The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP will sponsor the annual Emancipation Day Service at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul Baptist Church, East 15th Avenue and Georgia Street. The event will also serve as the NAACP Membership Kickoff 2012.

The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP will sponsor the annual Emancipation Day Service at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul Baptist Church, East 15th Avenue and Georgia Street. The event will also serve as the NAACP Membership Kickoff 2012.

Special music will be provided and the featured speaker will be Arkansas Appeals Court Judge Waymond M. Brown.

Brown, a Pine Bluff resident, was elected to the appeals court in 2008. He has also been chief legal counsel for the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and chief deputy prosecuting attorney for Jefferson and Lincoln counties.

The judge has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and received his law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.

He is a member of Pleasanat Grove Baptist Church and was a five year member of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission.

The local NAACP sponsors the service in observance of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation each year on Jan. 1. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free,” according to the National Archives and Records Administration at www.archives.gov .