King and a President
The Morgan County Branch of the NAACP celebrates Dr. King Day and Obama’s inauguration
story by stephanie johns
photo of morning service by stephanie johns
photos of evening service by jesse walker
ivil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 84 this year. His assassination in 1968 marked the end of his life but not of his impact.
Part of that impact, as noted during one of the MLK events held on Monday, was the inauguration of our 44th president: Barack Obama.
The Rev. W.J. Reid, president of the Morgan County Ministers Union and a member of the NAACP, remarked on the significance of celebrating King’s birthday the same day that Obama was sworn in for his second term.
“If you had children in your house and you didn’t lead them to watching the television, explain to them what was going on, you made a terrible mistake,” he said.
The local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sponsored the events.
MLK Day begins with breakfast service
“Martin Luther King was a landmark etched upon the landscape of our country,” said the Rev. Wayne Ghann, speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Birthday Celebration held Monday Morning.
More than four dozen people gathered Monday morning to celebrate the birth of King and enjoy breakfast followed by a program full of speakers at Source of Light Ministries.
The Rev. Aaron Carter introduced Ghann, senior pastor at Rutledge Baptist Church.
Carter, NAACP Morgan County Branch Religious Affairs Chairperson, said that Ghann does not see color.
“He’s a man of God,” he said.
Ghann urged those present to keep the focus King had and to make a mark on the world for the Lord.
“His eyes were on his people,” he said. “His heart was on God.”
Ghann said people do not have any idea what they believe or why they believe it.
“Martin Luther King did,” he said. “He wasn’t about doing church but about being the church.”
He finished by saying that without a vision, the people perish.
“Thank God for men of vision,” he said. “Thank God for Martin Luther King, a man for all people.”
MLK Day ends with religious service
The Rev. Fred Perriman, a native of Morgan County, spoke at the evening service honoring King.
Perriman, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Lincolnton, is a member of the Madison City Council and a life member of the NAACP.
He began by noting the importance of telling the next generation that it was not always the way it is now.
“They need to understand the legacy and why we celebrate,” he said.
Perriman then spoke about separate bathrooms and separate schools, of backdoor entrances into restaurants and homes.
He recalled separate seating at the movie theater in Madison: Blacks were upstairs in the back while whites were downstairs in the front.
He spoke about Rosa Parks who refused to give up her bus seat to a white person because she was tired.
“Now we can drive the bus,” he said. “We can now buy the bus.”
Perriman said that King was important for what he stood for and what he died for.
“’I have a dream’ – those four words have had a tremendous impact,” he said. “A dream that would carry us from the cotton fields to the White House of the United States.”
Perriman said they have seen progress in the last 50 years but there still is much to be done.
“I get disturbed … the jailhouse is bigger than our schools,” he said. “When Dr. King fought for equality he fought for us to do it right.”
Perriman said people must continue to go to the voting polls because every vote counts.
“Even in 2013 we have not fully reached the dream,” he said. “We must continue to honor (King’s) legacy.”
Once Perriman finished speaking Johnson closed the program.
“The dream is good but it’s time to wake up and start living the dream,” he said.
Printed in the January 24, 2013 edition.