A ceremony is scheduled Monday morning in honor of “A Living Legacy,” Sulphur Springs resident J.D. Franklin.
The service will begin at 9 a.m. June 17 at Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 208 Fuller St.
Sulphur Springs City Council at their June 4 meeting granted Minister Jason Lindley’s request to honor the community leader while he is alive by renaming a section of Jackson Street after Franklin.
Franklin, 82, is an accomplished businessman and civic leader, whose roots in Sulphur Springs run deep.
Franklin is a 1956 graduate of Douglass High School. He married Gloria Nash on his birthday in 1959. They have been married for 60 years and raised five children, who all attended college and received a bachelor’s degree and some achieved master’s degrees as well.
In addition to working for 30 years at Rockwell Company, he also had his own lawn care service. He more recently came out of retirement and is employed with the Sulphur Springs Independent School District Maintenance Department.
Franklin’s community involvement has included serving on the city council from 1975-1979, including serving as the first African American City Commissioner in 1975 and being elected as the first African American mayor of Sulphur Springs in 1978, City Councilman Freddie Taylor told the council during the June 4 meeting.
J.D. Franklin has been an active member of the Masonic Columbia Lodge #81 for more than 60 years and of Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church for more than 55 years, including becoming a church deacon in 1972.
When Lindley asked to honor Franklin, city officials told him to get those along that stretch or road to sign a petition showing whether they were in favor or against the proposal, as their addresses would be impacted by the street name change.
The petition was presented to residents, businesses and churches in the area, asking for their support for the renaming of Jackson Street in honor of J.D. Franklin. That was presented to city officials. Sulphur Springs City Council approved changing the name of Jackson Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to College Street to J.D. Franklin Drive.
A ceremony honoring Franklin will be held at his home church at 9 a.m., with participation from church and community leaders. All will be invited to the March to Unveiling Ceremony of J.D. Franklin Drive.
Refreshments will be served in the church fellowship hall afterwards.