Spotlight on Dr. James W. Ferree . . . A Life of Service

Dr. James W. Ferree

Dr. James W. Ferree, Sr.

Year graduated: 1952

College Major:  Religious Education

Life Work:  Clergy

Most Memorable Experience while at Livingstone:  At my 1952 commencement, speaker Dr. Mordecai Johnson spoke for ninety minutes in ninety-degree weather without air conditioning.

James Walter Ferree was born in Randleman, North Carolina. He graduated from Central High School in Asheboro, North Carolina, received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Livingstone College and a Master of Divinity Degree from Hood Seminary, Salisbury, North Carolina. Further study was done at Union Seminary, Richmond, Virginia. On May 10, 1987 he received an honorary Doctorate Degree from High Point University, High Point, North Carolina.

Before retiring, he actively served in the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church for 46 years. He has served as District Superintendent for the Eastern District of The North Carolina – Virginia Conference of The Methodist Church from 1965–1968. From 1969-1974, he served as an Associate Program Director of the Conference on Ministries of the Western North Carolina Conference with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

After serving as pastor of St. Matthews United Methodist Church, Greensboro, North Carolina for five years, Dr. Ferree was appointed as District Superintendent of the Gastonia District (1979-1984), In June 1984, he was appointed as Director of Conference Council on Ministries. In June 1988, Dr. Ferree was appointed as District Superintendent of the Winston-Salem District. From this position he retired in June 1995. He was then asked to serve as Director of Ethnic Church Development for the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church from 1997-1998. Dr. Ferree was again asked to come out of retirement to serve as pastor of Simpson-Gillespie Church in Charlotte, North Carolina from July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000.

Dr. Ferree has held various positions at all levels of the church.  He served as President of The North Carolina Council of Churches from 1980-1983. His long and distinguished career has included a deep commitment and involvement in the cause of Christian unity, social justice, and peace.

Specifically, he has given generously of his time and talent to The North Carolina Council of Churches. He was later Treasurer and Chairperson of the Finance Committee. He also served in other offices and leadership positions within the Council. Very few people have provided such strong and able leadership and support over a long period of time to The North Carolina Council of Churches. And, of course he has been an important link between the Council and the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. The North Carolina Council selected The Reverend Dr. Ferree to be the recipient of the 1994 Distinguished Service Award and presented it to him at a meeting of the Council’s House of Delegates on April 19, 1994, at the Highland United Church, Raleigh, North Carolina. The award signifies outstanding contributions to the cause of ecumenism in the state of North Carolina.

He has served as a member of the General Board of Church and Society from 1980-1988 with headquarters in Washington, DC. He has served on the Board of Trustees at Lake Junaluska and served on the Board of Trustees at Pheiffer College. Dr. Ferree served as a delegate to the 1967 Special Jurisdictional Conference and as a delegate to the 1968, 1972, 1984, 1988 and the 1992 General and Jurisdictional Conferences.

He has served as chairman of Leaders for Reconciliation of Winston-Salem; he was a member of the Board of Directors for the Downtown Church Center in Winston-Salem, a member of the Board of Directors for the Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina from 1990-1996, and secretary of the Board of Directors of Smart Start in Winston-Salem.  In 2013 he received the Human Rights Award from Church Women United.

Dr. Ferree continues to serve on the Board of Directors for many organizations: The United Campus Ministry (former president) which serves Winston-Salem State and A & T State Universities, Bethlehem Community Center of Winston-Salem, NC (former president), The Children’s Home, Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community (former Chairman of Admissions Committee), North Carolina Council of Churches (former president), the Western North Carolina caucus of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (former president) where he now chairs the committee on Recruiting Young People for Ministry, and as a volunteer Chaplain at Forsyth Hospital in Winston-Salem. He also continues to volunteer for Senior Services, Meal on Wheels and mans the information desk at Piedmont International Airport. He serves as guest speaker and fills in for local pastors in pulpits.

Dr. Ferree was honored recently, February 2012, by having a wing named for him at the newest assistant living building, Asbury Place, at Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community. Also in 2012 he was the recipient of the Bishop James Walker Hood Donor Recognition Award presented by Hood Seminary. In 2013 he received the Human Right Award from Church Women United for his leadership and activism in human rights.

He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and has been named “Man of the Year” by both the Charlotte and Winston-Salem Chapters.  In 2013 he was presented with the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Pan-Hellenic Community service Award in appreciation of his commitment, dedication, and loyal service to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the communities of Winston-Salem. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Pan Hellenic Council’s Community Service Award for service to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

Dr. Ferree has his charge conference, and teaches Sunday School at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.

Dr. Ferree is married to the former Doris Humphrey Davenport.  He has a son, James Ferree, Jr. a daughter, Jaffee White, a stepdaughter, Kimberly Davenport-Jackson and four grandchildren and one great grandchild.


Spotlight on Carmen Wilder . . .

Carmen Wilder

Carmen Wilder

Year Graduated: 1997

Most Memorable Moment While at Livingstone College: Being initiated into the Alpha Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Carmen was instrumental in getting the W-S Chapter up and running again this summer and, has provided support and encouragement as we plan the year ahead. We appreciate her enthusiasm and love of Livingstone College.



 Educational Background

Masters in Business Administration, 2006

Franklin University

Columbus, OH

Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, 1997

Livingstone College

Salisbury, NC


Livingstone College-Salisbury, North Carolina

Assistant Vice President of Development, Alumni Relations

Columbus School for Girls– Columbus, Ohio

Events and Volunteer Coordinator, Development Office

Systel Office Systems – Greensboro, North Carolina

Account Executive

Enterprise Rental Company-Greensboro, North Carolina

Management Assistant (1997 – 1998)


Livingstone College National Alumni Association, Member

Salisbury Rowan Davie Alumni Chapter, Member

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Member

Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Member

Leadership Rowan, Class of 2013-14

Community Involvement

Youth Leader at Cornerstone Church (Salisbury, NC)

Volunteer Coordinator at Cornerstone Church (Salisbury, NC)

Livingstone College, Pre-Alumni Advisor

Group Fitness Instructor, YMCA

W-S Alumni Chapter Members Sell Raffle Tickets at Game . . .

Mel and Sarah at W-S Alumni Chapter Table

Mel and Sarah at W-S Alumni Chapter Table

Today (Saturday, October 26, 2013), the W-S Alumni Chapter (Mel Bennett, Sarah Alston & Nigel Alston) staffed a table at the WSSU v. Livingstone football game in Salisbury.

It was a cool, beautiful day to pose for pictures with the Blue Bear Mascot and each other.

Sarah, Blue Bear Mascot and Mel

Sarah, Blue Bear Mascot and Mel












While we did not connect with any alums from W-S, we did sell 96 ($96 collected) raffle tickets for the $100 Gas Card. 

Mel, Nigel and Sarah

Mel, Nigel and Sarah












We are off to a great start! We will be back next week for homecoming at the same location (inside the gate). Our goal is to connect with W-S area alums, encourage them to join the chapter, support our activities and, of course, purchase raffle tickets.

Sarah and her Delta Sisters

Sarah and her Delta Sisters












We hope to see you on 11/2.

Stop by the table to say hello, reconnect and buy a raffle ticket (smile).

Sarah, Blue Bear Mascot and Nigel

Sarah, Blue Bear Mascot and Nigel

Livingstone College Golden Grads . . . in 1998

Golden Grads: 50 Years After Graduation, Three Sisters Are Honored by Their College

Publication Date: June 22, 1998 Page: 1 Section: D Edition: CITY

The saying “A family that prays together stays together” has held true for a lifetime for sisters Mildred E. Knox, Dorothy E. Wynecoff and Olivia E. Morgan.

They’ve been praying together since as far back as they can remember, when their father, Golden C. Ellis, was an African Methodist Episcopal Zion preacher. One of the things they fondly remember their father preaching both in and out of the pulpit was the importance of education beyond high school.<

From early on the Ellis girls said they knew that they would be headed to college and pretty much knew that they would be going toLivingstone College in Salisbury.

“We always knew that we would go to Livingstone,” Wynecoff said. “Daddy said that kids from the church could go for nominal fee since the school was supported financially by the church.”

That was over half a century ago. Now, 50 years after their graduation, the three women returned to Livingstone to share the stage for another honor.
Last month they were inducted into the college’s Golden Anniversary Club, an alumni organization for graduates who are celebrating their 50th alumni year.

“It was so exciting to go back, to see old friends . . . just to be back to see the maples and the oaks,” Wynecoff said.

This time around, the sisters were decked out in shimmering gold caps and gowns for the honor instead of the school’s traditional black and blue colors.
The sisters are not triplets, but, seemingly by fate, they all graduated from college at the same time. Knox, age 73, started atLivingstone in 1943, Wynecoff and Morgan in 1944. They graduated in 1948.

“I graduated from Atkins High School in 1942 and worked for a year before beginning at Livingstone,” Knox explained. “Then I took another year off after my junior year to get married.”

Wynecoff, 72, also worked the first year after high school before going off to college. Morgan, 70, joined her sisters directly out of high school.
The sisters say they have always been close and gotten along well. That closeness carried over into their college years as well. “We were all roommates at one point, until the year that Mildred took off to get married, then it was just me and Olivia,” Wynecoff said. The three also renewed their sisterhood by joining the same sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Even though their college days are long behind them, the three have continued their camaraderie. All the sisters eventually married and had their own families. With the exception of Morgan – who went to be with her husband, who was in the military, for three years during the 1950s – the three sisters have always lived in the same city.

They are also still praying together. All sisters are members of Goler Metropolitan AME Zion Church, where they have been worshiping since the late 1940s. Now they keep themselves busy working in various church groups. Knox is an assistant organist for the cathedral choir where Wynecoff sings in the soprano section. Morgan has been the superintendent of the Sunday School department. All three are church missionaries, and all remain actively involved with their sorority

The three are now grandmothers, with 13 grandchildren between them. But they still find time to share in each other’s lives. They occasionally have lunch or get together for birthdays or family reunions. Wynecoff and Morgan say they talk on the phone almost daily.

When not on the phone, the three usually get together at Morgan’s house. The sisters still sound like school girls as they reminisce about their school days, complimenting one another on the different honors each has received over the years. They still speak lovingly of their father’s days as a preacher as they thumb through a scrapbook of his 53 years in the ministry.

They still have their fond memories of growing up as close sisters. The only difference, Morgan said, is “Now we’re golden girls.”

Note: Dorothy E. Wynecoff and Olivia E. Morgan are  current members of the W-S Alumni Chapter and all three sisters plan to be at Homecoming next week celebrating 65-years after graduation.

W-S Alumni Chapter On The Move . . .


The Livingstone Blue Bears  play the WSSU Rams this saturday at 1 pm in Salisbury.

The W-S Alumni Chapter will staff a table during the game (and during the homecoming game on 11/2) and invite all area alums to stop by, confirm their contact information and purchase a $1 raffle ticket for a $100 Gas Card. The proceeds will help the chapter in its planned activities for the year.

Raffle Tickets

$1 Raffle Tickets – $100 Gas Card

Please spread the word, help us sell tickets, buy some tickets, and join us at our next chapter meeting on Monday, November 18, 2013 at the WSFC Central Library in downtown W-S.

We look forward to seeing you on 10/26 and 11/2 (homecoming).

Go Blue Bears!

Homecoming Activities . . .

14 Days to Homecoming 2013!!!

Here is the Homecoming Weekend Rundown

Thursday, October 31st
Rickey Smiley @ 8pm
Varick Auditorium ($25)

PAC Bowling Party
Woodleaf Lanes ($10)
Unlimited Bowling and Shoes

Friday, November 1
Alumni Convocation
Varick Auditorium

UNCF Luncheon
Aggrey Student ($30)

Stomp Fest 2013
Greek Step Show
Varick Auditorium ($20)

Alumni “Old Trent Party
Black Box Theater ($10)
450 N. Lee Street

LCNAA Welcome Reception
Events and Hospitality Center (on campus) $20 or FREE with LCNAA membership card!

Saturday, November 2
Brunch & photo
Aggregate Student Union ($15/brunch & $10/photo)

Yard Fest
Horseshoe area
Free & Open to the public!

Football Game (FSU)

Fashion Show
Free & Open to the public!

Alumni “All Black” Party
Black Box Theater ($25)
Midnight Mask Contest