Education legend Dr. Harold E. Guinyard succumbs

Dr. Harold E. "Hal" Guinyard
Dr. Harold E. "Hal" Guinyard

Dr. Harold E. "Hal" Guinyard passed away on Thursday, May 1, 2014. He will be remembered for the number of people he helped including students and adults. He began his career with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 1957. Early in his career he taught fourth grade at Douglas Elementary School, and physics, chemistry, and biology at North Dade Junior-Senior High School. He proudly served as assistant principal at Miami Norland (1968-69) and principal at both Miami Northwestern (1969-73) and Miami Central High Schools (1978-83).  He also served as a region administrator until his retirement in 1995. 
A proud alumnus of Bethune-Cookman University, was a devoted member of the Baha'i Faith, and a loyal member of the 100 Black Men of South Florida, Rotary Club of Hialeah/Miami Springs, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Visitation and funeral services will be held at New Birth Baptist Church, 2300 NW 135th Street in Miami.  Visitation: Friday, May 9, 2014 from 6pm to 8pm.  Funeral Service: Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 11am.  Burial will be held at Hollywood Memorial Gardens North Cemetery. Royal Funeral Home will be direct the funeral.  Their address is 17475 NW 27th Avenue, Miami 33056, 
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Dr. Harold Guinyard's name to:  
Bethune-Cookman University
Institutional Advancement
640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114-3099
100 Black Men of South Florida, Inc. 
c/o Steven Henriquez, Treasurer
5825 Sunset Drive #201
South Miami, FL 33143
Safe Space 
c/o Hialeah/Miami Springs Rotary
P.O. Box 1635
Hialeah, FL 33011-1635


Poetry Groove: when will it stop by terry fernando newton


when will it stop

Another drive by shooting another youth that will not to live a life
that is so full dreams-another mother in tears a community living in
fears--another drive by shooting another young life taken--when will
it stop when will the blood of the youth be planted into hope and a
better life--school is cool pick up a book and uplift your mind you
dont have to die by a nine another drive by shooting another mother in
tears a community living in fears when will it stop someone tell them
they can live a life of dreams they can fly high in the sky like
winston scott of cocount grove he even walk in space and played his
trumpet in the spaceship to show pick up a book make school cool
uplift your mind drop the nine--pictures of youth on tee shrits that
have had their life taken by another drive by shooting when will it


...poet terry fernando newton



Memorial service for Rev. Dr. Mary Tumpkin

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MIAMI GARDENS – A memorial service to honor the life and legacy of the late Rev. Dr. Mary Ann Tumpkin will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2013, at the Universal Truth Center for Better Living, Inc., 21310 N.W. 37th Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33056. A repast will immediately follow the service.

Dr. Tumpkin was the President of the Universal Foundation for Better Living, an international association of New Thought Christian churches, centers, and study groups founded by the Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon in 1974. Tumpkin also was the Founding and Senior Minister of the Universal Truth Center (UTC), a New Thought Christian “Bible-based church for thinkers,” and a UFBL affiliate, founded in Miami in 1982. For 31 years, Dr. Tumpkin carried out UTC’s mission to “empower people to develop their potential by awakening their divine nature.” The Center offers a classes and services dedicated to the development of the whole person. Under the leadership of Dr. Tumpkin, UTC has grown from being housed in rental space to having its own facility that houses a sanctuary, a community room, a bookstore, adult education classrooms, staff offices and the Universal Academy, a not-for-profit child care and early learning center.

“The work Rev. Tumpkin did in growing the ministry is phenomenal. People are excited to learn about Christianity that they can use on a practical level,” said Karen McKenzie, president of the UTC Board of Directors. “Her messages were empowering and uplifting. She meant so much too so many people, not only at the Center, but also throughout South Florida and around the world.”

Dr. Tumpkin was highly regarded around the world as a biblical scholar and was an acclaimed teacher and preacher who authored numerous publications. She lectured and preached throughout the United States, as well as in England, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean. She was known for her powerful, energetic, and often humorous preaching style and her ability to express the message of Jesus the Christ in a relevant, practical, and accessible way. She earned her Doctorate of Ministry degree at the Florida Center for Theological Studies. Dr. Tumpkin served on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Metaphysical Religion; the International New Thought Alliance; the Florida Center for Theological Studies; and the Westar Institute.

The memorial service will be streamed at The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Universal Truth Center. For more information, please call the Universal Truth Center at (305) 624-4991, or visit the website,


Remembering: Mrs. Billie B. Greer


Mrs. Billie Browne Greer, retired educator and beloved widow of former interim superintendent of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Dr. Tee S. Greer, Jr., made her transition November 17, 2012 at home. Survivors include her children - Anita, Tee, III, Florence, Frederick, and an adopted daughter Sharon; three grandchildren - Lauren Dixon, Miles Dixon, and Stephanie Greer; and great-granddaughter Payton Dixon.

Viewing - Monday, November 26, 2012, 6pm - 8pm, Range Funeral Home; 5727 NW 17th Avenue, Miami, FL 33142. 

Memorial Service - Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 11 am, The Historic Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 301 Northwest 9th Street, Miami, FL 33136. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church.


Sign the guest book online for Mrs. Billie B. Greer


So So Much Sadness

It appears the remains of missing UF student Christian Aguilar may have been found in an isolated area east of Cedar Key. Aguilar’s friend and Doral Academy classmate Pedro Bravo and admitted to beating Aguilar and leaving him without medical care.

Three construction workers died and one is still missing in the partial collapse of the parking garage at the West Campus of Miami Dade College in Doral. The five-story structure was set to open in December. OSHA and other authorities are investigating. Classes have been moved to other locations.

Coral Reef High School student Christian Valdes died unexpectedly due to meningoccocal meningitis. Parents have been notified and asked to seek medical care for their child if symptoms arise.  Health authorities advise this death is not to be confused with recently reported deaths due to fungal meningitis.

Let’s pray for everyone impacted by these situations. Amen.



Community icon, Rev. John A. Ferguson transitions

With extreme sadness we announce the transition of the legendary Rev. John A. Ferguson. He founded Second Baptist Church, one of the largest black churches in South Florida.

At the Miami-Dade County School Board meeting of August 23, 2000, he was memorialized by the naming of a school in his honor. This is how he is remembered on the website of John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Home of the Falcons.

Reverend John Alphonso Ferguson was born on July 23, 1923 in Miami, Florida. He graduated from Carver Senior High School in 1941 and served with the United States Navy for twenty-one years during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Reverend Ferguson is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary (1954) in New York City and Virginia Union University (1947) in Richmond, Virginia. He and his wife, Anita, have five children (three boys and two girls).

For the past thirty-one years, Reverend Ferguson has dedicated himself to the Second Baptist Church in Richmond Heights, which he founded in 1964. In addition to leading his growing community of parishioners, he has served to unite the multi-cultural population by serving on the Community Relations Board of Metropolitan Dade County. This board played an essential role in keeping the peace during the Liberty City riots of the 1980's, and the bringing of necessary resources to the community in the aftermath. The relationship between the different races in our county has had few moments more tumultuous than when Federal Judge Clyde C. Atkins ordered the desegregation of all public schools. Reverend Ferguson's leadership skills were tapped once again to serve on the School Desegregation Committee and assist with desegregation of all public schools.

Details of his Homegoing celebration are incomplete at this time. Rest in Peace, Rev. Ferguson.


Remembering Great Educators and Great Men: Kenneth Tolbert and William Clark, Sr.


by Vanessa Woodard Byers


Two great men of the community recently transitioned and will be celebrated at funeral services in South Florida on Friday, March 9, 2012. These gentleman touched the lives of so many young people in Miami over the years. I know that phrase is used a lot when remembering those who have passed but in this case, know that it is an understatement.


I was a student at Miami Central when Mr. Tolbert joined the faculty. Central was experiencing some turbulent times with increasing integration of blacks in the area and the country's issues with the War in Vietnam. It was the best of times and the worst of times for many people. The community, though changing in its ethnic composition, was able to rally around its burgeoning athletics programs and its ever popular marching and symphonic band. The marching and symphonic bands became known throughout the country because of Mr. Kenneth R. Tolbert.


Not only was Mr. Tolbert a musician, bandsman and master teacher, he was a father figure and a gentleman . You can get an idea of his contributions and accomplishments by reading his obituary on the Florida Bandmasters Association website but you get a better understanding of his impact on students when you read the messages his former students posted on Facebook. Here are just two of them:


DuVonne T Moore: "A father to many...a leader, gentleman, mentor, confidante, teacher, disciplinarian, leader, about his business type of man. Mr. Kenneth R Tolbert had been many things to many people. I'm glad I was able to share a space in time with him; break bread with him; be broken and built back up with him - even moreso, I am glad that I was allowed the opportunity to 'give him his flowers' while he was still with us. He had never known that he was the father I wished I had...he let me fall so I'd learn to pick myself back up. Invaluable lessons in musicianship and life are what he gave me and I am just as proud now as I was 20+ years ago to have been under his guidance and leadership. God knows you will be missed Mr. Tolbert..."


Wayne White: "My deepest condolences to the Tolbert family. He was and always will be a driving force in my life. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study under him. There are not many educators on any level who had so much passion and dedication, and cared so deeply for his students. He also KNEW what he was talking about. I can still see him on the podium with his fingers showing us an upside down 'V'. The pyramid concept blew away the competition from those so-called 'privileged' programs, and the marching band took care of all the rest. When i went to FAMU and made the '100', half of all the section leaders or assistant section leaders were former students trained by Mr. Tolbert. He was a musical genius and a phenomenal role model. Rest in peace."


Mr. William Clark, Sr. was an educator, guidance counselor and coach just to name a few of his roles in the community. He was a father to his own children and to many youngsters throughout Miami-Dade County. It seemed as if Mr. Clark coached practically every sport but I remember football, basketball and tennis. I also remember he didn't play the radio. I don't recall him having to do more than look at a child for them to straighten up.


Mr. Clark, showed young boys how to be men. He often used athletics to impart his lessons on life and he did not accept excuses. Here is a message posted on his son's page, William "DC" Clark.


Paul Lewis: "Wow, oh man , I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I pray that you & your family remain strong thru this trying moment in your life. You are a good guy William and now I know why. I remember your dad at Poinciana Park when I was a kid. He was a great person & everybody Loved him very much. He will be surely missed. May God Bless You & Your Family. Take care & be Strong. Paul"


These two gentlemen were special to thousands of children in Miami. Many of those children are now adults with children and grandchildren of their own. We know these gentlemen couldn't live forever, none of us can. We do know their legacies can live on through the people they mentored be they blood relatives or children they inherited along the way.


We need more men like Mr. Clark and Mr. Tolbert. May they rest in peace and may their lessons and legacies live forever.




- National Infant Mortality Awareness Month event to be held Saturday, September 17th -

MIAMI – Despite a statewide decrease in deaths among children younger than one year old, the infant mortality rate in Miami-Dade County has creeped upward, especially in black and Hispanic communities.  Aimed at reversing this alarming increase, Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade (HSCMD) will host The Community Health & Education Fair. The event takes place Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Community Center, 3000 N.W. 199TH Street, in Miami Gardens, FL. The fair will equip women with intensive education and tools as they learn to care for themselves, infants and toddlers up to age five. A special program will begin at 11 a.m., when elected officials and community leaders will pledge commitment to supporting HSCMD’s services for local mothers and children.


Shooting death of Will "Da Real One" Bell takes toll on community



by Vanessa "Va-Va" Woodard Byers


Willie L. Bell, Jr. BKA Will “Da Real One” Bell, was gunned down early last Sunday morning as he was leaving his North Miami club, The Literary Café and Poetry Lounge. Various news reports describe him as a “poet” but Da Real One was more than that. He was a businessman, poetry guru/advocate and community activist.  

I learned of his death through William “DC” Clark’s Facebook profile page. Clark was in disbelief as were others. I did what I usually do when there is breaking news, jump on Twitter and search for tweets on the topic. Oh yeah, it was true. Another victim of gun violence. When does the madness stop?

Here is but one of the touching tributes to Bell from a friend on Facebook:

Day two without WILL DA REAL ONE !!!

by Errol Bigdee Bryant on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 11:26am

Day two with out WILL DA REAL ONE,still trying to wrap my head around it but cant.thinking back many years ago while talking with him,he said he was going to change the poetry game he was going all in full speed being the negative person i was at the time i said poetry is for "SUCKERS",he just laughed and looked at me and in comedic Will fashion told me then just sit back and watch me "SUCK" the life outta everybody with the words im gonna spit out my mouth.Lesson learned bro,you said it and you did it,and we all love you for that and the person you were to will forever be an iconic figure,not just in the hood but world wide,because you touched lives any and everywhere you graced with your presence.

I only met Bell once several years ago. He was a cool guy. The spoken word community was devastated. Friends and those he mentored poured out their hearts on social media outlets. Mainstream media captured his tragic death from local news to CNN International.

Several fans showed respect for Bell at a candlelight vigil today. Of course there was candlelight, spoken word and tears. Will Bell overcome many obstacles in his life to provide an outlet for poets and, ironically, encourage young people to stop the violence.

There were witnesses to his shooting and it’s likely someone will come forth with information. Will Da Real One was loved by too many for this case to go cold. Anyone with information on this crime should contact the North Miami Police Department 305-891-8111 or Crimestoppers at 305-371-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Will Da Real One Facebook Tribute Page


Related Links:

Readers react: Will “Da Real One” Bell remembered

Local poet Will “Da Real One” gunned down in North Miami

What Will "Da Real One" Bell Sounded Like

Miami-area poet Will Bell gunned down

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Well-known Miami poet shot dead outside his cafe

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Will Bell was shot outside his Literary Cafe and Poetry Lounge early Sunday ...


Remembering Legendary Society Cab Driver, La Verne Louise Thomas


La Verne Louise Thomas, 59
June 24, 1951- March 23, 2011



Brothers: Jessie Britt, Jerome Thomas, Sisters: Winona Diane Trimmings, Beverly Britt.
A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, grand nieces, nephews, and friends.



Friday, April 1, 2011 - 1pm - 9pm
Richardson Mortuary
4500 Northwest 17th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33142
Phone: 305-634-4528



Saturday, April 2, 2011 @ 10:00 am
New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International
2300 Northwest 135th Street  Miami, Florida 33167