Sharon Barnes Honored as MLK Drum Major for Service

NOBCChE Board Member and 2012 WBHI Awardee Honored as MLK Drum Major for Service

In a sermon delivered nearly 55 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described what he called the“Drum Major Instinct” to the congregation in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. The words he spoke that day were the inspiration for an award that recognizes leaders who give their time serving others, but seldom seek the spotlight. The sermon includes the following passage from Dr.King that acknowledged the desire to lead, but emphasizes selfless motives: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness… We all have the drum major instinct.”

Recently, the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee of Brazoria County, Inc. (MLKCC) recognized Silsbee native, NOBCChE Board Member, and 2012 WBH award winner, Sharon McDonald Barnes, with their Drum Major Award for Service. The MLKCC provides the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those volunteers who perform extraordinary, distinguished, and sacrificial service. They acknowledge those who exhibit leadership and who have the courage to show love to a diverse community, while they seldom receiving recognition. The MLKCC Drum Major Award is based on the quality of the person nominated and recognizes those leaders who perform extraordinary acts of service reliably and with commitment.

As part of the 2016 MLKCC calendar of activities, Barnes was acknowledged for her leadership and participation in the following areas. Appointed by Governors George W. Bush and Rick Perry, Barnes is a member of the District Review Committee for the Texas Medical Board representing Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria counties; a former city councilmember and Mayor Pro-Temp in the City of Lake Jackson and the first African American to be elected in that city; featured in the book “African-American Female Scientists and Inventors; a Board Member of National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE) and the Boys and Girls Club of Brazoria County; a United States Patent Holder for Infrared Thermography Technology; named one of 50 Most Influential Blacks in Research Science; and named a Distinguished Alumnae at Baylor University.

Barnes stated “I owe this award to those who inspired me most in life and they were all in Silsbee. From my parents to my most influential teachers, Mrs. Lola Read, Mr. Hilliard Lewis, Mrs. Sherry Woodard, and Mr. Ronny Nash, I still stand on each of their shoulders. Each motivated me to always do my best.” Inventor, politician, actress, wife, mother, grandmother, and scholar, Barnes attends the New Hope Baptist Church in Clute. Barnes is a graduate of Silsbee High School and Baylor University; and she holds advanced degrees from the University of Phoenix. Having been employed by the Dow Chemical Company for 27 years, Barnes is employed in Human Resources by Freeport LNG in Quintana, Texas. Her parents are the late W. J. and Selna McDonald of Silsbee


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