City to rename community center to honor Bellfield

Published 8:54 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


The City of Orange will host the dedication and ribbon cutting of the Essie L. Bellfield Orange Community Center at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, located at 103 North 5th Street in Orange. Currently known as the Orange Community Center, it is also known as the Meals on Wheels facility.

The City of Orange will rename the Orange Community Center to the Essie L. Bellfield Orange Community Center to honor Bellfield for serving the community of Orange with distinction and outstanding commitment as a resident and City Official.

The ceremony will include welcoming remarks from Mayor Larry Spears Jr and invocation from Pastor Bright.

The unveiling of the new sign and a ribbon cutting by the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce will immediately follow.

Guests are invited to enjoy refreshments following the dedication ceremony.


Bellfield has walked during the March and was in the crowd as Martin Luther King Jr gave his infamous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Washington. D.C.

She has fought for equal rights, encourages others to exercise their right to vote and strives to improve Orange.

Bellfield was the first black and first female to hold the office of Mayor. Until her last campaign for City Council Member, she won every election.

Her involvement with the government began many years ago on a park bench in Galveston, Texas.

A park bench is where she began her fight for injustice and became involved with civil rights.

Recently, Salem United Methodist Church renamed of one of the church’s education buildings in Bellfield’s honor.

In July, the City Council unanimously voted to rename Orange’s senior center after Bellfield.

She holds lifetime memberships to the NAACP, Top Ladies of Distinction and the Council of Negro Women