Tomorrow Lincoln Park becomes Frank L. Matlock Community Park. The ribbon cutting will be at 11:00am followed by several hours of festivities for all ages starting at noon. Carthage is hosting the event to honor Dr. Matlock, who made history many years ago becoming the first elected African American official and Alderman of the City.
Dr. Frank L. Matlock is a 1964 graduate of O. E Jordan High School. Shortly after high school in 1965, he moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin where he entered the Marine Corps in 1965 – 1967. He served in the Vietnam War. Upon his departure from the Marine Corps in 1967, he remained a resident in Milwaukee before returning home to Carthage in 1975. Dr. Matlock attended East Central Jr. College, after which he attended Belhaven College where he received his Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Christian Education. He later attended Wesley Biblical Seminary where he received his P.H.D. Doctorate of Divinity. Dr. Matlock has served as Pastor for several churches in The Christian Methodist Episcopal District. Upon his return to Mississippi in 1975, he became the Park Director for Lincoln Park, advocating for upgrades such as lighting and playgrounds. Assisted by Attorney Constance Slaughter, he introduced and initiated the Ward system that is still being used today. This Ward system allowed him to become the first African American Alderman in the City of Carthage in 1987. During his tenure as Alderman and under his leadership, alongside Mrs. Bettye Stewart, Thurman McGee, and a host of other mentors, The Boys and Girls Club was formed at Lincoln Park. Dr. Matlock remained Alderman, serving the people in his community for 17 consecutive years before passing the torch to his now longtime friend, Alderman David Cocroft. Dr. Matlock is married to Mrs. Beverly Jobe Matlock, he is the Father of seven children, Mark, Fella, Keena, Vanessa, Frank, Freddy, and Miracle. Miracle now serves as the first African American woman on the board of Aldermen in Carthage.