A Brief History of The Interdenominational Church Ushers Association of Maryland, Inc.
Bro. Henry Sorrell, the founder of the State Organization, was known as a very religious person. He was a member of the Ebenezer United Methodist Church. He organized the State of Maryland United Ushers in Baltimore City in 1915 at the Sharp Street United Methodist Church where the State held it's Historical Everybody Birthday Luncheon on April 30, 2011. There were three (3) churches in attendance: Sharp Street United Methodist Church, Ames United Methodist, and Enon Baptist. There were also a few ministers in attendance. In the beginning the biggest fear was the churches themselves would object to the breaking down of the denominational barriers by this new organization. It was a hard struggle to push the idea forward, but with much prayer and hard work, the idea was accepted.
In 1918 and 1919, while the National Organization was being conceptualized and organized, Bro. Sorrell corresponded frequently with Bro. Elijah Hamilton. Talking and planning about how the New National Organization should be put together. The State of Maryland formally joined the National Organization in 1920. Bro. Sorrell became very active in the organization and served as one of its' Vice Presidents. Bro. Sorrell continued his work in the State closely assisted by his wife. Among her major and numerous accomplishments was the organizing of the first ushers Chorus within the State of Maryland. Bro. Henry Sorrell died in 1945.
After his death, Vice President, Bro. Marion L. Harris served in his stead carrying out his duties until he was elected president in 1946. At that time, he shared a dream that he had of us purchasing and owning our own building for meetings and activities. Bro. Harris believed in progress; and under his leadership, prayer and many sacrifices; we purchased two (2) buildings. He always had his group at heart and always encouraged us to plan for the future. After thirty (30) years of service, his health forced him to resign. Bro. Marion L. Harris died in 1976.
After our 1976 convention, we elected our first woman to the position of presidency. Sis. Jessie L. Brown served a tenure of ten (10) years. During her administration, much was accomplished. She brought forth new ideas, hosted the National Convention in 1981, purchased furnishings for our headquarters in Baltimore and much more. Sis. Brown also served on the Board of Directors of our National Organization. She also served as President of the Baltimore City Unit of the ICUA of Maryland.
Sis. Aliceteen Wade was elected President at our 1986 convention. Prior to that time she had served as President of the Anne Arundel County Unit of the ICUA of Maryland, and as first Vice President of the State. During her six year tenure as president, we obtained our tax exempt status as a 501-C organization, made numerous improvements to our headquarters building and made final payment on the building and property. Sis. Aliceteen Wade also served as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. Sis. Aliceteen Wade departed this life on February 8, 2009.
Bro. Preston Jennings served the State for many years as one of our State Marshalls, however, at our 1991 convention, he was elected to the position of president of the State of Maryland. He also served as Sergeant-at-Arms of the Eastern Region. Bro. Jennings served the offices faithfully with dignity and pride. In 1993, Bro. Allen E. Morse was elected as our new State President. Bro. Morse had previously served the State as Young Adult Co-Counselor and Fourth, Third and First Vice President. On the regional level he served as Assistant Regional Director and Regional Director. On the National Level, he served as National Young Adult Co-Counselor and Fourth Vice President. Bro. Morse also held the positions of Secretary and Chairman of the National Board of Directors. He was a very dedicated and hard working president and continued to serve ICUA in many capacities. At our 52nd State Convention, April 4 - 6, 2002, Bro. Morse presented two proposals to assist with implementation of unit assessments across the board based on membership. The proposal for assessment by membership only was approved and implemented in 2003. A scholarship program was established in Bro. Allen E. Morse's name. Bro. Allen E. Morse departed this life on April 8, 2002.
Another woman was elected to the office of President at the 1997 State Convention, Sis. Margaree B. Fickling. Under her administration, improvements were made in the appearance of the Usher Home. It was her aim that the organization purchase a computer for the already established computer room. Sis. Fickling has been a faithful, dedicated worker for many years in her own church and on the State, Regional and National Levels. She has served as chairperson of the Maryland State Board of Trustees, Chairperson of the National Credential Committee and Chairperson of the National Nominating Committee.
At our 1999 State Convention, Sis. Margurite Askew-Kirkland was elected to the office of President. She has been actively involved with reorganizing the association and networking with ushers throughout the State. In 2000, bylaws changes were voted on and implemented. In 2001, the newsletter, named "ICUA of Maryland Usher's Echo" was developed and published on a quarterly basis. In 2002, the Spring banquet honoring local presidents was the largest occasion with over 750 guest attending. Also the Maryland Memorial Weekend was hosted in Anne Arundel County and spear-headed by President Kirkland. Sis. Askew-Kirkland has served her former home church in many capacities. At Mt. Tabor, she served as President of her usher board for 25 years. Her current church, Asbury Townneck U.M., she was a member of the Willing Workers, serves as a member of the Senior Usher Board, and as advisor to the Junior Ushers.
A member of the ICUA since 1979, she has served as President of the Anne Arundel County Unit, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Nominating Committee and General Chairperson. For the State of Maryland, she has served in the position of Recording Secretary, and Chairpman of the Public Relation Department. Currently Sis. Kirkland serves as Vice-Chairman of the Leroy Johnson Building Committee of the National Organization.
At our 53rd Annual State Convention, 2003, brought us a dedicated, serious, ready to serve, young man who was elected president, Bro. David A. Fuller. Bro. Fuller has served as the Assistant Eastern Regional Director and President of the Interstate Council of the Eastern Region. He has also served on the State Board of Trustees as a member, Chaplain, and Vice Chairman. He attends and keeps very busy at the Regional meetings and the National Conventions. He continues to do work on the ushers headquarters that has truly been a savings. Under his administration, the Allen E. Morse Scholarship program was implemented. In 2005 the State hosted the National Convention in Baltimore, and held its 90th Anniversary Celebration at the La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie. Bro. Fuller was very instrumental in the creation of the State's website and ID cards. His proposal to raise the State dues was approved and implemented in 2007. Bro. Fuller currently is a member of the National Board of Trustees, Chairman of the State Board of Trustees, and Vice-Chairman of Anne Arundel County Board of Directors. He attends Chews Memorial U.M.C. where he served as President of the United Methodist Men, is a member of the Usher and Trustee Board, and a Certified Lay Speaker.
At our 57th Annual State Convention, 2007, Bro. Walter V. Nick was elected to the office of President. President Nick is dedicated to the Ushering Ministry, helping others and lending a hand to the less fortunate. Bro. Nick has served his local church, Asbury U.M.C. in Annapolis, usher board as Treasurer and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. Bro. Nick served as the first male President of the I.C.U.A. of Anne Arundel County, Chairperson of the Board of Directors for fifteen years, Vice-President of the State Organization and Dean of the State School of Ushering for seven years. Bro. Nick has also worked in the Eastern Region on the Nominating Committee, a member of the Alumni Department and Chairperson of the George T. Grier School of Ushering for three years. Bro. Nick now serves as the Chairperson of the I.C.U.A. of Anne Arundel School of Ushering.
At our 59th Annual State Convention, 2009, Bro. Ronny Myers was elected to the office of President. Bro. Myers has served in various capacities. First, he served at Perkins Square Baptist Church as their Senior Usher Board President for six years and presently a deacon in training at Perkins Square; he served as a Baltimore Unit Board of Director, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Unit, Baltimore Unit Chairman of School of Ushering, Co Chairman to Walter Nick with the State School of Ushering, State Chairman of State School of Ushering, 2nd State Vice-President, 3rd State Vice-President and presently serving as Eastern Regional Chairman for the School of Ushering as well as Young Adult Supervisor of the State. Bro. Myers is dedicated and a very seasoned usher trying to make a difference as gate keeper.
At our 61st Annual State Convention 2011, Sis. Margurite Askew-Kirkland was again elected to the Office of President. If you look back to 1999, Sis. Kirkland is still working to improve the activities and businesses of the organization. Under the leadership and guidance of President Kirkland, the ICUA sponsored it’s first Sate Officers Retreat which was a great success and very spiritually motivated. Sis. Kirkland is presently Vice-Chairman of the National Leroy Johnson Building Committee. Sis. Margurite Askew-Kirkland is prsently a member of Hope For The Living Ministries, Inc.
1915 - 2014 99 Golden Years
As you see, this organization goes back a long way. Many of the "Old Pillars" of the organization, some passed on now, had little, but worked hard, prayed hard and sacrificed much to bring us thus far. It is our aim, to put God first, to work together to uphold the ideals, integrity and morals that this organization was founded on, that up and coming generations will be proud to become a part of this legacy.
. Our current Junior & Young People President is Jasmine Savage.
Our State organization is made up of Five units: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Harford & Cecil and Prince George's.