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Eugene L. Pierce Sr.

Born on 6-23-1935. He was born in Bay, Springs. He is accomplished in the area of Religion.
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Reverend Eugene L. Pierce was born Lovely E. Pierce on June 23, 1935, in Bay Springs, Mississippi, the third oldest of eleven children of the Rev. Lou E. Pierce and Mrs. Denothras Pierce (Pickens).

Reverend Pierce spent his early childhood in Laurel, Mississippi, where he suffered under the policy of strict racial segregation. He attended schools that were inferior to those of white students. He lived in the "Colored Projects" on the other side of the tracks. Reverend Pierce had to drink from the water foundation marked "Colored Only. "When he attended the movie theater, he had to sit in the balcony. He was not allowed to use the public library or sit at the lunch counter at downtown restaurants. In 1950, he relocated to Buffalo, New York, hoping to improve his way of life.

He was shocked that racism also existed in Buffalo, but he remained there to assist his uncle in caring for his ailing Aunt. He graduated from Lafayette High School in Buffalo, then earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Buffalo State College and an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Buffalo. In 2002, Rev. Pierce was licensed and ordained as a Minister of the Gospel.

Rev. Pierce was an exemplary and devoted leader in the U.S. Army for 18 ½ years. He has served in the Regular Army, Active Reserve Component, and National Guard. Rev. Pierce was a member of the Military Police Corps and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant First Class E7. He continues to serve in the American Legion Jesse Clipper Post No. 430, where he was Post Commander from 2013-2014-2021-2022. During Army Basic at Fort Hood, Texas, Pierce's fellow trainee was Elvis Presley. His first overseas assignment was in Gelnhausen, Germany. His Company Commander was 1st Lt. Colin Powell, the future Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Pierce is the founder and first Executive Director of the B.U.I.L.D. Halfway House. As President of the Pilgrim Baptist Church Housing Corporation, he was instrumental in constructing Pilgrim Village, an eighty-unit low-income housing development located north of the Medical Corridor between Michigan Avenue and Ellicott Street.

In 1970, Reverend Pierce relocated to Cheektowaga, New York. In 1971, Rev. Pierce was alerted by his family that something was afire on his front lawn. Rev. Pierce observed that a cross was burning. He instructed his family to remain inside while he armed himself with a pistol and exited his house through the garage. Three men were standing in front of the cross. He ordered them to extinguish the burning cross and leave his property immediately or be shot. They chose the former.

In 1974, he was arrested along with seven members of the B.U.I.L.D. Organization for demonstrating against police brutality in Buffalo. In 1977, he was arrested in Cheektowaga for demonstrating against employment discrimination. His efforts in the struggle for racial justice in Cheektowaga resulted in two misdemeanor convictions, both of which he refers to as his "badges of honor." Also, in 1977, his home had to be protected by the F.B.I. for a year due to threats received by his entire family. Upon investigation, the federal government determined that the Town of Cheektowaga was guilty of employment discrimination, and Cheektowaga was ordered to reform its hiring practices. This paved the way for hiring the first African American in Cheektowaga.

He was a Plant Security Officer at the Bethlehem Steel Plant in Lackawanna, where he served as President of Guards Local 2332, AFL-CIO. Rev. Pierce retired in 1997 as Deputy Superintendent of the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden, New York. He served as Commissioner of The Erie County Conditional Release Commission. Rev. Pierce also served as Chairperson of The Erie County Community Advisory Board.


American Correctional Association
American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement
Lambda Alpha Epsilon (Professional Criminal Justice Fraternity)
Buffalo State Alumni Association
University of Buffalo Alumni Association
Saint John Lodge, Free and Accepted Mason
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 3-3
Disabled American Veterans, Post No. 150
American Legion Jesse Clipper Post No. 430
Buffalo Genealogical Society of the African Diaspora

He has received several Outstanding Service Awards from the community: Award of Excellence from Group Ministries, Inc.; Two Black Achievers Awards, Martin Luther King. Jr. Award; Labor Unionist of the year; Boy Scout Leader of the Year; Buffalo Branch, N.A.A.C.P., Medgar Evers Civil Rights Award, Southern Christian Leadership Outstanding Service to The Community and American Legion Jesse Clipper Post 430, Legionnaire of the Year Award.

Rev. Pierce gives God the Glory for all of his accomplishments. He has been married sixty-four years to his beautiful wife Sharon, his rock. She has walked beside him and encouraged his many pursuits. He is the proud father of four children: Darwin, Eugene Jr., and Denothras. His hobbies include photography and fishing.