Chapter History

The Eta Mu Lambda Chapter has been in existence since October 1, 1959 when nine educators in Gaston County set forth to charter the Eta Mu Lambda chapter. Their names were:

Bro. Edgar D. Wilson
Bro. Joel C. Marable
Bro. Leon McDougle
Bro. E.S. Geiger
Bro. Henry S. Blue
Bro. John Moore
Bro. Jethro R. Henry
Bro. Elwood Grier
Bro. Tommy Wellmon

The History of Eta Mu Lambda

On November 24, 1959, a meeting to organize a new chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was held at the Gaston County home of Brother Edgar D. Wilson. The nine men in attendance were presented a letter from the national office listing the procedures for organizing a new chapter in Gaston County. These men, educators and leaders in their communities, felt the need to establish the bond of Alpha brotherhood that was nurtured during their college days. These nine men, Brothers: Henry S. Blue, Edward S. Geiger, Elwood Grier, Jethro R. Henry, Joel C. Marable, Leon McDougle, John F. Moore, Tommy Wellmon, and Edgar D. Wilson became the Founders of the Eta Mu Lambda Chapter.

The next meeting of the new chapter was held Tuesday, December 1, 1959 at the home of Brother Wilson. Although no minutes exist from this meeting, it is thought from previous minutes that the agenda included a meeting with the Regional Director to further organize the chapter.

On March 13, 1960, a meeting to elect the first officers of the Eta Mu Lambda chapter was held at the home of Brother Leon McDougle. Elected officers were Brothers: Edgar D. Wilson, President; Leon McDougle, Vice President; Joel Marable, Secretary; John Moore, Financial Secretary; J.R. Henry, Treasurer; A.D. Belton, Associate Editor to The Sphinx; and E.S. Geiger, Chaplin.

The first “pledge line” was initiated into Eta Mu Lambda on December 4, 1961. This “line” consisted of Brothers: Lemuel Froneberger, Lonnie Hall, and Reverend Russell Shipman. Brother Froneberger is the oldest active member of Eta Mu Lambda. Eight of the nine Founding Brothers have crossed over into Omega Chapter. The lone survivor, Brother Tommy Wellmon, resides in New Jersey.

Past Presidents of Eta Mu Lambda are Brothers: Edgar D. Wilson, Smith Turner, Milton Williams, J.R. Henry, Willie McDuffie, William Hager, Lester Johnson, Lemuel Froneberger, Robert Bailey, Robert Miller, Harrison Conyers, Jamie Allen, Justin Lowery, Luico Holland and William Gardin.