Association of African Methodist Episcopal Scouts Article
Rise of the Mighty Phoenix
By: Maurice D. Hamilton, Scoutmaster
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the Rev. Alphonso E. McGlen is the pastor, is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Bethel AME Church serves as the home to the Mighty Phoenix of Boy Scout Troop 723. Troop 723 is a part of the Old North State Council, Boy Scouts of America. The Council covers the central part of North Carolina and provides scouting programs in eight counties ranging between Mocksville and Mebane, North Carolina.
After being chartered in 2011 at Evangel Fellowship Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of Bishop Otis Lockett, Sr., Troop 237 was born. In the summer of 2013, following the ruling from the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 237 was told it had to find a new home. The leaders and scouts of Troop 237 came together and began the process of finding that new home. In January of 2014, after months of praying, regrouping, and searching, Troop 237 was reorganized and relocated to Bethel AME Church and re-chartered as Troop 723.
The phoenix was adopted as the troop’s mascot. This mythical and unique bird lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian Desert. After this time, it burned itself on a funeral pyre, rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle. The phoenix is also defined as a person or thing regarded as uniquely remarkable in some respect. This unit rose “mightily” from the ashes and is producing positive young men who rise above what the world tells them they are and proves they can soar as high as the eagles and achieve all that life has for them. All of our scouts work hard to achieve their various ranks and merit badges and are honor students and leaders within their schools and in the community.
On April 10, 2015, Troop 723—under the leadership of Scoutmaster Charles Pittman—was blessed to have Christian Caleb Prescott earn the rank of Eagle Scout and become Troop 723’s first Eagle Scout. In the scout year of 2016, our second full year at Bethel, and under the direction of Scoutmaster Maurice D. Hamilton and the leadership team of Bethel Troop 723, The Mighty Phoenix have gained six new Eagle Scouts.
On May 10, 2016, Jesse Glenn Simpson, IV and Jordan Charles Hamilton became Troop 723’s second and third Eagle Scouts. Nathaniel Edward Powe, III followed on June 14, 2016 to become the its fourth Eagle Scout. Darryl Keith Quick, Jr and Jalen Raevon Burney became the Troop’s fifth and sixth Eagle Scouts on September 13, 2016. On November 8, 2016, Gabriel Charles Pittman became Troop 723’s seventh Eagle Scout. These six young men have attained the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
Each one of these young men worked tirelessly to develop, present, lead, and execute their respective projects. All six of the beneficiaries were very pleased with the outcomes. We are very proud of all of our scouts, especially these outstanding young men who have achieved so much thus far. We are looking forward to their future contributions to this great society in the months and years to come.
We the leaders, fellow scouts, family, church family, and friends of the scouts of Troop 723 will continue to strive for excellence and encourage all of our scouts to shoot for the stars and soar to higher heights in life just like the Eagle. They are rising like the phoenix!