It’s Knight Time: First Baptist Church member is Franklinton’s top citizen

Published 4:16 am Saturday, June 29, 2019

Richard Knight was named as the 2018 Franklinton Citizen of the Year on Thursday afternoon, following a vote of 12 previous winners of the award.

Several past Citizens of the Year traveled to Knight’s home to deliver the news personally to him and his wife, Vicki.

“I’m very honored and very surprised,” Knight said. “There are so many people who are so active in our community, and do such great things for our community. Just to be nominated is an honor, because there are so many in this city who deserve this award.”

The vote was held Thursday at the D.A. Varnado Store Museum annex. In the final round of voting, where the previous Citizens of the Year were asked to choose between the two remaining finalists, Knight emerged by a vote of 9-3.

“So many of us believed that you deserved this honor,” Terry Seal (1999 Citizen of the Year) told Knight at his home. “Congratulations.”

The date and place of a public ceremony to honor Knight will be announced in the coming weeks.

In the nomination letter that recommended Knight for the award, the letter writer pointed out Knight’s selfless nature and volunteerism.

“He has traveled the world to carry the Word of God to those who otherwise would never have had the chance to hear it,” the letter writer wrote, also pointing out Knight’s service to his home church of First Baptist Church of Franklinton. “He has traveled the United States to help those in need. After disasters, he serves those who need the mud cleaned out of a flooded home, feed those without food, or just pray with those who are searching for a ray of hope.”

Knight has served First Baptist Church on many committees and other capacities. He is a past chairman of the deacons, and now serves as a Deacon Emeritus.

“Richard truly shows his love of his neighbors and fellow citizens just by showing up where he is needed,” the letter writer wrote. “Although he has served in most, if not all of community organizations and has led most of them over the years, he serves best when he is face-to-face and heart-to-heart. He has helped build ramps for the handicapped, chauffeur those who need rides to doctor’s appointments, or just hold the hand of the broken-hearted.

“I believe that Mr. Richard Knight deserves to be our Citizen of the Year because he strives to fulfill the directions of Jesus, which in turn helps those in the world around him.”