SHERIFF DOUGLAS PERNELL’S OATH OF OFFICE CEREMONY (HD VIDEO)
By Betsy Finklea
New Dillon County Sheriff Douglas Pernell took the oath of office on Sunday in the courtroom of the historic Dillon County Courthouse in a special session of court with Chief Justice of the S.C. Court of Appeals James E. Lockemy presiding.
The Rev. Dr. Rodney McCorkle of Manning Baptist Church, Pernell’s pastor, conducted the program.
The Rev. Dr. Roanell Hough, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, gave the opening prayer.
Cynthia Pernell, Pernell’s wife, recognized the dignitaries who were present.
The Rev. Dr. James Orr, pastor of Pyerian Baptist Church, gave a prayer of appeal for unity to the community.
Joyce Pernell, sister of Pernell, gave remarks. She recalled when Pernell was a boy and played Deboy (Graves) and Earlia Ray
(Vanderhall) with James “Hoghead” Campbell showing his interest in law enforcement at an early age. For the record, Pernell always was Deboy.
She shared many other family memories showing this was his calling.
She also talked about the past 12 years that he ran for office. She said the last four years he got ready to do something, he stopped and prayed.
She said this is what he wanted to do. She said it has been a long-time coming. She said Pernell will arrest people and recalled the day he came to the house to arrest his own brother.
Former Sheriff Harold Grice talked about what an excellent deputy Pernell was specifically recalling his work to break up a Jamaican drug ring that had invaded the county. He also noted that while Pernell worked for him, he was actually hired by former Sheriff Greg Rogers. He also talked about how much other agencies such as SLED, the FBI, and others liked working with Pernell because he did a good job and spoke of his good work ethic. He said Pernell tries to help people. He said he believes that the public will see a change.
Attorney David Watson recalled working with Pernell in the courtroom.
He said Pernell knew what cases needed to be worked on and which cases needed to be dismissed.
Chief Justice James E. Lockemy was the keynote speaker. He gave
remarks with the theme “Find A Way.”
Bishop Michael Goings, pastor of Outreach Family Fellowship Church, offered words of encouragement.
The program portion was followed by the oath of office ceremony.
Chief Justice Lockemy administered the oath. His grandson, Douglas B. Pernell, III, and wife, Cynthia, held the Bible.
Pernell thanked everyone who came to witness the ceremony. He said he ran for the people of Dillon County and for being able to help someone else. He said this is not an overnight task. It will take each and every citizen in this county. He said he hopes 20 years from now people will say they saw a change in Dillon County.
A special plaque presentation was made by the family of Earlia Ray Vanderhall, the first African-American deputy in the county. Special prayer and laying of the hands was done by Rev. Dr. Orlando McCauley, Jr., Saint Matthew AME Church. The benediction was given by Rev. Dr. McCorkle.