Odom is Honored at Chowan’s Rouson Memorial Lecture
On February 5, 2020, Dr. Claude M. H. Odom Ed D. was honored with the Futrell/ Ruffin Community Service Award at the Rev. George T. and Luvenia B. Rouson Memorial Lecture in Turner Auditorium.
Dr. Claude Odom was born and reared in Gatesville, NC. He is the son of the late Alphonzo Bartell and Myrtle Hayes Odomand stepson of the late Odell Taylor Odom. He is the second oldest of his parent’s eight children. His early childhood education was in Gates County NC. Dr. Odom received an Associate’s Degree from Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Bachelor’s Degree from Shaw University, Master’s and Doctorate degrees from NC State University. He also graduated from the Triple C Bible College in Biblical Studies.
Dr. Odom’s former pastorates include Luella Missionary Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Kelford, N.C. He has been the Senior Pastor of the New Middle Swamp Missionary Baptist Church in Corapeake, NC for 27 years. He held the position of Moderator of the West-Roanoke Union, and Vice-Moderator of the West-Roanoke Missionary Baptist Association. Collectively, Dr. Odom has pastored for 37 years.
Dr. Odom is a past chairman of the Statewide Joint Regional Council of Governments, past member of the State Advisory for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and the Advisory Board to the NC State Credit Union. He is the former President of the NC Juvenile Services Association, former member of the Executive Board of the Mid-East Commission, and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Ahoskie, NC. Dr. Odom is the former chairman of the Board of the Triple C Bible Institute and Camp, Inc. in Ahoskie, NC. He is a founding member of the EXODUS for Youths, Inc. and also served on the Advisory Board of the College of Agriculture and Life Science at NC State University. Dr. Odom is a former volunteer Board member of the Hertford County Planning and Zoning Board. He was an active volunteer of the Harrellsville Community Rescue Squad as an EMT during the 80s. Dr. Odom served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors of the Roanoke-Chowan Community Health Center from 2014 until December 2019. Presently, he is serving as a volunteer on the Christian Education Committee of the Roanoke Missionary Baptist Association, the Gates County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council; he serves as a volunteer for N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislative Delegate for Hertford County, and a volunteer to the Regional Advisory Committee of the Mid-East Commission.
Dr. Odom is a 1993 Recipient of the NC State Human Relations Award. He served three years in the United States Army; he served one year in Vietnam and received the Army’s Commendation Medal. In 2010, he received a Chancellor’s Legacy Award from Elizabeth City State University. Dr. Odom retired in March 2012 from the NC Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as the Eastern Area Administrator. Upon retirement, Dr. Odom received the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine,” the most covenanted award given to employees and citizens of North Carolina for outstanding service.
His greatest two accomplishments have been the salvation of his soul through Jesus Christ and the marriage to Mrs. Bettina Perry Odom for 52 wonderful years. The Odom’s are parents of three adult children; Claudia, Brian and Aaron, two daughters-in-laws and one son-in-law, Deanna; wife of Brian and Kimberly; wife of Aaron and Darian, who has passed away who was husband of Claudia and six grandchildren, Daniel, Myles, Andrew, Morgan, William Claude and Kendall. His hobbies include traveling to his grandchildren's events, reading, gardening and fishing when he can find the time.
The Futrell/Ruffin Community Service Award honors two established Murfreesboro families, the Futrells and the Ruffins. Lokie Melton Futrell served his community with expert medical care. From 1915 to 1963, Dr. Futrell had a family practice in Murfreesboro. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. The Ruffin Family is well- known to all citizens of the Murfreesboro community. The late Jacob Ruffin established a family grocery business on Main Street and expanded it by adding a furniture store. He served as a Murfreesboro Town Councilman for many years and was devoted to all town citizens. Samuel Ruffin learned many skills from his brother, Jacob, and became an entrepreneur when he opened his own business, Ruffin Motor Sales. Other members of the Ruffin Family have contributed a great deal to the Murfreesboro community.