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CENTENARIAN (noun) a person who is 100 years old or older.
COTERIE (noun) is an intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose.

ZION’S CENTENARIAN COTERIE is a new and exciting STAR OF ZION Spotlight feature. Celebrating our centenarians is an idea whose time has come and is long overdue. It has been created because of conversations I’ve had with other Zionites requesting that the STAR OF ZION acknowledge members of their congregation who are 100-plus years young. Our Super-Seniors are Loyal and Royal. Their devotion to the Zion denomination deserves to be praised, honored, and treasured.

Submitted by: Rev. Dr. Melanie Miller, Pastor, St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church, Ewing, NJ, Camden District, New Jersey Conference, North Eastern Episcopal District

Mrs. Dora Marie Thompson Allen was born July 11, 1922, at Mercer Hospital in Trenton, NJ, to Thomas and Annie Laura Roberts Thompson. She attended public school in Trenton, NJ. In 1941, Mrs. Allen moved to Eggerts Crossing after marrying her husband, the late Sidney Allen, the son of the late Reverend Phillip J. Allen, who was the founding Pastor of New Salem Baptist Church located in South Trenton. Mrs. Allen has two children: Phillip S. Allen (deceased) and Brenda A. Blakeley.

Mrs. Allen began attending St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church when it was located on North Willow Street, and after her marriage, she attended New Salem Baptist Church with her husband. She returned to St. Paul after 25 years of membership at New Salem. Mrs. Allen served on the Usher Board and Nurses Unit at both churches, and other ministries at each.

Mrs. Allen worked at General Motors for 27 years as an Inspector and eventually retired due to illness. She was a volunteer at The Boys and Girls Club on Pennington Avenue and the location at Centre Street for many years. She also volunteered at Monument School for years and received an award from the school district in 1985 for volunteering 500 hours to assist teachers in the classrooms. She taught children how to bake and how to make a variety of art projects. She also served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader in Lawrence Township, NJ. Mrs. Allen was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, where she once held the distinguished title of Worthy Matron. In addition, she was a member of the Ameta Lexine Charity Organization.

Mrs. Allen loved to organize trips to Atlantic City for the senior citizens and play BINGO and POKENO with friends and family. She taught her grandchildren how to play 21, and they are no strangers to “scratch-offs.”

On her birthday, July 11, 2022, she received a Proclamation from the City of Trenton, NJ, signed by Mayor Gusciora, who wrote, “I, W. Reed Gusciora, Mayor of the City of Trenton, New Jersey, do hereby take official note of this joyous occasion of Dora Marie Tompson Allen 100th birthday and invite all citizens to join me in wishing her the happiest of birthdays.”

Submitted by: Rev. Dr. Melanie Miller, Pastor, St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church, Ewing, NJ, Camden District, New Jersey Conference, North Eastern Episcopal District

Mrs. Cleo Guinyard Singletary was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, on January 4, 1923, to Walter and Pearl Guinyard. She attended the St. Matthews schools up to tenth grade. She completed her public school education at Dunton High, Orangeburg, SC. She completed her nursing degree at Mercer County Community College and was a licensed Registered Nurse. She worked in nursing at most of the hospitals in the Trenton area, including Mercer Hospital and Princeton Nursing Home. She also worked as a private duty nurse at Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center. She later worked as a supervisory nurse in the Forensics Department at the State of New Jersey Psychiatric Hospital, a job she loved. Solving problems is a passion of hers. She retired in 1988.

Cleo (as she likes to be called) became a member of St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church after transferring from Cadwalader United Methodist Church (UMC) in Trenton, NJ, around 2021. She continues to drive herself to church, where she is very supportive of St. Paul's ministries. She is a faithful member and attends worship, Sunday School, Bible Study and Class meetings regularly. St. Paul pastors and members love her smile, encouragement, godly wisdom, guidance, and homemade zucchini bread. She was quite active in ministry at Cadwalader UMC as the President of the Communion Stewards for 40 years, Chairperson of Evangelism, Class Leader, and Chaplain of Cadwalader United Methodist Church Nurses Unit. She also served well in the community of Trenton as the Vice President of Nurses of Trenton and Community and Chairperson of Nurture Care.
Because of her outstanding work and commitment to God and community, Cleo received several awards, including the Cadwalader UMC, The Purpose Driven Life Award as a Class Leader, The Children of New Vision Community Center Award, honors from the Collinswood Manor United Methodist Home, Top Ladies of Distinction in Ewing, The Ewing Hollowbrook Center Award, and United Nurses of Trenton and Vicinity. She was also honored for outstanding work to the church and community of the State of New Jersey Psychiatric Hospital.
Doral Allen and Family
Doral Allen and Family
Cleo married the love of her life, the late Nathaneal Singletary, in May of 1940. She has one daughter, Dolores, and is a very proud grandmother.

Cleo’s favorite Scripture is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Her favorite hymns are This Little Light of Mine, and It Is Well With My Soul.
Cleo’s motto is “Let the life I live speak for me.” And she says, “I put my light on top of a barrel so it can be seen shining for Jesus.”
Please submit names, bios, and pictures of our living legends to be included among Zion’s Centenarian Coterie to Debra Chappelle-Polk, Zion Spotlight Editor @ zionspotlight@starofzion.org


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