Darlington native is featured in Journal of Cancer Education
Rev. Vernette Mack Dees, a Darlington native and associate pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Columbia, has been featured in the Journal of Cancer Education for her work in the community on colorectal cancer. The article, “Rise Up, Get Tested & Live: An Arts-Based Colorectal Cancer Educational Program,” was written about a play that focuses on fighting colorectal cancer, which plagues the African-American community. This is the first time a journal article was published about a church theater production written, produced and directed by an associate pastor in South Carolina. The church celebrated Dees on the journal article release via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article was published by the University of South Carolina’s School of Public Health. At a special ceremony, Dees received a proclamation from the City of Columbia from City Councilman Ed McDowell and City Councilman Sam Davis. A formal ceremony will take place at Trinity in the fall with a reception to follow. Trinity Baptist Church, located at 2521 Richland St., Columbia, has been a cornerstone of the Edgewood Community for 100 years. Dees is a noted playwright and has written, directed and produced many plays at Trinity Baptist Church and surrounding communities. Dees has continued to nurture her passion for theater by leading the Drama Ministry at Trinity, and has written and directed Trinity’s Easter production, “When Sunday Comes” (2002) for over 19 years. In addition to her work at Trinity, she has written and directed “Silent Tears” (2005), where she toured with a cast in churches in the Carolinas, Virginia and New York. Dees is a 1983 graduate of Columbia College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Theater and Speech. She is the daughter of the late Cleveland and Janie Mae Mack of Darlington. She is married to Ralph E. Dees and they have one daughter, Dr. Aariel L. Dees.