Fraternity members

Fraternity members

Members of Phi Beta Sigma’s Gamma Kappa Sigma Chapter, seen here on the bridge at Garnett Street, include, from left, Johnny Williams, Christopher Anderson, Sterlin Walker, Horatio Camerion, Armand Hargrove, Charles Walton and Dennis Carrington. Not seen is Michael T. Williams.

HENDERSON — Phi Beta Sigma’s Gamma Kappa Sigma Chapter, for Vance, Warren, Granville and Franklin counties, is looking to grow in the north central region of North Carolina.

The future of one of the “Divine Nine” recognized Greek life organizations rests in the hands of just eight members.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., which falls under the National Pan-Hellenic Council umbrella, otherwise known as the Divine Nine, is a historically Black fraternity founded at Howard University in 1914.

There are over 200,000 lifetime members across the nation, but Gamma Kappa Sigma Chapter has just eight members, who are keeping the organization’s traditions going while looking to raise its profile in north central North Carolina.

On Sunday, Jan. 9, the brothers gathered in Henderson to celebrate the Phi Beta Sigma Founders Day and the Gamma Kappa Sigma Chapter’s reactivation of its charter.

An objective of the Gamma Kappa Sigma Chapter is to engage men of distinction to join the organization.

Because it is a Black organization, white people and people of other races may believe they can’t join. But “that’s not true at all,” said brother Charles Walton. “When people come to the informational meetings, our only concern is who they are as a person, not what they look like.”

“We take it really seriously,” he continued. “It’s always quality over quantity, meaning if we don’t find any brothers or potential members who are qualified by good character, or show that they will be assets to the fraternity, then we would much rather march on.”

Chapter members believe the diversity of the chapter is crucial. “We are looking for men of distinction to join the organization,” Walton said.

One key aspect of the organization that chapter members believe will attract new members is its emphasis on service work and personal accountability.

“It all goes back to God, to be honest. I prayed about it, and he just said this is an opportunity for me to have people who are going to hold me accountable and encourage me,” said brother Allen Simmons, vice president, “And that’s what the Bible tells us to do. We’re supposed to be in the community with other people servicing their needs.”

National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations like Phi Beta Sigma focus largely on service work in the community rather than fundraising for philanthropies, and they are typically smaller than other fraternities and sororities.

“As for growing Phi Beta Sigma in this region, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge to membership and recruitment,” brother Armand Hargrove said. “However, I believe this also has created an opportunity to build a strong foundation and presence in our community and articulate the principles of fraternity culture for humanity.”

Objectives for the chapter include creating and growing bigger and better businesses, increasing educational opportunities, supporting social action and creating a Sigma Beta Club for boys.

Trending Videos