Black History Month 2019: Celebrating Black Journalists

Black History Month 2019: Celebrating Black Journalists

Each Black History Month, our family at Peace Missionary Baptist Church honors community leaders building a legacy for the next generation. This year, we’re proud to salute black journalists for sharing the true stories of the black community and showing us that representation matters.

We invite you to join us this Sunday, February 17 at 11:00 AM for an honorary ceremony with some of the Triangle’s foremost leaders in television, radio, film and community affairs, as well as print and digital media.

Read on to discover who will be joining us for this year’s celebration.


John Clark


ABC11-WTVD Eyewitness News

John Clark has been a member of the ABC11 Eyewitness News team since 1992. He co-anchors the ABC11 Eyewitness News morning newscast, weekdays from 4:30 am to 7 a.m, as well as Eyewitness News at Noon. John also reports periodically for ABC11’s evening newscasts and participates in special broadcasts and projects.

A native of Philadelphia, John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Penn State University. He and his wife, Val, are the proud parents of twins, Jasmine and Matthew.

When John is not spending time with his family, he enjoys movies and books. He is also active in his church.

Tisha Powell

ABC11-WTVD Eyewitness News

Tisha Powell co-anchors ABC11 Eyewitness News every weeknight at 5, 6 and 11pm. She has been employed at ABC11 since 2004 and has covered major stories both locally and internationally. 


Tisha is an Army wife and a mother of two daughters. She is also a native of Louisiana, and a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans.

Tisha proudly serves as a member of The National Association of Black Journalists, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Triangle Park Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Anthony Wilson


ABC11-WTVD Eyewitness News

Anthony Wilson joined the ABC11 Eyewitness News team in 1993. He co-anchors the Eyewitness News weekend morning newscasts and reports weekday mornings for Eyewitness News and

Anthony is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and former broadcast VP of the Triangle Association of Black Journalists. He’s also the lead instructor of NABJ’s annual four-day short course for aspiring journalists at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, NC.

Anthony actively works to develop more minority journalists through his participation in the Unity: Journalists of Color mentor program. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

Tim Pulliam


ABC11-WTVD Eyewitness News

Tim Pulliam has over 10 years of experience as a journalist.  He has received several awards and recognition for his reporting, including the “2017 Reporter of The Year Award” by the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.

As a proud graduate of Winston-Salem State, the University recently named him among the top 40 alumni under the age of 40.

Tim also earned his master’s degree in communication from Johns Hopkins University.

Lena Tillett



Lena Tillett has served as anchor/reporter for WRAL/TV FOX 50 since August of 2016. Prior to coming to WRAL, Lena worked as an anchor/reporter for WOWT-TV, a freelance reporter and a production assistant with ESPN.

According to her news philosophy, Lena believes journalism is a service: “It’s our duty to listen, expose the truth and provide the community with the information it needs to lead better lives. I believe a well-told story builds bridges and brings insight into worlds we otherwise would not have known about.”

Lena is a native of Washington, DC and a 2009 graduate of Georgetown University. She also earned her Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University. 

Gayle Hurd

North Carolina Education Lottery Host


New Jersey native, Gayle Hurd, has enjoyed a lengthy career in radio, television and public affairs. Her many roles in television have included producer, talk show host, reporter, anchor and public affairs director, spanning markets such as New York City, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Raleigh.

Gayle has also served as News Anchor/Reporter at WPTF-AM, where she covered the 2012 Democratic National Convention. In February 2013, Gayle became Producer/News Anchor for The Steve Harvey Morning Show on the company’s new station, WBZJ-FM. She’s also the current on-air lottery host for WRAL.

Gayle graduated from Temple University in 1982 with a Bachelors’ degree in Broadcast News and Public Affairs from the School of Communications and Theatre.

Melody Hunter-Pillion

Television Broadcast Producer, Show Host and Writer

formerly ABC11-WTVD Eyewitness News

A native of Laurinburg, North Carolina, Melody Hunter-Pillion is an award-winning broadcast news journalist and communications professional. From the Triangle to the counties “down east,” Melody covered Emmy-winning newscast in our community for 11 years at ABC11-WTVD.

After her tenure in news, Melody produced and hosted the PRWeek National Award-winning Rex on Call medical show for Rex Healthcare. Most recently, she served as Communications Director in the Office of State Human Resources for Governor Roy Cooper.

Melody is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Public History at N.C. State University under the direction of her dissertation chair, and fellow member at Peace, Dr. Blair Kelley.


Monica Barnes

Community Affairs and Programming Director

ABC11-WTVD Eyewitness News

Monica Barnes has worked for ABC-11 WTVD for over two decades, and we are proud to call her a long-time member of Peace, as well.

After graduating from Hampton University, Monica has worked in several media positions prior to her current position with ABC11, where she serves as the station’s Community Affairs and Programming Director.

As a long-time member of Peace Missionary Baptist and Delta Sigma Theta, Monica has dedicated much of her life to the service and betterment of our local communities.

Willie Glenn

Chief Public Affairs Manager

Durham Police Department

Willie Glenn is the Chief Public Affairs Manager for the Durham Police Department.

Willie attended North Carolina Central University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in English/Media Journalism, as well as a Master’s in Information Science.

In addition to his career in communications, Willie serves as a Deacon at Peace Missionary Baptist Church. He is also a proud member of  Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.


Kelvin De’Marcus Allen

Writer, Executive Producer and CEO

The Beulah Project

Kelvin De’Marcus Allenis the President and CEO of The Beulah Project, and a proud member of Peace Missionary Baptist Church. He has produced television specials and training videos for ABC affiliate station WTNH-TV, the National Cancer Institute and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among other notable companies.

Kelvin’s video documentary “Imagine If” won the Connecticut Higher Education Telecommunications Association’s Screening Room Award for entertainment programming. To his credit, Allen has interviewed some of the most notable names in Arts/Entertainment, including actors Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Spike Lee and gospel music great, Rev. John P. Kee. Kelvin is also a writer and an executive producer of the Durham-focused documentary film,“Hayti the Heritage: The Legacy of Black America”.

Kelvin is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C. and holds a Master of Arts in Leadership and Liberal Studies from Duquesne University.


Melissa Wade

Radio Host and Producer

The Light 103.9

Born and raised in North Carolina, Melissa Wade is one of the most recognizable voices in the Triangle. After receiving her B.A. in Communications from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Melissa began her radio career at WXFC in 1991. She has also worked with WQOK in Raleigh and WAMO in Pittsburgh, PA as a morning show co-host.

Today, you can hear Melissa from Monday to Friday as the producer of The Erica Campbell Show and live from 10am to 12 noon on The Light 103.9, where she is widely known as Melissa “Wade in the Water.”

When she is not on the airwaves, Melissa enjoys a love for the stage. She has performed in various stage plays, and musicals and has directed her own stage plays under her business umbrella “Wade in The Water, LLC.” She is also a proud wife and mother of two.


Barry Saunders


formerly TheNews and Observer

For over two decades, Mr. Barry Saunders wrote inspiring, thought-provoking articles for The News and Observer. 

A native of Rockingham, North Carolina and a graduate of Morehouse College, Barry is known for his poignant writing style, analyzing issues and providing a balanced perspective on an array of concerns facing North Carolina and our local community.

During his time at The N&O Mr. Saunders produced award-winning articles and was a fearless fighter who never shied away from taking politicians, city officials and others to task. 

Sabrina Seymore


The Prevailing Woman Magazine

Sabrina Seymore is a native of Fayetteville and a graduate of North Carolina Central University. She is proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, a wife, a mother and a business woman.

In addition to being the owner of Seymore Events, a full-service event planning company, Sabrina is also the founder of Prevailing Woman magazine.

Sabrina launched the publication in 2017 to promote the professional and personal achievements of women, on both national and global platforms. The magazine has featured celebrities such as Tasha Smith, Sherri Shepherd, Gabby Douglas, Angela Yee, and Soledad O’Brien.

Lynette Mitchell


formerly The News and Observer

Sister Lynette Mitchell is a wife, mother, daycare owner and a long-time member of Peace Missionary Baptist. She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina where she started as a junior writer for the Charlotte Observer.

Lynette attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988 on a full Knight-Ridder journalism scholarship, double majoring in journalism and history. During her time as an undergraduate, Lynette served as the editorial editor of the Daily Tar Heel, and as President of UNC’s first chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Lynette went on to become a reporter for outlets including The Charlotte Observer and The News and Observer.

Phyllis D. Coley

CEO and Publisher

Spectacular Magazine

Phyllis D. Coley is the CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine, as well as the host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show.

A Durham native, Phyllis received a B.A. in English from North Carolina Central University. She has worked at several media outlets, locally and nationally.

Phyllis is also the organizer of Durham’s annual MLK/Black History Month Parade, and the annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration.

Jennifer Hambric

Digital Strategist and Correspondent

formerly ABC11 Eyewitness News

Jennifer Hambric is a Durham native, Durham Academy graduate and, for the past three years, our church’s web and social media consultant. She currently works as the Director of Digital Media & Marketing for Valor Hospitality Partners, a global hospitality management company with corporate offices in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prior to her current role, Jennifer has worked as a producer, correspondent and digital strategist with media organizations including CBS Radio, NBC Universal and ABC11 Eyewitness News.

Jennifer is the former president of the Charlotte chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and a current member of the American Marketing Association in Atlanta. She is Google-certified and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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