On Saturday June 14, 2014 at 3:00 p.m., the City of Waterbury will be dedicating Pearl Street Park, known to the neighborhood as ABC Park, to the Rev. Dr. Harrison D. Bonner.
Prior to the transformation, the park consisted of numerous concrete structures tattooed with alphabet lettering and a swing and slide. The park now consists of a gazebo, play station for preschoolers, an exercise and entertainment pad, and a paved walkway.
A combination of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, Local Capital Improvement (LoCIP) funds and City of Waterbury funds were used for reconstruction.
Dr. Bonner was born and received his childhood education in Fairhope, Alabama. He went on to receive degrees from both Livingstone College and Wilberforce University. He later returned to Livingstone University to receive a Doctor of Divinity Degree in 1987 and Doctor of Ministry Degree from Hartford Seminary in 1992. Dr. Bonner preached his Trial Sermon at age 17 and became pastor of his first church at the age of 18.
After being the pastor of eight (8) different churches from North Carolina, New York and Connecticut, Dr. Bonner was appointed as Pastor of Mt. Olive AME Zion Church, Waterbury in 1972. During that time he led the building of a new and larger church structure at the current location. Dr. Bonner had a heart for the people and did much to secure housing for the elderly and others. He secured Zion Hill Housing Complex, also know as Mt Olive Towers, comprising 118 elderly housing units, secured five (5) additional buildings containing 28 apartments and retail office space and built five homes for first time home buyers.
Mt. Olive AME Zion Church sponsored a multi-service interracial and interdenominational senior center that has been open to the community since 1975. In June of 1992, Dr. Bonner prayed the opening prayer for the 102nd United States Congress.
It is because of his dedication to God, family and community that the City of Waterbury is excited to bestow this honor.
WHEN: Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: 82-100 Pearl Street, Waterbury.
FREE and OPEN to the public.