Thu, 2017-01-19 21:13 News Staff
Honoring Martin Luther King’s legacy
By PAMELA GRANT
Nearly 100 people showed up to celebrate unity and equality at Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church’s 19th annual Unity Walk on Monday.
Participants lined up at First Step Child Care Center, and the walk began at 1 p.m. The group walked their way to the church singing songs of unity. After the walk, the church held a special sermon featuring special guest speaker Reverend A.W. Anthony Mays. The event’s theme was Celebrating a Legacy: Striving for Justice, Equality, and Peace.
Clementine Lewis has been the chairperson for the MLK Commemoration Committee since 2001. Lewis said the event is all about remembering and bringing people together.
“If we didn’t have this day, many of our young people wouldn’t know anything about Dr. King,” said Lewis. “I think it really is important now to bring people together versus separating us. We need to come together no matter race, nationality, or income…We’re all just trying to survive…We all have families. We all have loved ones. Once you get to know a person, you don’t see the differences, you really see the similarities.”
Members of the community, young and old alike, came out to show their support of Martin Luther King’s message.
Estella White, a member of Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church, said she has walked in every Unity Walk since its conception. She said she can still remember a time when the world was segregated. She said it wasn’t until she was in college that she saw things beginning to change. She said she could eat in places and go to places that she could not go to before. White said it was nice to see so many people coming together.
“I’m walking and hoping that we can continue to make a bigger change,” said White.
“We’re remembering what Martin Luther King did for us, and us marching symbolizing his hopes and dreams,” said William Thompson Jr., a Junior Deacon at Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church. “For me personally, [I] see everything going on, like the issues with cops killing young black men and young black men committing crimes on each other, and it tells us that we should remember what Dr. King stood for and that we should love each other and be non-violent and not act with such hate. Racism is still alive in my opinion, and we should be fighting to end it.”
Several guests joined the church in celebrating Martin Luther King and his message.
Reverend A.W. Anthony Mays was the special guest speaker, and he talked about how Martin Luther King was “A Voice in the Wilderness.” Mays talked about racial advancement and how the greatest ills in our country are racial inequities. Mays said that many people helped advance racial equalities, and many of those people will never be known. While King could not have done what he did without those who came before him, it was Martin Luther King’s message that made the lasting change, and that is why Mays called him, “literally a voice crying in the wilderness.”
“There were those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice of dying for the cause with far less fame than others,” said Mays. “The movement was successful because God granted wisdom into the planet, into the movement, into the strategies and decisions that were made. But I trust, especially on today, you will agree with me that among the greatest gifts which came from heaven into the movement was the ministry of Dr. King. The ministry of Dr. King being a voice crying into the wilderness.”
At the conclusion of the session, the church awarded scholarships to five deserving high schoolers. The recipients were Copperas Cove High School students Sophia Caro and Elizabeth Davis, Killeen High School students Loveless Gatewood and Isaiah Carmarillo, and C.E. Ellison High School student Gisela Jackson.
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