Ernie Pitt, the publisher and co-founder of The Chronicle, will be the speaker at St. Paul United Methodist Church’s Men’s Day on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. The special musical guests will be the Cherry Street Ensemble Inmate Choir.
Greensboro native Pitt founded the Winston-Salem Chronicle in the fall of 1974 to give voice to the local African American community.
A Vietnam War veteran and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Pitt had worked as a beat reporter at white-owned daily newspapers and learned quickly that they were ill-equipped to address the issues of the black community and uninterested in highlighting anything beyond crimes committed by blacks.
Each week over the past 39 years, The Chronicle has reflected Pitt’s vision and strong journalistic pedigree, and today is recognized as one of the nation’s best weekly newspapers.
The paper has won dozens of state and national honors, and, in the 1980s, became the first black-owned newspaper to be named the state’s top weekly by the N.C. Press Association. The National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA) has twice presented The Chronicle with its esteemed John B. Russwurm Award to recognize it as the nation’s top black-owned paper.
A two-time NNPA Publisher of the Year, Pitt is active in the community and at his church, St. Paul United Methodist. The father of three and recent first-time grandfather is especially proud of his longtime service as a Meals on Wheels volunteer.
The Cherry Street Ensemble Inmate Choir was founded 15 years ago after an inmate came up with the idea. It is a program of the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries. Community volunteers work with the chaplains to supervise and coordinate the Choir’s performances at churches and community events.
St. Paul United Methodist Church is located at 2400 Dellabrook Rd. Rev. Donald Jenkins is pastor of the church.