Charlotte Adventist Church honors community service of longtime Hidden Valley resident

Marjorie Parker, a longtime resident of Hidden Valley in northeast Charlotte, will receive the Northeast Community Service Award Saturday, presented by the Northeast Seventh-day Adventist Church.

For nearly three decades, the church has presented this honor to Hidden Valley residents who have gone above and beyond in their community service, said Evan Willis, pastor of Northeast SDA Church.

“We think it’s important to assert our own in our community,” Willis said.

Parker is recognized for her work and her role as president of the Hidden Valley Community Association, a position she assumed earlier this year. The honor is wonderful, she says, and it motivated her.

“A lot of times you think what you’re doing is underrated,” she said. “So it’s good when someone thinks of you.”

Parker has lived in the Hidden Valley section since 1977 and has worked with the community association since 2014.

One of her proudest accomplishments was her partnership with Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte, a local nonprofit that will repair 30 homes in Hidden Valley. Another thing she’s proud of is when 500 people showed up for National Night Out at Tom Hunter Park in August. The annual event is held across the country to connect police with the communities they serve.

Parker has also reached out to Charlotte city officials to repair Hidden Valley seniors’ residences as part of the city’s aging-in-place program. It could help prevent gentrification in Hidden Valley, she said.

“If you see something that’s not good, you have to be part of the solution,” Parker said. “I think people underestimate the value they bring.”

Educating the neighborhood about gentrification and working to see Tom Hunter Park renovated are also among the reasons Parker will be rewarded, said Northeast SDA church member Derrick Miller.

“She’s the face of all the different positive things going on in the community,” Miller said.

Negative media stories often take away the work being done at Hidden Valley, according to Willis. But Parker, alongside the Hidden Valley Community Association, continued to show the positive work being done in the neighborhood, he said.

“We (think) Marjorie Parker as the leader of this organization has been excellent,” Willis said.

The event is open to the public and takes place at 11:30 a.m., in the church at 827 Tom Hunter Road.

Norma P. Rex