In 1905, a man named Paul Harris suggested a group of professionals rotate between their offices for a weekly lunch meeting to build goodwill and better friendships. Four men gathered in the Unity …
In 1905, a man named Paul Harris suggested a group of professionals rotate between their offices for a weekly lunch meeting to build goodwill and better friendships. Four men gathered in the Unity Building in Chicago, Illinois and Rotary International was born. Today, over 46,000 clubs operate around the globe, supporting the eradication of polio, providing clean water and promoting peace.
On March 1, 1922, the Lewisburg Rotary Club was founded. J. Floyd Murrey served as the club’s first president. Jim Nance McCord, who served as Governor of Tennessee from 1945-1949, was a founding member of the Lewisburg Rotary Club as well as the club’s fourth president. Lewisburg Rotary Club was instrumental in establishing the Chamber of Commerce and removing all toll gates from the county. Lewisburg Rotary Club was a significant contributor to the building of the current public library and continues to promote literacy through its support of the Imagination Library.
On March 1, 2022, current and past Rotarians celebrated the Club’s Centennial at Flat Rock Farms in Lewisburg. Club President Randy Belote welcomed over a hundred members and guests. State Representative Todd Warner offered his congratulations and announced a joint resolution from the State Legislature celebrating the Club’s accomplishments. County Mayor Mike Keny and Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham presented proclamations from the county and city acknowledging Rotary’s contributions to the community.
The prayer was led by Bill Marsh of First Commerce Bank, who served as club president in 1980. The pledge was led by Betsye Ledford, who served as club president in 1995 and along with Past President Darlene Hill, spearheaded the Miss Lewisburg Scholarship Pageant, the club fundraiser for nearly twenty years. Peggy Hubbard-Kingsbury, club president in 2005, led the Four-Way Test. During her service as a Rotarian, Peggy Hubbard-Kingsbury established the Marshall County Imagination Library.
Rotary District Governor Dr. Michael Babb addressed the audience and remarked on the good works of Rotary locally and around the globe. Past President Clay Derryberry offered a history of the Lewisburg Rotary Club. Twenty-two club presidents attended the celebration and ceremoniously passed the gavel stating their year of service to the Lewisburg Rotary Club.
Rotary Foundation Chair Donna Roberts surprised the crowd by announcing seventeen new Paul Harris Fellows. Previously, only sixteen club members held the honor of Paul Harris Fellows. A Paul Harris Fellow has donated $1,000 to the Rotary International Foundation. Lewisburg Rotary Club is now a Paul Harris Club, meaning every member is a Paul Harris Fellow. Only a select few clubs throughout the District attain the designation as a Paul Harris Club.
At the conclusion of the evening, President Randy Belote announced the establishment of the J. Floyd Murrey Award, acknowledging a Rotarian who over the preceding decade has shown exemplary service through innumerable contributions to the Rotary Club of Lewisburg. Edmund Roberts was presented the inaugural J. Floyd Murrey Award. Edmund served as club president in 1987 and 1996, the only Rotarian other than J. Floyd Murrey to serve more than once. Mr. Roberts has been a Rotarian since July 1, 1977. In addition to his Rotary service, Mr. Roberts served as Chair of the City of Lewisburg Community Development Board since its formation in 1998, chaired the Vision Plan for the City of Lewisburg, and served on the Joint Economic and Community Development Board (JECDB) as Vice-Chairman.
Lewisburg Rotary Club joyfully reflected on 100 years of service and fellowship. The club is now looking forward to their premier fundraising event, Rotary Run for the Roses Derby Party at Flat Rock Farms on May 7, 2022.