Members and guests of the Oakey Grove Baptist Church celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day the only way they know how, by singing gospel tunes and listening to the Word of God.
The second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Service took place at the church Monday. The Rev. Eric L. Taylor, the church's pastor, and his congregation played host to several guests, including state Sen. Joey Brush.
"This is a celebration of a great man of God," said Brush, whose sons Nicholas and B.J. joined him and Randy Tullis in singing for the crowd.
King's message was one of hope and love, Taylor said. That message was echoed by guest speaker Jack Custer of the Bible Cathedral, who quoted King.
"Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that," Custer said.
Taylor said that people should look past the racial divide and realize that we all bleed the same color. If people can do that, he said, nobody would go hungry or suffer.
Frankie Taylor was among those who joined in the Oakey Grove celebration. Honoring King Celebration honors rights leader
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"That's what Martin Luther King taught people," Taylor said. "I'm a firm believer that the kingdom of heaven doesn't have signs that separate whites, blacks, Hispanics or anyone else."
In the 1950s King began the civil rights movement that he led until April 4, 1968, when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. King's stand was for more than equality and freedom, Custer said.
"What he stood for was how can we best demonstrate the Word of God."
Taylor said the time has come for everyone to take a stand of their own and for the community to become more liberated and integrated.
"Either we are going to stand behind the old tradition of the past or create new ones that we are proud to leave behind," Taylor said. "That's what this is all about."
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