RIO GRANDE — The Rev. Paul Franklin Willis Sr. is the keynote speaker for the annual banquet of the Southeastern Ohio Branch of the NAACP on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College.
The branch serves Gallia, Jackson and Lawrence counties.
Open to the public, the banquet begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased from, in Gallia County, John Howard or Jessie Payne; in Jackson County, Martha Cosby or Mabel Tanner; and in Lawrence County, Deotis Conwell or Annie Anderson.
Willis entered the U.S. Air Force as a chaplain and spent 20 years on active duty, serving in four foreign countries and five bases stateside. He retired in 1992 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He commenced work on a master of arts degree from Marshall University’s Graduate College in South Charleston, W.Va., in 1996 and completed his graduate requirements in 1998. He is currently an adjunct professor at the MU Graduate College, teaching in the counseling department. In August 2002, he became the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Huntington, W.Va.
Willis is a member of the Cabell County Chapter of the NAACP and president of the board of directors of Faith in Action. He is married to the former Shirley J. Davis of Charleston, W.Va., and they have four children and three grandchildren.
For more information or contact numbers, contact chairperson Martha Cosby at (740) 286-5630 or 286-1776.