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The Great Migration and Riverview church

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The Rev. Antonio Booth and the Rev. Dr. Roxanne Jones Booth, retired co-pastors at Riverview Missionary Baptist Church. Contributed photo

COEYMANS — The next program of the Ravena Coeymans Historical Society, scheduled for Feb. 11, at 2 p.m., will feature retired co-pastors of the Riverview Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Antonio Booth and the Rev. Dr. Roxanne Jones Booth, who will discuss the Great Migration, its impact in Coeymans and its impact on the founding of the church.

Serving as co-pastors for 13 years, the Revs. Booth became active in numerous community activities. They encouraged and were engaged in outreach opportunities, ranging from participation at the Friendship Festival to the RiverFest and to the 350th anniversary of the town.

At those activities, by partnering with TCI and Carver, the church gave free backpacks with school supplies. They organized a summer day camp for elementary school children and applied for and were awarded an Albany County Legislature grant three times to ensure nutritious lunches every day for the young children.

The Booths used summer youth employment workers as camp coaches and had them take surveys at the Coeymans Landing about the quality of life in their community.

They also served on the Coeymans Police Reform Committee, and Riverview Baptist was selected by the Unified Court System as an access kiosk for “people who may not have access to a home computer and/or internet service or need assistance in accessing the courts.”

The Rev. Antonio Booth revived the Ravena CROP walk, often raising substantial funds, with 25% of the money raised to support the town’s local food pantries.

The Rev. Antonio Booth was raised in Durham, North Carolina, graduated from North Carolina Central University with a B. A. in Public Administration, and received a Master of Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts.

The Rev. Dr. Roxanne Jones Booth grew up in Catskill, was baptized and ordained at Riverview Missionary Baptist Church, and became a three-time graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., where she received a B. A. in Political Science, M.A. in Religious Studies and Master of Divinity. She also received a Doctor of Ministry at Gordon-Conwell, specializing in Missions and Cross-Cultural Studies. Later, she spent 10 years serving and living as a mission worker in the Kingdom of Eswatini in South Africa. And in 2015, her “African American Baptist in Mission: A Historical Guide” was published.

This program, open to the public, will be held in the Ravena Coeymans Historical Society Museum, located in the rear entrance of the Ravena municipal building at 15 Mountain Road, which is handicap accessible.

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