Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
Ellaville hosts big
MLK Day Celebration
Pastor Jessie Carson
By LINDA ADAMS
Joan Perkins of M.A.D.E. welcomed those who attended the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Ellaville City Center. The annual event was sponsored by Making A Difference in Ellaville, M.A.D.E.. Ameris Bank helped in providing breakfast for the event.
Bishop E. J. Lundy gave the opening prayer, followed by Jerry Franklin, who got the crowd to join him as he sang and played his guitar. His selection was an old gospel song, Glory, Glory.
Pastor Clifford Braxton spoke of how Martin Luther King, Jr.s life affected so many, and called him an iron man.
He sharpened the freedom of a generation and in his death only brought forth more victory, Braxton said. He was an iron man who made a real difference in the world that we live in.
Deacon Willie Golphin read from Mark 4 verses 2-9 in which the seeds of the sower fell on stony ground, among the thorns,
and on good ground, and invoked those who had ears to hear, let him hear.
Jessica Reese sang the song I Will Rise and Brittany Smith read a poem that her mother, Alicia Smith, had written about Martin Luther King, Jr.
A quartet of Maya and Myesha Harper, and Precious and Brena Smith sang Nobody Greater Than You.
Mary Tookes spoke of going to school in the fifties with the only information in their textbooks about African-Americans being that of slavery. She listed Julieanna Richardson as a source of information of unsung Black Americans as she is single-handedly creating a living archive of interviews, one of which was with a young man named Barack Obama. She also mentioned Mary Stiles Harris, who has dedicated her professional life to researching and providing health care information and education for the minority population. Then she cited Chris Gardner, who fought his way from homelessness to wealth and whose struggle was made into the Will Smith film The Pursuit of Happiness.
Rev. William Laster recited the King I Have a Dream speech. His moving rendition evoked the feeling of the message and was both profound and emotional.
Arthur and Alexis Young sang What Would I Do Without Grace?
We were graced by the presence in our history of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, Arthur Young said. God graces us with the right person at the right time. Because of this we chose this song.
Imogene McLendon related the story of Robert Kennedy predicting, in 1964, that an African-American would be elected president in 40 years, and then Martin Luther King, Jr. saying in an interview that he thought it would be in only 25 years. In fact, it was 44 years before Barack Obama was elected our 44th President.
We have come a long way, but we have not reached true equality, McLendon said. His dream continues to be a fitting vision of an American future. This year we are reminded, 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words thundered out across a sea of humanity in Washington, that the dream is not only deeply rooted in the American dream, but in the will of God at creation.
Mary Davis talked about her life in the 30’s and 40’s growing up in Schley County. She said that her parents instilled in her the importance of learning. She talked about going into Ellaville for supplies, and of graduating in the 11th grade from the Ellaville Colored High School.
Look at where we are now, Davis exclaimed. We’re all God’s Children.
Minister Ellen Battle sang after she dedicated her song to the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pastor Jessie Carson was the featured speaker and he called God the great emancipator. His message was to stand fast and accept God.
Andrea White presented a solo for the celebration and Pastor George Hill, Jr. led a prayer for community, children, family, schools, churches, and government. The whole group sang We Shall Overcome. Rev. Hazel Chavis gave the closing prayer and benediction.