Huntington, WV Black History

Thomas Hill

Pastor/Director/A. D. Lewis Center

Thomas Tyrone Hill was a longtime volunteer and full-time director at the A.D. Lewis Community Center.

A lifelong resident of Huntington, Hill graduated from Huntington High School and obtained a degree from the West Virginia College of Business. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Before taking the position at the A.D. Lewis Community Center as its director, Hill was a salesman at Mack and Dave’s, production controller at H.K. Porter and an engineering clerk for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Hill was a strong advocate for the youth of the community. He volunteered at the A.D. Lewis Community Center and coached youth basketball and football. When he became the Center’s director, he developed and implemented various programs and mentorships, such as a mentoring initiative with local professionals in health care, law enforcement and public service. Those interested in one of these professions were paired with a professional and allowed to shadow them while they performed their duties. When the “Just Say No to Drugs” project became prominent, he wrote a song to that effect and the youth from the Center performed it during a ‘Just Say No” pool party.

Hill’s other accomplishments at the Community Center include the following:

— The Summer Basketball League was sanctioned by the NCAA.

— He instituted a young flyer’s program for those interested in learning to fly.

— He began an honor roll society for those who made the honor roll at school.

— He instituted a tutoring program to assist with homework and school projects.

— He obtained a food grant to serve healthy meals to the youth and adults at the center.

— He started serving Thanksgiving Dinner at the Center, and staff members would deliver meals to homebound residents.

— At Christmas, the youth who wanted to participate would make fruit baskets and distribute them to the elderly in the community. They also took fruit bags to the Intensive Care units of the local hospitals and distributed them to the families waiting to see their loved ones.

— He initiated back-to-school parties, which provided school supplies for those who might not have the ability to obtain them.

— He started “Youth with a Mission.” Those who attended the meetings were eligible to go on the field trip for that week. They traveled to Kings Island, Cedar Point, the Hurricane Wave Pool and went ice skating and horseback riding.

— Through numerous donations given to the Center, he was able to provide the entire Christmas for some families (clothes, shoes, Christmas presents, Christmas trees, ornaments and Christmas dinner).

Hill also was the pastor of GOD’S House of Prayer and Praise after leaving the Original Glorious Church of God in Christ where he assisted the pastor, served as an elder, minister, deacon, youth president and Sunday school teacher.

He was the gospel music director at Marshall University’s WMUL-FM for more than 28 years and established the Gospel Bulletin Board, which kept the community informed of events occurring in the Fairfield area.

The track and field next to the A.D. Lewis Community Center is named in Hill’s honor.

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