Last Modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 11:52 AM
Speakers at the Dr. Martin Luther King celebration at Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church Monday reminded the audience of the day’s significance.
“This isn’t a day off, but a day on,” said guest speaker Dr. Henry Lyons. “It’s about fulfilling the dream and not just talking about it.”
Church members and guests enjoyed live gospel music, interpretive dance by New Creation, and a narrative timeline of Dr. King’s life, read by Ethel Mitchell.
Lyons, pastor of New Salem M.B. Church in Tampa, Fla. and the former president of the National Baptist Convention Inc., emphasized that today was not just to remember Dr. King’s legacy and dream, but to also remember civil rights activists before him such as Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and Rosa Parks, as well as tragic figures in black history, such as Emmett Till.
Though, the black community has come a long way since the 1960s, the Rev. Clyde Lewis, pastor of Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church, said there is still struggles in 2014 to overcome.
“You may think that we’ve arrived, but we’re still not there,” said Lewis. “Police officers shooting young black boys, we’re still not there. You see George Zimmerman? We’re still not there. We have teenage dropout problems, drug problems, boys who wear their pants around their knees and boys who know how to throw a ball, but they can’t read. We’re still not there.”
Still, Lewis emphasized that Dr. King helped millions of people.
“Dr. King was a servant, and he realized that he was in the people’s business, and he came to serve.”