Justice Beam investiture ceremonies set for March 7 in Gulfport and Hattiesburg

Investiture ceremonies for Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Dawn H. Beam are scheduled for March 7 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Gulfport and at 3 p.m. at Bennett Auditorium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Gov. Phil Bryant, who appointed Justice Beam to the Supreme Court, will give the keynote address at both ceremonies. Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. will administer the ceremonial oath. Justice Beam will speak during both ceremonies.

Justice Beam took the oath of office Feb. 16. It is traditional to administer a ceremonial oath at a later investiture.

The Gulfport ceremony will open with a welcome and introductions by First Baptist Gulfport Pastor Dr. Jimmy Stewart and presentation of the colors by the Air National Guard. Sam Newman and Benjamin Jones will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and students of Gulfport High School will sing the National Anthem. Rev. Bo Roberts of Gulfport will give the invocation. Rev. Kenneth Maurice Davis of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in D’Iberville and Rev. Michael P. O’Connor, pastor of Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St. Louis, will read scripture. Justice Beam’s father, Dr. Gene Henderson, will give words of encouragement. Sam Newman, Justice Beam’s youngest son, will sing. Justice Beam’s brother, Pinelake Church Senior Pastor Dr. Chip Henderson of Brandon, will give the benediction.

The Hattiesburg ceremony will open with presentation of the colors by members of the USM ROTC. Sam Newman and Benjamin Jones will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Forrest County Justice Court Judge Gay Polk-Payton will sing the National Anthem. Dr. Gene Henderson will give the invocation. Rev. Hong Yoo, Pastor of Sumrall United Methodist Church, where Justice Beam is a member, and Dr. Tommy King, president of William Carey University, will read scripture. Dr. Chip Henderson will give words of encouragement. Sumrall High School Ladies Ensemble will sing. Senior Chancellor Johnny Williams of Hattiesburg will give the benediction.

Gov. Bryant appointed Justice Beam to fill the unexpired term of former Justice Randy Pierce, who left the court and became director of the Mississippi Judicial College on Feb. 1. The Supreme Court term for District 2, Position 2, is set to expire Dec. 31. An election will be held in November.

Justice Beam, 52, of Sumrall, is the fourth woman to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court. She is the second woman on the current court.

Justice Beam served for five years as a chancellor of the Tenth Chancery District, which includes Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Perry counties. She served for three years as county prosecutor for Lamar County. She previously engaged in private law practice. She was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1989.

Justice Beam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business from the University of Mississippi, and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

She is married to Dr. Stephen Beam. They have five children.