“We march today to carry forth his ideals,” said the Rev. Brian Walton of Calvary Christian Church, the first of four local pastors to speak from the Clark County Courthouse steps. “We march today to tell the world there is still work to be done.”
After hearing about faith, unity and courage, dozens began marching from the courthouse in freezing temperatures to First United Methodist Church, to the strains of “We Shall Overcome” in honor of King’s Jan. 15, 1929, birth.
“Dr. King understood the interconnectedness between the Christian faith and being involved in the community,” said the Rev. James Williams of First United Methodist Church. “Christianity is a way of life.
It’s modeling our life on the way of the cross. I know of no one who did that better than Dr. King.
“What began as a struggle for African Americans got wider to a plea for the needy. How we treat each other matters. Every one matters in the eyes of God.”
When King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968, he was in town on behalf of the city’s striking garbage workers, which Williams said was remarkable given the differences between King as a highly educated and public figure standing up for the plight of civil servants.
“He got a glimpse into the dream of God and he made it his life’s work to communicate the dream to us,” Williams said. “What might God be calling us to do in light of it? Discrimination is still a problem. There’s still work to be done.”
More than 100 people applauded, cheered and sang in praise of God and what King stood for before going back out into the cold night to continue to make King’s dream of equality and unity a reality.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.