The Autobiography of Altamese K. White
I, Altamese K. White, was born on December 11, 1926 in the Gateway City known as Jacksonville, Florida. My parents were Will Kinney and Emmaline K. Jones Clark. I was the younger of three sisters, Ruth Ford Rogers and Willie Bernice Abrams. I attended Cookman Elementary, Davis Street Junior High, and Stanton Senior High Schools.
When the school closed each year, my mother would always take us to my grandfather’s farm 18 miles from Albany, Georgia in the country. There we had some rich experiences working in the fields and tending to all the farm animals. This was our summer vacation until school opened in September, then back home again to Jacksonville.
My grandfather was Jim Jones and my grandmother was Cornelia Jones, a Cherokee Indian. When she became peeved, she would always say, “I don’t have a drop of Negro blood in me.” My great-grandmother, “Ma”, was a slave. It was a real challenge walking the country miles, gathering the crops, and riding in the wagons to church and “Big Meetings”. My father died in 1940, the day before Thanksgiving. World War II followed this event. My mother told me I was going to college and that was hard to believe. God is a good God and through her meager earnings, I went to Florida A&M College, the only accredited 4-year college for blacks in the state of Florida. I was truly blessed to graduate from Florida A&M College, Tallahassee, Florida in 1948 with a B.S. degree in Home Economics and a minor in Science. She also said, “You are coming to Orlando”, and I did.
I moved to Orlando in 1948 and was married to Willie T. White (deceased) for forty years and one month, and I have one daughter, Barbara Elaine.
I received my Elementary Certification from Bethune Cookman College, Daytona Beach, and have done post-graduate work at the University of South Florida, Rollins College, and Florida State University as one of the pilot teachers for Head Start. I was also employed by the Orange County School Board for 39 years (6 years at Holden Street Elementary School and 33 years at Washington Shores Elementary School.) It was also a rewarding experience as a substitute teacher for three years, a total of 42 years.
My mother was the first one to join Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida. We were previously members of Second Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. I was next to follow her to Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. I have been a member for 47 years, almost 48 now. During this time, I became acquainted with Claudia Graham. I was elected the first president of the YWA and Junior Women in Congress #2 and served for 6 years. In the meantime, I assisted Mrs. Graham with the youth. She really inspired me.
I asked the Lord, “What Will You Have Me To Do?” The answer was, “Youth work and spiritual guidance”; writing speeches, plays, programs, and convention attendance meetings on Monday evenings. I had many, many experiences including being Superintendent of the Vacation Bible School for 3 years.
We had many fundraisers, selling dinners, etc. and we were asked to pay $10.00 each per month and this paid for the organ. Later in 1980, we moved into our new church located at 4077 Prince Hall Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32811.
It was a joy to be a part of the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, serving as Youth Director, and participating in The Cathedral Choir, Sunday School, Ruth Rogers Circle, Silver Angels, and serving as coordinator of many activities.
Presently, I am involved with the youth department (retiring soon), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated, Church Women United, Orlando, and Chairman of Extemporaneous Speaking in the Progressive M & E State Baptist Youth and Children’s Convention, Dean of Pledgees for the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated, volunteer at Rock Lake Elementary School for a special grant program, and other activities.
I received the House Resolution Number 2353 from the House of Representatives of the State of Florida as an Educator, Church, and Community Worker on March 31, 1993, recommended by Representative Alzo Reddick and many other citations.
My Hobbies are: Reading, Traveling, and Photography. My Favorite Hymns are: Amazing Grace, What A Friend, At The Cross, Blessed Assurance, Near The Cross, and He Lives. My Classic Readings are: Stardust, Trees, and He. My Favorite Scriptures are: Psalm 23, Psalm 121, and
I Thessalonians 5:18.
My greatest joy is working in my church. There are so many members and friends who have assisted me in carrying on the program with God in control. I cannot name each one because it would be too many. I thank God for every one of them and I know I appreciate their letting God use them on behalf of our children and the entire Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church Family. We are all servants of God. Thanks to Pastor Walter R. Prince, Jr.
I thank God for my two beautiful sisters, Ruth Rogers and Bernice Abrams, who preceded me in death. I also thank God for my sister’s children, my nieces and nephew, Dr. Janice R. Choice (Joe V. Choice, deceased), Ronald O. Rogers, deceased, and Debra Ann Rogers (these two I named), and my beautiful and talented niece, Dr. Jeresia L. Choice. Thanks to our precious and talented daughter, Barbara White, who served as Youth Choir and Mission president and Sunday School pianist along with Deidre Perry and Cynthia Boatman, and to all of the planning committee.
I serve a risen Savior and He's in the world today. To God be the Glory, Honor and Praises; God the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. “What A Mighty God We Serve!” “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
Love! Love! Love!
To My Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church