Meet Lambda Rho Zeta Chapter
Updated: Sep 13
Five young Zeta women joined Eta Lambda Chapter of Mount Clemens, Mich. in 1981 as they prepared to establish a Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Chapter in Pontiac, Mich. They are named below. Eta Lambda Zeta Chapter’s Ninth Annual “Woman of the Year Celebration” was held at the Pontiac Silverdome. Mrs. Exavier Evelyn Gandy Holland, the First Lady of the City of Pontiac, was the honoree.
These young women had the influence and tenacity to be trailblazers in the Pontiac community, where they lived. The charter members received the charter for Lambda Rho Zeta in December 1982, and officially chartered the chapter on Jan. 22, 1983.
Their maiden and married names and undergraduate chapters of initiation are as follows: Sorors Dr. Willie B. Walker - Aldridge (1965, Tuskegee University, Theta Beta Chapter, Tuskegee, Ala).; Dorothy Franks - King (1967, Gamma Gamma Chapter, North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C.); Edna Frye Metoyer (1950, Nu Chapter, Virginia Union University Richmond, Va.); Yvonne McLaurin Robinson (1965, Zeta Chapter, Alcorn State University, Lorman. Miss.); and Brenda Street (1965 – Zeta Beta Chapter Charter Member, Southern University, New Orleans, La.).
Immediately after being chartered, Lambda Rho Zeta’s bright Zeta light began to illuminate in Pontiac. Caught in the glow, three new sorors joined the chapter in April 1983; five more joined in 1984. To date, the five charter members have been joined by over 40 more ladies under Zeta’s umbrella.
1984 was our historical year because we held our chapter’s first annual “Woman of the Year” Celebration at the Pontiac Silverdome. Mrs. Marie Hayes Johnson, a dynamic and outspoken community activist, was the first honoree. Our first event had over 300 persons present and established Lambda Rho Zeta chapter in the Pontiac community.
Lambda Rho Zeta carries out Zeta’s national theme beginning in 1986, “Working Together to Render Service to Help Improve Human Condition,” to present Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Others to Excel). The ongoing community projects include: Elder Care and Adopt-A-Senior, Back-to-School Picnic, Adopt-A-School, Voter Registration and Education, Macedonia Church Health Fair, Welcome Church Thanksgiving Community Meal, Kids First Initiative, Prematurity Awareness Sunday, and the NPHC Step Show-Spring Bash.
Our other signature programs are the Back-to-School Rally, Bowling for Scholarship, Prematurity Awareness Sunday, Theater Party, OLHSA Walk for Warmth, Lambda Rho Zeta Finer Womanhood Luncheon, Sips for Scholarship, March of Dimes and Stork’s Nest.
Sorors Doris Woods, Brenda Street and Betty Esnault went to commission and visit water wells in Ghana, Africa.
By 1986, Lambda Rho Zeta hosted three Finer Womanhood Scholarship Luncheons and distributed $4,600 in scholarships to Pontiac young ladies. In 2019, we hosted our 36th Annual Finer Womanhood Luncheon. Since the inception of the program until then, we awarded a total of $15,000-$20,000 in scholarships to high school seniors and collegiate students. Lambda Rho Zeta is one of the first chapters in Michigan to successfully establish a (501) c3, which we have named “Pearls of Hope Foundation.”
In 1986, the chapter chartered an auxiliary youth group, the Archonettes, ages 14-18. That same year, the adult auxiliary group, the Amicae of Pontiac (Friends of Zeta) was chartered. In 1987, Lambda Rho Zeta organized its youngest auxiliary group, the Little Pearls. In 1988, the auxiliary family was completed with the Amicettes.
Undergraduate Chapter – Nu Nu Chapter
On April 25, 1987, the Archonian Club was established at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where the undergraduate chapter Nu Nu was chartered with 10 young ladies.
These women are carrying the torch of Zeta into 2020: Basileus: Lashonda Lewis, Esq; First Anti-Basileus - Linda Parker-Cooks; Second Anti-Basileus - Tabatha McFarland; Third Anti-Basileus - Erica Goldston; Corresponding Grammateus - Anita Barksdale; Grammateus - Romonia Phillips; Tamias - Betty Esnault; Tamias Grammateus - Dr. Janice Simpson; Graduate Member-At-Large - Jacinda Richards; Pearls of Hope Foundation Member at Large - Lauren Webster; Epistoleus - Urayna Nance; Phylacter - Earnett Nolden; Chaplain - Betty Esnault; Antapokratis - Brenda Street.
Local, State, Regional and National Recognition
Lambda Rho Zeta has earned the Community Award from the NAACP, but also awards from the Sisterhood. From the region: first place scrapbook and chapter report, 1987; first place Z-HOPE Award, 2010 & 2015-2016; second place Elder Care, 2016; and second place Z-HOPE, 2018 & 2019. From the Michigan State Organization: first place scrapbook, 1987; Outstanding Chapter Award MSO Leadership Conference, 2016 & 2017. From the national level: Z-HOPE recognition, 2004- 2006; third place Z-HOPE, 2010; second place Elder Care, 2014; and first place Z-HOPE, 2015-2016.
State Leadership Conference
Lambda Rho Zeta hosted the state leadership conference in 2016 at the Troy Somerset Inn in Troy, Mich. This event was beautiful and had a Roaring 20’s theme. One highlight was the presence of Triumphant Soror Frances E. Faithful, the last living daughter to our illustrious pearl, Myrtle Tyler Faithful.
In 1987, our chapter organized the Stork’s Nest at Triumph C.O.G.I.C. In 2017, we expanded the Stork’s Nest in partnership with St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital to be the first chapter in the Great Lakes Region to collaborate and house the nest inside of a hospital. We have full access to classrooms and doctors and nursing practitioners.
Zeta Leaders & Trailblazers
Our chapter has dynamic members that blaze paths in the community leading and representing Zeta in a positive light. Soror Anita Barksdale, 2019 Woman of the Year, oversees the Stork’s Nest in partnership with St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital. At any moment, we can catch her teaching emergency response classes or on the local television station teaching how to secure a child’s car seat safely and correctly.
Soror Urayna Nance has revitalized our undergraduate chapter Nu Nu (Oakland University) over the last eight years, developing and mentoring a great group of undergraduates. These young ladies have won state and regional awards in the last three years for service and scholarship.
Soror Erica Goldston has served locally, state and national within our illustrious organization, including being appointed to the National Investigation Committee. Her zeal for Zeta and dedication is the perfect example of what one can experience in our organization.
Sorors Linda Parker Cooks and Earnett Nolden have served as Military Coordinators in the state, bringing awareness to initiatives that impact our veterans and allowing us to assist them meeting their basic needs.
Sorors Dorothy F. King, Carolyn Dinkins, Denise Morgan, Carole Grandberry, Marcia Boykin and Rosella Campbell, who partner twice once a week with the local Adult Day Care, make craft projects with the residents. The unconditional love and patience that is displayed to these residents is priceless and the director has established a strong partnership with Lambda Rho Zeta.
Charter/Chapter Member Dorothy F. King was named International FIRST Founders and Society Centennial Visionary Soror.
We have six life members: Sorors Betty Esnault (DLM), Erica Goldston (LM), Carole Grandberry (DLM), Dorothy F. King (DLM), Linda Parker-Cooks (DLM), and Janice Simpson (DLM). DLM stands for Diamond Life Member.
Lambda Rho Zeta has a been blessed to have a beautiful group of Doves: Sorors Brenda Street, Yvonne Robinson, Dorothy F. King, Carole Grandberry, Edna Metoyer and Dr. Willie B. Aldridge. These gems continue to provide guidance and wisdom to the chapter.
Our legacy pairings are: Sorors Brenda Street and Linda Mitchell Sanchez; Sorors Yvonne Robinson and Chera Best; Sorors Carole L. (Wilson) Grandberry and Triumphant Soror Mary Octavia (Wilson) Dandridge; Sorors Erica Goldston and Maiya Goldston; Sorors Dr. Janice Simpson and Candace Simpson; Sorors Betty Esnault and Victoria Esnault; Sorors Leah Drew, Renisha Drew and Kim Drew; Sorors Grace Griffin and Auf Wiedersehen Agboka, Celina Winfield, Auf Wiedersehen Winfield, J’Vann Winfield and Chelsea Kelland; Sorors Anita Barksdale and Vernice Bell; Sorors Jacinda Richards and Janell Richards-McWilliams; Sorors DeVette S. Brown and Veronica L. Brown; Sorors Juanita Turner-Jackson and the Jackson Sisters; Sorors Karyn Tucker-Fields and Jadin Fields; Sorors Tabatha McFarland and Elisha Gibson; and Sorors Lashonda Lewis, Esq, Naomi Gulley and Elisha Gibson.
Note: This is part of the Michigan State Organization’s online series "The MSO Great History Countdown! Our Centennial Journey to State Meeting" to leave a lasting gift to the state in honor of Zeta’s 100th anniversary. Histories from every graduate and undergraduate chapter in Michigan is being published in the month of September 2020 in the days leading up to the centennial state meeting. The project was approved under State Director Lynese Thomas’ administration, and overseen by MSO Epistoleus Earlene McMichael in partnership with MSO Historian Trudy Hale and Great Lakes Region Historian Norma Dartis.