114 North Main Street
Henderson, KY 42420

Black History Month 2024

Rev. Charles Johnson has served as the Executive Director of the Henderson Human Rights Commission since 2019. In this role, he seeks to prevent issues of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, and familial status. He has worked with numerous community leaders, civic groups, religious, labor, industrial, and commercial groups to improve their dedication to promoting non-discriminatory practices as part of their organizations. Rev. Johnson has served on the boards for local groups including the Henderson Community College Foundation, United Way of Henderson County, the United Way of Henderson County Community Investment team, the Rotary Club of Henderson, and many more. He serves as the Chair of the Homeless Coalition and has been involved with the coalition since it began in 2017. He is also a member of the Pastoral Alliance in Henderson, KY.

Rev. Johnson has been serving as the Pastor of Greater Norris Chapel Baptist Church for the last 22 years. His church was instrumental in the naming of the local public preschool building after one of its members, Ms. Thelma B. Johnson. The building once known as 7th Street School is now named in her honor; the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center.

Henderson is fortunate to have leaders like Rev. Charles Johnson and we thank him for his continued efforts to make Henderson a better place to live and work.

Rev. Dr. Anthony M. Brooks Sr. was an advocate for Civil Rights of the African American Community in both Henderson, KY and Evansville, IN.  His civil rights advocacy in Henderson and Evansville has led to sit-ins at local restaurants such as Ferrell Brothers and Ken’s Corner Café. Dr. Brooks marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr in Louisville, Kentucky and Frankfort, Kentucky. He served on the Evansville Human Rights Commission and City of Evansville Public Works Board.

He has pastored three churches, the Webster Baptist Church from 1956-1958, Dove Chapel in Evansville, IN from 1958-1978 and Seventh St. Baptist Church in Henderson, KY from 1967-2020.

In addition to his pastoring roles, Dr. Brooks was promoted as one of the First African Americans to serve in the Administrative Office of Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) and as an educator. He served as President of both the Evansville/Henderson chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He lectured for the Association of Baptists in Kentucky and served as a father in ministry, which is active today across the country.

He graduated from Douglass High School and continued his education by earning a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Education from the University of Evansville and his Doctorate in Education from Indiana University. He was the First African American to play on University of Evansville Collegiate Tennis Team. Lastly, on Alvasia Street in Henderson, Kentucky,  Anthony Brooks City Park is named in his honor.

We are truly honored and appreciative of his service and his leadership in the Tri-State area. His legacy will live on in the Henderson community.

Darlene Marshall-Ware has served Henderson, KY as a Social Worker with Child Protective Services for 23 years. She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors at Matthew 25 AIDS Services, the President/CEO of “Bishops Table” in honor of her late husband David Lee Ware, as a United Way of Henderson County board member, and as the Community Investment Chair for United Way of Henderson County. Collectively, she has served Matthew 25 and United Way of Henderson County for over 20 years. She’s a founding member of the Homeless Coalition and still dedicates her time to that organization. Darlene is the Board Chair for the Henderson County Human Rights Commission and has been part of their mission for many years. Throughout her years of service, she has received numerous awards for her contributions.

They include:

  • Henderson KY Chamber of Commerce inaugural Femina Fortis “Woman of the Year” 2021
  • 17th Annual Tri-County Council of Labor Community Service Award 2013
  • Henderson County Black History Committee Special Achievements Award/Woman of the Year 2001

Please join us in celebrating Darlene-Marshall Ware and her involvement in making Henderson a great community.

Ms. Bobbie Jarrett is the Executive Director for the Housing Authority of Henderson and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. She serves as a pillar of inspiration as a beloved community leader, an advocate for the underserved, and a strategic businesswoman.  

Ms. Jarrett has spent the past fortyfive years working her way up the proverbial ladder. She began her professional career with the City of Henderson on September 15, 1978. During her tenure with the Housing Authority, Ms. Bobbie has worked in various roles including receptionist, occupancy clerk, bookkeeper, financial director, and executive director since 1997. Her visionary leadership has initiated exponential growth in property infrastructure development that has resulted in financial stability and growth for the agency. Since 2002, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) bestowed the high performer distinction to the Housing Authority of Henderson; including Public Housing of the Year in 2005, and in addition a near-perfect performance evaluation – 92 out of 100 – in 2019. The aforementioned federal and state recognitions illustrate her exemplary leadership and tireless commitment.

Moreover, Bobbie cultivates a high-touch resident-centered agency that offers support beyond the scope of affordable housing. Due to her risk taking, she ensures that residents have access to wrap-around services including Cabell-Platt Medical Center, Family Literacy, GED classes, summer youth employment, K-12 afterschool program, senior citizen services, and education & workforce certificates including Certified Nursing Assistant training and Welding Certification (partnered with Henderson Community College). The positive impact of those support programs led to a special designation as an EnVision Center in 2019. The EnVision Center’s charge is to supply centralized services and resources to housing residents and related community members. The four key pillars of self-sufficiency: (1) Economic Empowerment, (2) Educational Advancement, (3) Health and Wellness, and (4) Character and Leadership.

Outside of the agency, Bobbie offers her time and expertise to several public boards and non-profit organizations. Currently, she serves as Treasurer of the Planning Commission. She has been instrumental in promoting and identifying areas of need for the City of Henderson’s Consolidation Plan 2020-2024. The grant funding allows the Community Development Division to address needs regarding decent housing, suitable living environment, and expanding economic opportunities for low to moderate income community members. In addition to the Planning Commission, Ms. Jarrett has served on the Henderson Community College Foundation Board of Directors, Henderson Leaders Initiative, Community Engagement and Involvement Planning Commission, The Shelter for Women and Children, and a dedicated officer and member of the 7th Street Baptist Church.

We truly appreciate the opportunity to share Ms. Jarrett’s stellar leadership achievements as a committed lifelong resident of Henderson, Kentucky.