Wendell Lynch will be sworn in as the 27th mayor of Hopkinsville at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Memorial Building, 1202 S. Virginia St.
Council members voted unanimously to appoint Lynch to the position Feb. 4 after former Mayor Carter Hendricks resigned to become executive director of the South West Kentucky Economic Development Council.
Lynch, 68, will serve until the General Election in November when someone must be elected to finish out the remainder of Hendrick’s term.
Hopkinsville Deputy City Clerk Kari Freeman said a timeline is being put together to fill the Ward 6 council seat now left vacant by Lynch. The process will be similar to Lynch’s appointment, Freeman noted.
Lynch, a native of Hopkinsville, had served as councilman for Ward 6 since 2014 when he was once again elected by the council. According to New Era archives, the council unanimously chose Lynch to fill the vacancy left by former councilwoman Ann Cherry.
Lynch also won in the election that fall.
Prior to running for office, Lynch worked in the banking industry for First City Bank and BB&T Bank. He made history at both banks, being the first African-American banking officer at the local First City Bank and the first African-American market president for the local BB&T.
On Sunday, Lynch will be administered the oath of office by his brother and retired Christian County District Court Judge Arnold Lynch. A reception will follow.
Lynch said he’s still deciding if he will run for mayor this fall, but he recognized the history that comes along with his appointment.
Lynch is the second African-American to hold the position of mayor in Hopkinsville. According to New Era archives, Francis Eugene Whitney was appointed to mayor pro-tem in 1972. He served for 10 days.
Lynch said he was in college at the time he was appointed as mayor.
“My family kept me informed of what was going on, and it was kind of a high and a low at the same time,” he said, “but you know history has a way of repeating itself, and particularly if you are focused and you do all the things it takes to prepare yourself, preparation is really the key.”
Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.