Two Walden area African-American business owners were recognized for their contributions to the community at a special service at Greater Love Deliverance Center Church Sunday morning.
The services were conducted by Bishop Troy Johnson and were part of both the churches celebration of black history month, as well as the days theme of giving thanks.
Prior to awarding Barber E. owner of Upper Cutz in Walden, and Mathias and Blessing Oni-Eseleh of Taconic Innovations, Johnson appropriately focused the theme of his sermon on the importance of saying thank you. “Say thank you to our local business owners for opening their doors even when they themselves may not be feeling good,” Johnson said. “Lets take this time this morning to salute them for their efforts.”
Johnson continued, “Barber E helps us look good when we need to the most, say for a job interview... Mathias and his wife make sure you are good even if you can’t make it to the doctor.”
After the sermon, both recipients came to the front podium to accept their awards and give brief comments, with the Oni-Eseleh family going first. “I first came to America from Nigeria 30-years ago, then 10-years later I opened my own business because I believed I could,” Mathias said. “People have to believe hold onto your dreams, because dreams do come true.”
Taconic Innovations has now been in business for 20-years and provides a wide range of services to the communities it serves.
Barber E, then sheepishly came to the microphone, and while short, his remarks were on point and heartfelt saying “I just want to thank everybody for this and for being here.” “Also know that if I can do it, you can do it as well.”
Upper Cutz is approaching 10 years old and has clearly gained a reputation among its customers for quality.
The service was followed by a breakfast spread put on by the church, prior to Johnson leaving to do his second service of the day down in the Bronx.
“We have these wonderful African-American entrepreneurs in Walden and we just wanted to appreciate them and recognize them,” Johnson added with regard to how the two recipients were selected. “The inspiration came from the book of Philippians which teaches us to esteem others higher than ourselves,” the bishop concluded.