Rho Xi chapter was born August 31, 1977, in the Shrimp Hut Restaurant, in Surfside, TX. Brother Samuel W. Prince, Ninth District Representative and Brother John Captain, South Texas State Representative presented Seven Mighty Omega Men of various chapters with the charter for service to the Brazoria County Area.
The application for the Graduate Chapter Charter was made to the Supreme Council of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. through the Ninth District Representative, Brother Samuel Prince, on June 10, 1977 in Freeport, Texas. Brother Samuel R. Shepard, was Acting National Executive Secretary of the fraternity at the time of the chapter Charter. Brother Prince made the following comments regarding the chapter charter application,“I recommend chartering of this chapter. Most of these Omega Men, I am acquainted with and I feel that they will produce a chapter that Omega will be proud of. This city is located 60 miles south of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico, an industrial city, sea port and boating resort, with Dow Chemical Company one of the major industries. They are all young men and dedicated to the cause.”
Rho Xi’s membership increased in the early years with the addition of Terry Gordon (Sigma Sigma/Phi Beta, Texas College/Jarvis Christian College), Joseph Bonner (Phi Beta, Jarvis Christian College) and Donald Thomas (Rho Theta, Prairie View College). Our early members were all outstanding black men in the community with successful professions. Most met as employees at the Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, TX. In addition they sought out fraternal friendship through the recognition of the shield, greek letters and other forms of fraternal identification. After meeting these new friends they encouraged them to join Rho Xi Chapter.
Rho Xi initiated its “First Line” in 1979. Members of that line consisted of the following three brothers: Kenneth McMillian (Omega Chapter), Jerry Robinson and David Tyler. These brothers immediately served the chapter in various capacities and were an essential element of growth in the early years.
Rho Xi Chapter has served the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the community in various capacities. In May 1987, Rho Xi charter member James Doss along with the Angleton Willing Workers revived the Juneteenth Celebration in the Brazoria County Area. In the same year Bro. Terry Gordon established the Martin Luther King Celebration. These events were not organized and celebrated by the community at the time. Their efforts have created a great legacy of attendance and historical reflection with the local African-American community and the population as a whole.
March 1991, at the Annual Ninth District Meeting, Brother Terry Gordon was selected as the Ninth District Citizen of the Year. May 1991, Rho Xi Chapter helped chartered Nu Delta Delta Chapter at Texas A&M University, College Station. The following members were initiated through Rho Xi Chapter for membership into Nu Delta Delta: Antoin Espritt, Byron Fletcher, Randall Gibson, Robert Gonzales, Albert Hall, Paul Howard, Brian James, Gregory Pumphrey Jr., Gerald Reece, Thomas Stonum, Todd Vauhn, Kyle Wagner, Courtney Bomar and John Miggins Jr.
August 1997, under the Chairmanship of Brother Wes Biggs, Rho Xi hosted its first Annual Golf Tournament. Brother Wendle Van Smith, Esq. has been one of Rho Xi’s Brightest “Pearls” serving the Chapter and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in the following positions: Ninth District Counselor, First Vice District Representative, Ninth District Representative and National Committee Boards for the fraternity. Brother Wendle Van Smith has served Rho Xi and The Ninth District as the Highest Ranking Omega in the Ninth District from 1998 to 2000.
May 1999, Rho Xi chapter helped reestablished Eta Mu Chapter, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville and assumed the role as Chapter Advisor. October 1999, under the Chairmanship of Brother Melvin Henderson, Rho Xi started the first annual successful October Bash Fund Raising Dance. November 1999, Rho Xi Chapter acquired its first Chapter house. The house was donated to the chapter by Brother Grant Hardaway and was located on 33rd Street in Houston.
Rho Xi served as Host Chapter for The Lone Star State Ques (LSSQ) Annual Meeting. Offices held in the LSSQ by members of the chapter included Kenneth McMillan (Omega Chapter) as State Secretary and Melvin Henderson as President. Rho Xi has had two South Texas State Representatives, James Doss and Robert Morgan. Brother Miron Billingsley served as the Ninth District Director of Public Relations.
May 2000, under the Chairmanship of Brother Melvin Henderson, Rho Xi started the famed Annual Memorial Day Cruising with Ques Boat Ride. Nu Phi Chapter was invited to co-sponsor this highly successful annual event.
April 2001, Rho Xi Chapter co-hosted with the Houston Area Coalition of Chapters the 64th Ninth District Meeting. A record number of 701 brothers registered for this meeting. Rho Xi works diligently with the Food Banks and Blood Banks of Houston. Brothers Joseph Washington and Kenneth Medlock have continued to “raise the bar” in their efforts to aide and assist the food and blood banks. Brother Vincent Manning has continued to keep Rho Xi involved with the Boy Scouts of America. The chapter has sponsored and continues to sponsor annual scholarships for children to attend summer camping programs. Brother Dr. Richard Layne, started the Texas Adopt-A-Highway program for the chapter; whereas, the chapter brothers maintain a 2 mile stretch of highway on FM2234 between FM 288 and Almeda Drive.
The diversity of Rho Xi’s talent hunt participants has been rewarded by the Ninth District Talent Hunt committee recognizing Rho Xi’s talent hunt participants with two first place, one second place and one third place award. These students representing Kashmere High in Houston, Brazosport High in Freeport and Brazoswood High in Clute were selected as winners in the four state (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas) competition. Brothers Kenneth Medlock, Kenneth McMillan (Omega Chapter) and James Doss have been instrumental in securing such talented youth through the years.
November 2003, under the Chairmanship of Brother Robert Morgan, Rho Xi participated in the fraternity first endorsed America’s Walk for Diabetes. June 2004, under the leadership of Brother Raylon Haley, Basileus of Rho Xi, the Chapter conducted a model training workshop on the campus of Texas Southern University. The Ninth District Keeper of Finance, Brother Shawn Brewer participated in the workshop. Brother Joseph Washington, re-established the Texas Adopt-A-Highway program for the chapter; whereas, the chapter brothers maintained a 2 mile stretch of roadway starting at highway 59 and Almeda Drive.
April 2005, Rho Xi Chapter made another shinning mark on the fraternity at the 68th District Meeting in Monroe, Louisiana with the First place winner of the Talent Hunt and the election of Brother Robert Morgan Jr as the new Ninth District Keeper of Records and Seal.
July 2006, the Houston Area Coalition of Chapters volunteered to host the 2007 District Meeting in Houston after Phi Iota Iota Chapter in LaPlace, Louisiana backed out due to the strained that it would caused on it membership in trying to host a District Meeting in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Rho Xi Chapter Brother James Doss was elected by the Coalition and appointed by the Ninth District Representative, Brother Todd Clemons to serve as the District Marshal. Through Brother Doss and the Houston Coalition efforts, Houston set another record breaking number of 950 register attendees at the 70th District Meeting. Brother James Doss also served several terms as District Talent Hunt Chairman in the future.
Rho Xi Chapter has had two brothers awarded Ninth District Omega Man of the Year, Brother Robert Morgan (2007) and Brother Omar Sesay (2009). On February 17, 2009 Rho Xi was selected as “New Group of the Year” by the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, after hosting several successful blood drives which in turn help save over 600 lives.
Brother Omar Sesay was appointed to South Texas Area Membership Selection Process Chair by Brother Lonzo Bryant (Omega Chapter) in 2010. In the same year Brother Raylon Haley was elected to serve as president of the Houston Coalition of Chapters. The Coalition consists of five graduate and five undergraduate chapters in the Greater Houston Area. For Rho Xi Chapter’s diligent efforts towards social action events, it has been selected as Ninth District Chapter of the Year for three consecutive years 2009, 2010, and 2011. The Ninth District includes four states Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Over the years Rho Xi has also awarded over $50,000 in academic scholarships. The chapter has also awarded scholarships to local talent hunt winners in excess of $15,000 and Ninth District winners an additional $3,500. Rho Xi’s Annual Essay Contest winner received an additional $1,000 from the Ninth District for her first place efforts in a four state competition. We have also held Voter Registration Drives at Juneteenth Celebrations, walked thru communities to register voters, supported political candidates through financial contribution and Rang the Bell in support of the Salvation Army.
The Rho Xi Chapter is known for its hard work and dedication to the Brazoria County and Houston communities. With a rich history of service, and a proud legacy of accomplished members, we have contributed greatly to fraternal and community advancement. We hope to continue to live our creed and be a shining light in the community for years to come. Long live the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the Mighty Rho Xi Chapter.