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Hall of Fame inductees named

News Publisher

The Atmore Area Hall of Fame Committee has made its selection for the 2024 inductees. They are Velma Jackson-Wilkins, Foster Kizer, Lavan Martin, James McNeil, Howard H. Patterson Sr., Dr. Delaine Salter, and Rev. Monroe Tucker.
The committee is changing the induction ceremony this year. Rather than an evening event, it will be held Sunday afternoon, May 19, at 2 p.m., at The Club. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served following the ceremony and everyone is invited to stay for a time of fellowship and visit with the inductees and their families.
Tickets for the induction ceremony are $25, and everyone attending (regardless of age) must have a ticket. Tickets are available at the Atmore News Office, 128 S. Main Street – cash or check only, no credit or debit cards. Seating is limited.
Members of the committee are President Billy Conn Madison, Charlotte Boyle,
Sherry Digmon, Larry Forney, Ann Gordon, Anthony Marshall, Dr. Ullysses McBride, Myrna Monroe, and Lori Stinson.
Each week, Atmore News will feature one of the inductees. This week, James McNeil is featured.
James McNeil


In 2022, James McNeil was the recipient of the Atmore Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is known as an enthusiastic and helpful individual who displays unwavering integrity. His involvement in the community provides an excellent example of his commitment and dedication.
McNeil has been a pillar in the community for over 30 years, proving to be a prominent member and supporter of this community. He has been an inspiration to many and is a man of honor and respect. He adheres to what is right and holds himself to a high standard of conduct.
McNeil has always had a significant, positive economic impact locally. He is the founder and owner of McNeil Square and McNeil Express. He is also the founder of The Concerned Citizens of Atmore, established in 1992, in which he served as treasurer. He was founder and chairman of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade. He was also the treasurer of a local NAACP chapter.
Currently, he is a member of The Small Group of America and Atmore’s Beautification Committee.
He has contributed his time and efforts by making church signs for local churches that include Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, New Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church of McCullough where he has served on the deacon board for more than 10 years. He was also involved in church renovations at First Baptist Church of McCullough and Liberty Baptist.
He also played a role in constructing the gazebo and the first scoreboard in the Little League field at Houston Avery Park.
Most recently, in June 2022, McNeil saw months of work come to fruition with the dedication of the Cornelia Elmore Library Memorial. It was his dream to honor Mrs. Elmore (1868-1958), a highly respected educator and civic leader in Atmore and elsewhere in South Alabama, who was responsible for establishing the first free-standing public library for Atmore’s black population. The memorial was built on the library site.
McNeil loves his community and has been giving back to the City of Atmore constantly through hard work and treating all people fairly.
McNeil retired from Masland Carpets after working for the company for 38 years. He has been married to his wife, Joanne McNeil, for 48 years and is a proud father of three children and grandfather of 13 grandchildren.