Bench dedicated to memory of longtime pastor, educator Dr. Leroy James

There was a special dedication in Charleston Monday afternoon for the father of Live 5 News anchor Raphael James.
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 6:55 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Charleston dedicated a park bench Monday to the father of Live 5 News anchor Raphael James.

Family, friends and loved ones gathered at Hampstead Square Park to honor the memory of Dr. Leroy James, a superintendent with the Friendly Church of God in Christ in Augusta and a counselor with the Richmond County Board of Education.

Those who spoke used words like “uniqueness, honor and love” in describing the elder James. The honor also extended to James’s son for his dedication to journalism.

“When the cameras are gone Mr. James is there,” Rep. Wendell Gilliard said. “Whether it’s about crime, education, jobs trying to improve our communities, infrastructure, he’s there. “It’s almost like he wants to know the story under the story and when you have that type of motivation and that type of attitude, believe me, it goes a long way, and it says a lot about who this gentleman is.”

Dr. Leroy James’ widow, LaDoris, said the recognition is more than she could have ever imagined.

“Someone said today as we spoke that when you see the son, you see the father, and my husband was a person who loved people of all ages, of all caliber,” she said. “There was nobody too little or too small to be loved, and to see Raphael reaching out to people, not for his personal recognition but to help, I feel like the torch has been passed from his father to the son.”

She says the moment brought joy to her heart and thanked the entire Charleston community for embracing her son and being his strength.

Standing side by side, the James’ family cut the ribbon together to honor the legacy of their patriarch, who died in Decmber.