Coshocton community remembers Martin Luther King Jr.

| January 16, 2017
Rev. Priscilla E. Jackson

Rev. Priscilla E. Jackson

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton community gathered on Sunday, Jan. 15 to celebrate and remember the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The day would have marked King’s 88th birthday. The event was held at Central Christian Church on the corner of Main and Eighth Streets where the Reverend Phillip Hunt pastors.

“I am happy for several reasons, but this is the largest gathering for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration for as long as I have been pastor here,” said Hunt.

Terri Baker welcomed the congregation with a plea to strive for tolerance.

“Martin Luther King Jr. strove for the rights of all human beings, not just African Americans,” said Baker.

Rev. Cliff Biggers gave the Call to Worship and the congregation raised their voices in the hymn, ‘We Shall Overcome’. Pastor Dave Boots led the Prayer of Confession.

The choir sang an arrangement of “If You Ever Needed the Lord” and “Down by the Riverside”. Erin Jobes gave a brief history of Martin Luther King Jr. Day which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Nov. 2, 1983. King was born Jan. 15, 1929 and was killed by an assassin on April 4, 1968.

Georgina Rivera read the Martin Luther King Jr. prayer and then Hunt introduced the main speaker, Rev. Priscilla E. Jackson, who has served the Christian Church in Ohio as Senior Minister of the Shreve Christian Church for 18 and a half years and recently retired from active ministry in 2015.

Jackson’s message centered on King’s philosophy of helping others and trying to be a positive change in your community.

“What might you do differently tomorrow and the next day if you really heard this message today?” she said. “If God came into your life today, came into your world today, took you by the hand, would you extend that hand to another? As a Christian, will you hear this message, the message based on the teachings of Jesus Christ?”

Jackson compared the division still existing in our world today to Paul addressing serious concerns of the church’s division in 1st Corinthians.

“Embrace the new change in your life,” she said. “Quit looking behind. Start looking ahead. You can’t go back. You can’t reinvent the wheel. But what you can do is get on your knees, stay on your knees, let it go and give it all to the Lord. Constantly looking at the past prevents us from looking in the future because we are trying to do it our way instead of God’s way. There are some things we can change and some things we cannot. Get over it. The question is not what has God done to put me in this position? It’s how is God working in me to get me out of the position I put myself in? We come here today to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and to celebrate the mission he was on. He knew you couldn’t dwell on the past and that you had to move on.”

Jackson challenged those present to make a change in their community for the better, to be aware of the problems in their community, and to be involved in efforts to find solutions.

“What do we see in our community that needs to change?” she said. “We need to come together to solve problems without giving up our own unique diversities. Thank you, Dr. King for reminding us that change doesn’t come in the first round, but in the second, third, or fourth round. Change can come with one person stepping up and doing something.”

Even though we have made progress as a nation, racism still exists in our country and around the world. Jackson defined racism as a philosophy that one race is superior and all other races should submit to the superior race.

“Racism still exists,” she said. “I know. I have experienced it and here I am today standing before you. You would not believe the hurdles I’ve had to jump, the fences I have had to climb, but I knew I wasn’t alone. The Holy Spirit was right there with me.”

King was not only a civil right activist, but also spoke out passionately for the poor and for peace.

“We are one family, regardless of ideological, economical, or racial divisions we have,” she said. “Loving our neighbors has a global dimension in a shrinking world.”

Jackson ended her presentation by challenging those present to start seeing others as their brothers and sisters and to treat them as such.

Rev. Bryan Kittner took the offering which went toward Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and St. Andrew AME Church.

“I am so happy and so honored to come into this place and see the Lord’s movement here,” said Edward Henson, pastor of St. Andrew AME Church.

He also said that future Martin Luther King Day celebrations will be held back at St. Andrew.

Pastor Karen Gibson gave the benediction. The BPW provided refreshments after the service.

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Category: Faith

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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