Sis. Benay is a lifelong member of Embry AMEC in College Park, MD. She is the current President of the Georgianna Stewart Missionary Society (GSMS) of Embry AMEC, a position she has held since 2009. The GSMS has continued to focus on social concerns; homelessness, hunger, health, education, the plight of seniors. Several new programs have been brought to fruition under Sis. Benay’s leadership to include School Break Goody Bags, Prison Fellowship Angel Tree, Senior Recognition Luncheon, and the Greeting Card Ministry. The GSMS has donated handbags filled with toiletries to women’s shelters and supported Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness. Also, the GSMS has raised money for outreach projects via Christmas Teas and Bowling Fellowships. The GSMS answers the call to offer assistance, whether it is at the conference, district, or international level.
She previously served on the Jr. Stewards Board, taught Sunday School, coordinated Vacation Bible School, and sang in the Gospel Choir. She was her local church’s YPD Director for over 15 years, serving three different tenures. She initiated the Graduate Recognition Program, the Back-to-School Night celebrations, and saw that the youth were exposed to cultural events in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Sis. Benay feels it an honor to have been mentored by several great missionaries of the AMEC: her mother, her sister, Jean A. Matthews, and all the other women of Embry AMEC and the GSMS, past and present. She has attended the past two Quadrennials and is an active member of the Catherine C. Hemingway Area. She also serves on the Commission on Christian Social Action.
Professionally, Sis. Benay has been an educator for the past 34 years, 10 in Charles County, MD and the past 24 with the Prince George’s County Public School System. She has spent most of her years in the classroom as a Special Education teacher, but served 10 years outside the classroom as the Data Coach/School Testing Coordinator. She currently serves as the Special Education Department Chairperson at her assigned school.
Sis. Benay is the youngest of 13 children born to the late Emma Christine and Clarence A. Gray. She is an alumna of Cheyney University, Cheyney, PA. She was nominated into the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 1974-1975. She was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. She is an active member of the Cheyney Washington, DC Alumni Chapter. Sis. Benay has been married to Earl Hawkins for the past 31 years. They are the proud parents of two children, Kendric and Kayla.