Celebration held to honor life of Martin Luther King Jr.

| January 23, 2018

The Rev. Edward Henson and the Rev. Deborah D. Bolen share a laugh before the start of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration held Jan. 21 at Henson’s church, St. Andrews A.M.E. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – The Rev. Edward Henson from St. Andrews A.M.E. Church was thankful for those who attended the annual Martin Luther King. Jr. celebration held at his church on Jan. 21.

“I’m so blessed to see each and every one of you,” he said.

He was assisted at the celebration by Rev. Cliff Biggers, Rev. Philip Hunt and Rev. Jon Carlisle. Special music was provided by David Martin, who grew up in Coshocton and Rolanda Hunt was the pianist.

“I’ve made a living out of singing, but when I was asked to sing today I was a little intimidated because I haven’t sung a lot of gospel music as an adult,” Martin said. “As a child though I did a lot of it right here in this church.”

For the celebration, Martin decided to sing King’s favorite song, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”

“To me it’s more like a singing prayer,” Martin said.

When he finished the song, Martin wiped away a few tears and thanked the audience for its round of applause.

“It’s so hard not to get choked up on that song,” he said.

Hunt then introduced special guest speaker the Rev. Deborah D. Bolen, who is a friend and colleague of his. Bolen has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from The University of Akron. She has a Masters of Divinity from the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Ind. She is the senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Cambridge and serves as the chair of the Spiritual Life Committee for the Christian Church in Ohio.

She explained that King was a prophet who answered a call from God who did more by the age of 39 when he was murdered than many would in their lifetime.

“His life was cut short at the age of 39, but what he did with his life would put many of us to shame,” Bolen said. “He did all he could to fight racism and injustice. He was loved by some and hated by others.”

She believes we still have a long way to go with King’s dream to end racism and that will not happen until we are all treated with dignity, respect and equality and realize that everyone was created in God’s image.

“I believe we shall overcome,” Bolen said.

A free-will offering was taken to support the ongoing ministry of St. Andrews A.M.E. and Shiloh Missionary Baptist Churches. Following the worship service, there also was a time of fellowship sponsored by the Coshocton BPW.


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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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