Grimes Church Celebrates Heritage Night

On Feb. 15, congregants paid homage to the greats of African-American history.

Last month, members of Grimes AME Church gathered, as they do each year, to celebrate the giants of African-American history. This year the church focused on men and woman who have made contributions in fire fighting and law enforcement.

Among others, retired Phoenixville Police officer William L. Thornton was honored. According to a release:

He was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, but, moved to Phoenixville when he was about 12 ½ years old. In Phoenixville, he was known for his athletics in the school district, especially for breaking a record in track by running the 100-yard dash in 9.9 seconds. He received a scholarship to Mesa Junior College where he ran track and improved his times in the 100 yards (9.5 seconds) and 21.5 in the 220-yard dash. He then transferred to Utah State and gained even greater achievements in athletics. He set a record in the 60-yard dash (6.5 seconds) and played football. In the 1960’s, Thornton tried out for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Bengals. For many years he worked as a police officer for the Phoenixville Borough. He was the second African American police officer hired in Phoenixville Borough. 

Read more about the event, and the great men and women it celebrated, here.


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