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Working Together. Sharing the Dream.

Drum Major Award

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award for community service is based on nominees who selflessly perform daily acts of service to make their community—and our world— a better place. The award was created by the Great Lakes Bay Regional MLK Celebration event committee, and the honorees are selected from Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties.

“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.”

Excerpt from The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
"Drum Major Instinct" sermon,
given on February 4, 1968.


2023 Honorees


Pastor Philip Johnson

Pastor Phillip Johnson currently serves as lead pastor of Apostolic Life Church of Bay City, a thriving, multi-ethnic, multi-generational congregation, committed to spiritually transforming the Great Lakes Bay Region by the power of Jesus. Since 2017, Pastor Phillip has prioritized providing an exceptional level of support to the community including weekly food programs, youth group mentorships programs, COVID-19 testing during the pandemic and other service efforts.  

Pastor Johnson has served the Bay County Sheriff’s Office as lead Chaplain in the Bay County Jail, ministering to inmates in a wide variety of ways to meet their spiritual needs as a foundation for improvement in their lives. In addition, he has served as Chaplain in the Bay County Juvenile Detention Center to deliver the same ministry efforts to the troubled youth, ages 10-17 year old, at the Bay County Juvenile Home. His efforts to beat the drum for healing, recovery and hope reach entire families. In 2019, Pastor Johnson was selected by the Director of the Bay City Department of Public Safety to serve as Chaplain for the Public Safety Officers, including the police force and fire departments. This honor bestowed the responsibility of providing support, counseling ministry to officers. Pastor Phillip Johnson is the husband of Amber Johnson, MA and they have two biological children, Alayah and Jeremiah, and two adopted children (now adults) Barbara and Kayla.

Pastor’s favorite quote by Dr. King – “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t need to make your subject agree with your verb to serve. All you need is a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”



Smallwood Holoman, Jr

Smallwood Holoman, Jr is a retired scientist and Director for The Dow Chemical Company in Midland Michigan and a community volunteer for the Great Lakes Bay region.  Holoman has nearly 40 years of corporate experience in technical research and development as a chemist, human resources, and public affairs. Holoman was CFO and co-owner of Holoman Associates Inc and 9Round Fitness of Royal Oak (MI). 

Holoman has shared his time, talents and treasures with a number of national, state and local organizations that serves our communities. This includes leadership positions with Michigan 4H Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation, Midland Public Schools, Delta College, Midland County Council on Aging (Senior Services), Saginaw County Youth Protection Council, Great Lakes Bay Region Boys & Girls Club, Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Adoption Option Inc in Midland, Bethel AME Church of Saginaw and Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. Iota Chi Lambda chapter, to name a few.

Holoman is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and is a graduate of Norfolk State University.  He and his wife, Linda, have two sons, and a grandson.


Angelia Williams

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

Angelia Williams, a former graduate of Florida A & M University and Florida International University, has more than forty years of clinical, community and administrative healthcare experiences, as a Registered Nurse and former Adult Nurse Practitioner. Angelia boldly uses her voice to address health inequities that negatively affect health outcomes for people in our community who are underinsured, underserved, and marginalized as an effort to create healthy changes.  

She has been employed at Great Lakes Bay Health Centers (GLBHC) for twenty years and is the Senior Vice-President where her unique perspectives are embraced, respected, and supported by her peers and the organization. Angelia successfully gained grant funding to implement school-based health clinics at Arthur Hill and Saginaw High Schools in early 2005 and recently received funding to provide mental health services at Thompson Middle and Bridgeport Spaulding High Schools. She was also instrumental in implementing the first Ryan White HIV/AIDS Medical Services grant funded program in the Great Lakes Bay Region in 2006 at GLBHC. Angelia has received numerous prestigious community and leadership awards on a local, state, and national level for her demonstrated leadership commitment to serving others.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  As for me, “If I can make a difference in the life of one person, then I know my living is not in vain.” 


Past Honorees

2022 Honorees

  • Darold Newton
  • Erin Patrice Walker
  • Waheed Akbar, M.D.

2021 Honorees

  • Charles Brunner
  • Diane Brown Wilhelm
  • Frances Carter

2020 Honorees

  • Carolyn Wierda
  • Dave Stickles
  • Charles McNair

2019 Honorees

  • Jeanne Lound Schaller
  • Benton Gibson
  • Leola Wilson

2018 Honorees

  • Eileen Curtis
  • Pastor Rufus Bradley
  • Randi Kawakita

2017 Honorees

  • Brandon Murphy
  • Billy Strawter
  • Odail Thorns

2016 Honorees

  • John Smith
  • Kevin Kendrick
  • Joan Douglas

 2015 Honorees

  • Betty Jones
  • Freddie Jones
  • Aladia Mazique
  • Teresa Stitt


Sponsorship Information

(989) 964-4068

Office of Diversity Services
(989) 964-4068

The Conference Center

(989) 964-4348