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Keeping the MLK dream alive

A day after he would have turned 83 and almost 49 years after he delivered the ‘I Have A Dream Speech,’ many local residents are joining the nation to keep the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. alive. The local celebration commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. King is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 16, the National Holiday held in honor of the civil rights leader. Dr. King was the leader of the American Civil Rights Movement from December 1955 until his death April 4, 1968. Community leaders of Barnesville are organizing this year’s celebration to focus on the theme of the national holiday. The theme is ‘Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Mission Still to Fulfill.’ The Barnesville-Lamar County King Day Celebration will begin at the E.P. Roberts Center, 188 Mill St., at 9:30 a.m. with the ‘Fulfilling the Mission’ March. Prior to the march, the sponsoring organization, the Dewaine T. Bell Difference Makers, will host a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. for all individuals and organizations taking part in the march. No registration is required for the march. Organizations may register during the breakfast. The opening prayer will be given at 9:30 a.m. to begin the ‘Fulfilling the Mission’ March. Activities will continue with the ‘Fulfilling the Mission’ Unity Ceremony from 10-10:30 a.m. at the Lamar County courthouse. School superintendent Dr. William Truby will deliver the message of unity followed by the prayer of unity. The celebration will conclude at the Commemoration Service at 11 a.m. at East Mount Sinai Baptist Church, 100 Washington St. Co-sponsoring this year’s event is Barnesville city councilman Christopher Hightower. According to Hightower, the service will remember Dr. King as a civil rights leader, an activist and Baptist preacher. The community will be called to celebrate the mission of Dr. King and to act to continue to fulfill the mission. The service will feature local ministers. One of Barnesville’s own native sons, Rev. Eddie F. Collier, will serve as the keynote speaker. He will be accompanied by the music ministry of Towaliga County Line Baptist Church. Hightower said, ‘I’m delighted to join the Dewaine T. Bell Difference Makers in inviting all residents to participate in the day of remembering, celebrating, acting and promoting the continuation of the spirit of the day throughout the year,’ said Hightower. ‘The Difference Makers organization bears the name of the late mayor of Barnesville, Dewaine T. Bell. An educator and municipal court judge during his lifetime, Bell kept the dream of Dr. King alive by encouraging those he taught, served, led and worked with to make a difference and to be somebody’s hero.’ Dr. King delivered the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Aug. 28, 1963 at the March on Washington in Washington, D.C. Born at 12 noon Tuesday, Jan. 15, 1929, at the family home in Atlanta, Martin Luther King Jr. was the first son and second child born to Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He married Coretta Scott, the younger daughter of Obadiah and Bernice McMurry Scott of Marion, Ala., on June 18, 1953. The marriage ceremony took place on the lawn of the Scott’s home in Marion. Four children were born to Dr. and Mrs. King. Dr. King is the first African American honored with a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was opened to the public Aug. 22, 2011, and was dedicated Oct. 16, 2011. For additional local King Day Celebration information, call Hightower at 404-234-4420 or Tanisha Murphy, 678-588-9188.

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