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January 6, 2023


Wendy Howell

Public Information Officer

229.302.3006 (office) or 229.854.0006 (cell)

[email protected]

Chairman-Elect Lorenzo Heard will serve as first African-American Chairman in Dougherty County History

DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA – A Swearing-In Ceremony for newly elected Dougherty County Commission Chairman Lorenzo Heard will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at 5 p.m. for a special ceremony at the Rutha Mae Harris Auditorium at Monroe High School. This event precludes the official Swearing-In of Chairman-Elect Heard that will take place at the first County Commission meeting of the year on Monday, January 9, 2023, at 10 a.m. in Room 100 (Commission Chamber) of the Government Center at 222 Pine Avenue, Albany. This event was planned so that citizens who may not be able to attend the official Swearing-In at Monday’s Commission meeting can be a part of this historical moment in Dougherty County’s history.

A native of Leesburg, Georgia, Reverend Lorenzo L. Heard began preaching at 17 years old and after three years, he began his first pastorate at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Patterson, Georgia. In 1987, he began serving as Pastor of the Saint Galilee Baptist Church in Sparta, Georgia, and in 1993, he was appointed Pastor of the Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, where he currently serves.

Known for his outstanding ability to lead and relate to people and his commitment to community and citizen building, Heard, along with others, has built an outreach program for the East Albany community, which has made a significant impact in the city. Since his arrival at Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church, his commitment to “Building a Model Community that in Turn Builds a

Model Church,” can be seen in building structures and community programs, but most of all, in the changed lives of people who have been helped by the church and the Community Outreach Program.

Leading his congregation and citizens of the community, encouraging them to be active in their communities, and civic organizations, which set political agendas in the city, Heard challenges them to be conscious of the world and community issues and to be proactive instead of reactive about how they will affect their lives. Additionally, he challenges everyone to be involved in the political system and agendas of the city and the nation by registering to vote and attending com- munity meetings to be aware of the issues.

For the past 28 years, through Mt. Olive Community Outreach Center, Inc., Heard has paved the way for many youths to receive free tutoring and academic assistance through the After School Programs that are held each week. He also ensures that the Center provides a safe ha- ven for youth during the summer months through the Summer Enrichment Camps.

Being elected in May 2022 as the first African-American Chairman of the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners, Heard understands that empowering our community is essential to the success or failure of our people and has also developed affordable rental and home ownership programs for the low-moderate income families.

“I invite the Albany/Dougherty Community, as well as Southwest Georgia, to the Swearing-In on Sunday, January 8th at 5 p.m., to witness a new year, a new day and a new opportunity to work together and to ‘Grow Albany/Dougherty County Together,’ and I am also looking forward to working with all the Commissioners and Staff of Dougherty County to address the needs of the Albany/Dougherty citizens and develop a strategy for Albany/Dougherty County’s continued growth,” said Heard.

A 1981 Graduate of Lee County High School, Heard attended Fort Valley State College (Fort Valley State University) and after two years, transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Geor- gia. Receiving his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Albany State University (ASU), he also earned his Master’s of Divinity (MDiv) from Mercer University in Theology in 2020. He has authored two books: Stuck in a Storm and Missing Your Calm-Discovering God’s Purpose for Your Life and Lessons in Money Management. He has done so much for so many with sincerity and humility that he is often referred to as a “Quiet Giant,” and is known as a kind man with a true Pastor’s heart and love for mankind.

The father of three children, Heard is married to Mrs. Leslie Parrish-Heard and is the son of Mr. McArthur Heard and Rev. and Mrs. Roosevelt and Laverne Carter.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman-Elect Lorenzo Heard

Dougherty County Commission Chairman-Elect Lorenzo Heard will serve as first African-American County Commission Chairman in Dougherty County history.