in Raleigh.
He scored 19 points in the first-round game in which he broke the 1,000-point barrier, and then in the title game he racked up a whopping 43 points to propel Chapel Hill to a thrilling come-from-behind win over Broughton in overtime.
His 43 points tied the fifth-highest total in tournament history.
The only other two Tigers to reach 1,000 points were Mike Earey, who did it in 1968, and Ranzino Smith, the school's leading career scorer, who broke the 1,400-point barrier in 1984.
The milestone boded well for both those guys: They both went on to play for Dean Smith at UNC.
Ingram may not follow in those footsteps, but he is drawing interest from some NCAA Division 1 schools.
He has a shot at Smith's school scoring record, and he can imagine the perfect scenario for breaking it: "I'd like to do that as we win the state championship," he said.
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