Fit for a King: Celebrating MLK


Although Monday, January 17 was this year's nationally recognized day of remembrance of the birth, life, and dream of Martin Luther King Jr., some local citizens got a head start on the holiday. On Sunday, January 16, the Martin Luther King Day Commemoration Committee, in conjunction with the New Green Mountain Baptist Church, held a special service to honor the late Civil Rights pioneer.

There was barely a seat left as families, friends, and local dignitaries gathered at the Esmont-area church. The ceremony included hymns from the local gospel choir Voices of Unity, as well as a Youth Litany, speeches from church and committee members, and a keynote address delivered by Dianne Swann-Wright, the director of African-American Programs at Monticello.

The mood of the service was one of respect and joy, as friends and families remembered King's efforts to create racial equality and justice at a time when he and many others faced hatred and adversity.

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."–Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1964


Ruth Brooks follows along in her program.

Voices of Unity fills the church with song.

Brittany-Dawn Johnson reads from the words of Martin Luther King Jr. Johnson, along with Candace Johnson, Beverly Scott, Taylor Paige, and Tatiana Eubanks, read excerpts of King's speeches as part of a Youth Litany.

New Green Mountain Baptist Church held this year's MLK Day Celebration; it's one of five churches in the Esmont area that, for the past 20 years, has been holding the Martin Luther King Day Service.

Pastor Jefferson Porter welcomes the congregation.

Dianne Swann-Wright, director of African-American Programs at Monticello, gives the keynote speech: "Finding a Way Out of No Way."

Chris and Judy Wade, members of the MLK Commemoration Committee, say a few words during the service.