Community remembers Martin Luther King Jr.

| January 18, 2016

COSHOCTON – Community members gathered Sunday, Jan. 17 at St. Andrews AME Church on South Sixth Street to remember civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Rolanda Hunt provided the music for the prelude and then those gathered raised their voices in singing, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.

“I was just a little boy when this was all going on,” said Rev. Edward Henson as he gave the welcome. “It is so good that we can all stand together, sing together, and praise together.”

After the opening prayer, Rev. Jonathon Carlisle gave a brief history of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and spoke briefly about local change in equality when a local business offered to hire the best workers, regardless of race. The day is celebrated in mid-January due to King’s birthday being Jan. 15. This year would have been his 87th birthday.

Special music was provided by Linda Yoder and Rev. Cliff Biggers read from 1 Cor. 12: 1-11. The guest speaker for the event was Rev. Terrie Baker.

“I was honored and privileged when I was asked to speak about this great man,” she said. “I remember when I heard that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated and that moment has stayed with me throughout my life.”

She spoke about taking the teachings of King and challenged those present to apply them to our daily lives.

“God’s ideal is for us to equally engage with one another,” said Baker. “In God’s ideal world, the world is restored as it is supposed to be.”

Perhaps King’s greatest teaching was to love one another and to respond to our enemies with compassion. She said that while people may respond to violence with anger and hate at first, they need to take a step back and respond with love.

“Dr. King’s teaching was to love one another’s enemies,” said Baker. “Love has a power to transform every individual. King’s response is to keep on loving them and by the power of love, we will break down the load.”

Baker reminded everyone that King was just an ordinary human being who did extraordinary things through God.

“Ordinary people can do extraordinary deeds because they are connected to God,” said Baker.

At the beginning of the service, each person was handed one of two puzzle pieces. Baker said it is to remind us that each piece has a place in the puzzle just as each of us has a place in God’s world.

“Martin’s voice is not getting weak,” said Henson during the closing remarks. “It’s getting strong through us. We have a great country where we can stand together, work together, and walk together.”

After the service, Coshocton BPW provided refreshments in the basement of the church.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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