HENDERSON COUNTY–Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was noted for many things, but most of all he was called a man of God and a Drum Major for peace and justice for all of mankind.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) dreamed of equal rights for all Americans and committed to making that dream come true. His dedication and talents made him the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. His famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington moved the nation that August day in 1963. His extraordinary words and deeds made an impact we can still feel today, 52 years after his passing. Dr. King was one of many brave trailblazers who fought for the advancement of African Americans.
On Jan. 18, Johnson Chapel AME Church celebrated Dr. King’s memory with a gospel concert. There were soloists, choirs, and the congregation all singing songs to give Praise to God and to honor the legacy of Dr. King.
On Jan. 20, the Henderson County Black History Committee (HCBHC)held its Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Candlelight Vigil at Johnson Chapel AMEChurch in Malakoff.
Master of Ceremony Bro. Derryl Jackson opened the service on a high note giving all Praises to the Lord and the congregation lifted their voices to the heavens in song.
Rev. Keith Ray, Pastor of Johnson Chapel AME delivered a powerful prayer and HCBHC President Rev. Joey Baggett read the favorite scripture of Dr. King, Psalms 27.
HCBHC Secretary Delanda S. Johnson and member of Johnson Chapel delivered the welcome with quotes from Dr. King’s Sermon of the Mountain. Johnson said, “But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promise Land. And I’m so happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the LORD.” This was followed by the song “GLORY,” written and recorded by R&B superstar John Legend and Rap superstar Actor Common.
Bishop Richard Washington who is a member of the Church of the Living God, PGT in Athens where Eldress Mary Henderson is Pastor, brought forth an awesome message.
Bishop Washington, noting that we were there to honor the legacy of Dr. King, wanted the congregation to just walk with him just a piece of the way to receive a word from the Lord.
Bishop Washington’s theme “Cry Freedom” came from Exodus 3:1-5; 9, Matthew 20:29-34 with focus on verse 31, noted that things have changed. Church services, church congregations, the way we worship, have all changed. “Back in the day, you would see ushers at the door to greet you, boys wore black in the winter and girls wore white in the summer, people shouted, giving thanks to God for what He had done for them and will do for them. Now, you don’t see hardly anyone there to greet you and if a person shouts in church, others will look at you funny and say “What’s wrong with them?” said Bishop Washington.
“We need to go back to the old ways of Praising God. There is a cry even now in 2020, we are not free. We serve a God that knows all about our problems and we must know that God will make a way somehow. We must think about the goodness of God, where He has brought me from. Know that HE is bread when I’m hungry, water when I’m thirsty, a friend when I need a friend. He is everything and all that we need,” said Bishop Washington.