NASHVILLE, TN — State Senator Thelma Harper was recognized by the Tennessee State Senate with joy and adulation on Thursday, April 12 for her 27 years of service as a Tennessee State Senator. Lt. Governor Ron McNally, led the Senate in this special tribute. A proclamation was read with more than 25 Where As’s, as the 33 senators, staff and guests watched with appreciation. Her daughter Linda and son-in-law Bobby Foster smiled boldly as the state’s first African American female senator and the longest serving woman senator in Tennessee history was saluted for her service.
Senator Harper announced in early April she would not seek re-election. “I thank you for working with me and allowing me to serve,” the proud Senator stated.
Pastor Howard E. Jones, Jr., senior pastor of Fairfield M.B. Church and candidate for State Senate District 19, Senator Harper’s seat, served as Chaplain of the Day and prayed a heartfelt prayer for the Senator. With his hands on her shoulder, among his poignant words he said, “Lord we thank you for such a strong woman who was not afraid to lead and to serve.” Senator Reginald Tate, Memphis and the Davidson County delegation stood with the Senator and her family and friends in the “well” during the presentation.
“I am going to relax a bit and do some other things in the community,” said Senator Harper.