The History of the Mighty Sixth District

 

The Mighty Sixth District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity is comprised of over 100 graduate and undergraduate chapters and over 2,000 members in the states of North Carolina and South Carolina.  The Sixth was organized in 1935 and is the only district in the fraternity with all of its original states.  The Sixth District boasts the honor of hosting the fraternity’s first District Meeting in 1936 and seven years prior in 1929 laid the foundation by organizing and hosting the fraternity’s first state meeting in North Carolina, originally called “Omega Day”.  State meetings were held for the next two years but halted due to the great depression and did not meet again until 1936.  Consequently, the fraternity took its initial steps to organize in regions in 1922 when Grand Basileus J. Alston Atkins (Psi Phi Chapter, Winston Salem) authorized the creation of five appointed representatives to look after the brothers geographically in these regions 1) New England States; 2) Middle Atlantic States; 3) Central States; 4) Southern States and 5) Western States.  North and South Carolina would have resided in the Southern States region.  It wasn’t until 1937, a couple of years after the initial District Meetings occurred that District Representatives became constitutional officers elected by each District.

Brother S. Herbert Adams (Pi Phi Chapter) was the first to serve as Sixth District Representative.   Sixth District records indicate that Brother Adams served in this capacity from 1935—1943.  It is likely that he was appointed to this office prior to the first official Sixth District elections.  He was however elected to 6 consecutive terms during his tenure and is the only Sixth District Representative to serve more than two terms in this office.

The Sixth District has produced 7 Grand Basilei and is the home of current (40th) Grand Basileus, Antonio Knox Sr., and 34th Grand Basileus, Dr. C. Tyrone Gilmore Sr.  The Sixth District has hosted 4 Grand Conclaves in addition to the International Leadership Summit and the only International Undergraduate Summit held outside of Atlanta.

Founder, Dr. Ernest Everett Just’s story has been well documented, and it is no secret that he has Sixth District roots.  Founder Just was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1883.  He graduated from the Industrial School of the State College (South Carolina State University) in Orangeburg, South Carolina prior to moving north to further his education and career.  He went on to receive the Spingarn medal given by the NAACP, had an illustrious teaching career at Howard University, facilitated groundbreaking cell research, and of course served as faculty advisor for three ambitious undergrads as they embarked on building the greatest fraternity known to mankind.

The International Undergraduate Scholarship Luncheon is named after the Sixth Districts own Bro. Dr. Ronald E. McNair who joined Omega through Mu Psi Chapter at North Carolina A&T State University.  This luncheon is held by all 12 Districts annually in addition to the Conclave in an effort to recognize the outstanding achievements of our undergraduate Brothers.

The Talent Hunt program of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is one of several international programs designed to identify and support the youth of our nation and the world. The original program was born in the Sixth District, created by Brother J. Alston Atkins of Winston Salem, North Carolina and Brother Dewey Duckett of Rock Hill, South Carolina. While the idea was conceived in 1945, the first District Talent Hunt program wasn’t held until April 19, 1946 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The need for such a program was born out of the unequal opportunity afforded to some American youth to develop and give full expression to their talents. In 1953, Brother Atkins, assisted by Brother Duckett, chaired the first National Talent Hunt Committee and presented the first National Talent Hunt program as an integral part of the Omega Psi Phi Grand Conclave held in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Talent Hunt later became a mandated program for all chapters and districts and continues to be one of the standout programs offered by the fraternity

The Sixth District is woven throughout the fabric of Omega’s history and has played an integral role in shaping our fraternity from its very start.  It is almost impossible to talk about all that Omega has accomplished without infusing the part that Brothers in North Carolina and South Carolina have played.

Omega Leaders

  • Founder Dr. Ernest Everett Just –  Born in Charleston SC
  • 1st Sixth District Representative  S. Herbert Adams 1935-1943 Pi Phi Chapter, Charlotte, NC
  • Grand Basileus (9th) J. Alston Atkins 1921-1924 – Psi Phi Chapter Winston Salem, NC
  • Grand Basileus (14th) Lawrence A. Oxley Beta Phi Chapter, Durham, NC
  • Grand Basileus (22nd) John F. Potts 1953-1955 – Mu Alpha Chapter, Charleston, SC
  • Grand Basileus (24th) I. Gregory Newton 1958-1961 Beta Phi Chapter, Durham, NC
  • Grand Basileus (27th) Ellis. F. Corbett 1967-1970 Mu Psi Chapter, Greensboro
  • Grand Basileus (34th) Dr. C. Tyrone Gilmore 1990-1994 Epsilon Nu Chapter, Spartanburg, SC
  • Grand Basileus (40th) Antonio F. Knox Sr. 2014- Present Iota Iota Chapter, Raleigh, NC 

Milestones

  • 1st Undergraduate Chapter Established – Rho, Johnson C. Smith University – December 5th, 1921
  • 1st Graduate Chapter Established – Epsilon Omega – Orangeburg, SC – April 20th 1923
  • 21st Grand Conclave – Beta Phi Host Chapter – Durham, NC – 1933
  • 1st Talent Hunt for Sixth District Charlotte, NC – April 19th, 1946
  • 1st National Talent Hunt – 39th Grand Conclave, Cincinnati, OH – 1953
  • 52nd Grand Conclave – Pi Phi Chapter Host – Charlotte, NC – 1968
  • International Leadership Conference Iota Iota Chapter Host Raleigh, NC – 1995
  • 72nd Grand Conclave – Pi Phi Chapter Host – Charlotte, NC – 2002
  • 76th Grand Conclave – Iota Iota Chapter Host – Raleigh, NC – 2010
  • International Undergraduate Summit – Charlotte, NC – 2011
  • Centennial International Graduate Large Chapter of the Year – Pi Phi Chapter, Charlotte, NC – 2011
  • International Graduate Small Chapter of Year – Kappa Alpha Chapter, Rock Hill, SC – 2015

 

Distinguished Brothers from the Mighty 6th District

James Clyburn – Omicron Phi, Columbia, SC

U.S. House of Representatives, SC 6th Congressional District

 

Charles Austin – Omicron Phi, Columbia, SC

1st Black Chief of Police, City of Columbia, SC

 

Martin S. Roache – Xi Psi, Orangeburg, SC

Professional Golfer

 

Dr. C. Tyrone Gilmore – Epsilon Nu, Spartanburg, SC .

District Superintendent, Spartanburg P.S., Past Grand Basileus, S.C. Sports Hall of Fame

 

James Talley – Epsilon Nu, Spartanburg, SC

1st Black Mayor, City of Spartanburg, SC

 

Willie Williams – Beta Beta Beta, Wilson, NC

Chief of Police, City of Wilson, NC

 

Charles Blackmon – Beta Phi, Durham, NC

Senior Vice President of N.C. Mutual Insurance Co.

 

Dr. Melvin Pinn – Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

Medical Doctor, Past 6th District Representative

 

Michael Morgan – Iota Iota, Raleigh, NC

Supreme Court Justice, State of NC & Superior Court Justice, City of Raleigh, NC

 

Herbert U. Fielding – Mu Alpha, Charleston, SC

Former SC State Senator & SC State House of Representatives

 

Floyd Breeland – Mu Alpha, Charleston, SC

Member, SC House of Representatives

 

Charlie Dannelly, Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

NC State Senator Retired

 

Leon Stanback – Beta Phi, Durham, NC

Superior Court Judge in Durham, NC

 

Luns Richardson – Gamma Iota, Sumter, SC

President, Morris College, Sumter, SC

 

Dr. Henry Tisdale – Epsilon Omega, Orangeburg, SC

President, Claflin University, Orange burg, SC

 

Clarence Lightner – Iota Iota, Raleigh, NC

Mortician, Former, 1st Black Mayor of Raleigh, NC & 1st Chairman Omega Life Membership Foundation

 

Calvin Brown – Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

Attorney, Former Grand Counselor

 

Freddy Washington – Mu Alpha, Charleston, SC

Bishop of Roman Catholic Church, 1 of 11 Black Bishops in U.S:

 

Greg Austin – Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

Former President of National Pan-Hellenic Council

 

Dr. Leroy Walker – Beta Phi, Durham, NC

President U.S. Olympic Track & Field

 

Charles Turner III – Lambda Iota Iota, Bennettsville, SC

Editor to the Oracle, Chairman of Marlboro County D.S.S. Board

 

John H. Moore – Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

Former Grand Keeper of Finance

 

Linwood FoustPi Phi Charlotte, NC

North Carolina Superior Court Judge

 

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Born in Epworth, South Carolina, and Graduate of South Carolina State University

President Morehouse College and Civil Rights Activist

 

Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. Born in Greenville, SC  – Attended NC A&T

Democratic Presidential Candidate 1988

 

Charles BoldenBorn in Columbia, SC

Major General USMC Ret. –  Astronaut and NASA Administrator

 

Rodney Monroe – Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

Former Charlotte Mecklenburg Chief of Police

 

Kerr Putney – Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Mecklenburg Chief of Police

 

Donald Wayne Beatty, Epsilon Nu, Spartanburg, SC

Chief Justice, SC Supreme Court

 

Abraham J. Turner, Epsilon Omega, Orangeburg, SC

Major General United States Army – Ret

 

Dr. Cleveland Sellers Jr., Epsilon Omega, Orangeburg, SC

Immediate Past President, Voorhees College 

 

Charlie Dannelly, Pi Phi, Charlotte, NC

NC State Senator Retired

 

 

Sixth District Representatives

# Name Chapter  Years Served
1 S. Herbert Adams *  Pi Phi 1935 – 1943
2 E. Kermit Hightower *  Psi Phi 1943 – 1944
3 A.I. Terrell *  Psi Phi 1944 – 1945
4 John Potts * Mu Alpha 1945 – 1947
5 H. Carl Moultrie * Omicron Alpha 1947 – 1949
6 Dewey Duckkett * Kappa Alpha 1949 – 1951
7 W.O. Yarborough * Psi Phi 1951 – 1953
8 W.H. “Bubba” Young * Pi Alpha 1953 – 1955
9 J. Alston “Jack” Atkins * Psi Phi 1955 – 1957
10 J. Herbert Nelson * Epsilon Omega 1957 – 1959
11 John H. Moore * Pi Phi 1959 – 1961
12 Harold Boulware * Omicron Phi 1961 – 1963
13 George W. Miller * Epsilon Upsilon 1963 – 1965
14 Lewie C. Roache * Epsilon Omega 1965 – 1967
15 John M. “Bing” Miller * Beta Beta Beta 1967 – 1969
16 Thomas J. Crawford * Epsilon Omega 1969 – 1971
17 Zoel S. Hargrave, Jr. * Pi Phi 1971 – 1973
18 Charles T. Brooks * Omicron Phi 1973 – 1975
19 Mitchell E. Gadsden * Beta Chi 1975 – 1977
20 Holland W. Daniels * Mu Alpha 1977 – 1979
21 S.P. Woodard * Pi Phi 1979 – 1981
22 Dr. C. Tyrone Gilmore Epsilon Nu 1981 – 1983
23 Joseph W. Harper III * Pi Phi 1983 – 1985
24 Leon B. Babridge Omicron Phi 1985 – 1987
25 William H. Hoffler, Jr. * Psi Phi 1987 – 1989
26 Ulysses S.G. Sweeney III Beta Tau 1989 – 1991
27 Robert C. Williams Beta Chi 1991 – 1993
28 Lonnie C. Holman Epsilon Nu 1993 – 1995
29 John H. Scott Beta Phi 1995 – 1997
30 Charles S. Holmes * Mu Alpha 1997 – 1999
31 Dr. Melvin T. Pinn Jr. Pi Phi 1999 – 2001
32 Walter L. Funderburk, Sr.* Epsilon Omega 2001 – 2002
33 Antonio F. “Tony” Knox Iota Iota 2002 – 2004
34 John H. Williams, Jr. Mu Pi 2004 – 2006
35 Charles J. Worth Zeta Alpha 2006 – 2008
36 Dr. Octavio Miro Epsilon Omega 2008 – 2010
37 Vic Bruinton Iota Iota 2010 – 2012
38 Ulysses S. G. Sweeney, IV Mu Pi 2012 – 2014
39 Brian O. Beverly Beta Phi 2014 – 2016
40 Howard Jackson Epsilon Omega 2016 – Present
* Omega Chapter