Columbia, S.C. – Columbia Housing Authority (CHA) will host the 30th Annual Wall of Fame Ceremony Friday, April 7, 2017at 11 a.m. in the Drew Wellness Center Gym, 2101 Walker Solomon Way.

Mr. James Rhett and Mr. Carey Rich will be recognized for their dedicated community service and added to an impressive list of individuals who at one time received housing assistance from CHA.  The program also includes a keynote address by former Wall of Fame Honoree, Mr. Vince Ford.

Mr. James Rhett was a resident of Saxon Homes from 1946 to 1970.   James is a devoted husband and has been married 32 years to his wife Jennifer.  They have two daughters, Shamika and LaShona and five precious grandchildren. Despite his humble beginnings he has defied odds and encourages others to do the same by testing their faith.  He is a graduate of C.A. Johnson High School.  Rhett attended Southeastern Community College and the University of Wisconsin.  He received a Certificate of Evangelism from the Friendship Baptist School of Evangelism.  He was named Man of the Year in 2007 and Mentor of the Year in 2013 by Friendship Baptist Church.  In 2005 Lowe’s named him Salesman of the Year. James is currently the Pro Service Manager at Lowe’s, where 30 years ago he was hired as the first Black Assistant Manager.  Rhett is a prime example of what determination, leadership and guidance can do.  His great works, his selflessness, his compassion are his footprints in this life.    His greatest joys as a child was donating his time to go to the store and cutting grass for the elderly.  James learned the value of hard work, caring, leadership and devotion at a young age.  His passion for helping others keeps him busy fulfilling the purpose he believes God has for him.  Daily, he makes every effort to uplift others.  He wears a number of hats and serves them all to the best of his ability; with pure love and faith as a driving force.  He is a leader in the New Castle community where he currently resides.  He proudly serves as Chairman of the Trustee Board, the Business Administrator, Youth Basketball Coach and Chairman of the Homeless Ministry at Friendship Baptist church, where he has been a member for more than 60 years.  Rhett spends countless hours overseeing the efforts of the Columbia Homeless Solidarity Committee. He is described as a “Spirit lead advocate for men” and takes pride in being his brother’s keeper.  He singlehandedly makes an effort to reform the homeless and men needing support and encouragement.  He delights in taking youth and men under his wings as he guides them in the right direction by introducing them to Christ and finding resources to meet their needs.  His personal mission is to “train up a child in a village where they won’t stray away”.  This mission has allowed him to make a difference in the lives of many children who look to him as a father-figure. As well, he served on the board of directors for Positive Expressions where he embraced the concept of using all facets of the arts to communicate positive change and heighten the esteem of youth ages 7 to 17.  He is noted for having,” an innate passion for anything that promotes and or creates a healthier individual, family, community, society, and world.  He is a true humanitarian.” 

Mr. Carey Rich was a resident of Saxon Homes, Hendley Homes and Meadow Lake Drive from 1976 to 1995.  He is the son of Johnnie Mae-Rich Butler and the late Gregory Rich.  He is the father of twins, Carey Durand Rich, Jr. and Kierra Simone Rich and a member of Central Baptist Church in Columbia.  A graduate of C.A. Johnson High School, Rich attended the University of South Carolina and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. While at C.A. Johnson he led his team to a 3A State Championship in 1989 and was leading scorer for 1988-90.  Rich was named All Region, All Area and All State Basketball Player.  At the University of South Carolina, he received the prestigious Frank McGuire Most Valuable Player Award.  Following his college basketball, Rich played three years overseas in Finland, Venezuela and Brazil.  He currently works for the City of Columbia Parks & Recreation as Recreation Superintendent.  Charged with leading the Mayor’s youth sports initiatives, Rich serves as the community liaison, working directly with the University of South Carolina, School Districts and local business leaders.  It is during this time that Rich is most involved with mentoring young men ages 12 years and up.  He uses his life experiences as an inner-city child to impact and aid in the social and personal development of youth.  Broadcasting and analyzing basketball is a given for him.  Carey is a television and radio personality throughout South Carolina, even working with ESPN.  The platform allows him more opportunities to impact youth in the Columbia area.  Rich’s community involvement is extensive.  Each year he participates in the Unity in the Community Back to School event, sponsored by Second Nazareth Church and Benedict College.  He gives out over 150 book bags, school supplies and pays for more than100 free haircuts and hairstyling for kids going back to school.  As well, he coordinates the Annual Martin Luther King Basketball Bash to showcase the basketball talents of our local boys and girls.  He also honors retired basketball coaches who have impacted our community.  Rich also started the South Carolina Pro Am, an NCAA sanctioned event that spotlights top high school and college players within the state where players compete against each other in a safe environment.  His community involvement doesn’t end there.  He is actively involved in several fundraising events.  He provides sponsorships to his former schools, W.A. Perry and C.A. Johnson basketball teams to help purchase team shoes.  He serves on several committees, boards and councils such as The Chic-Fi-La Classic; the South Carolina Tip-Off Club; The March of Dimes and The Highway Patrol Advisory Committee.  He is the founder of Carey Rich CR3 Foundation, which gives back to the community by working with its youth.  Rich walks his talk and he tells others to “Play hard, play smart and play unselfishly.  Work hard, make smart decisions and use your blessings to bless others”.