Martin Luther King, Jr. honored with program

Published 11:36 pm Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crenshaw County residents from around the county packed St. John Missionary Baptist Church on Monday afternoon for the second annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Clarence P. Noble was the guest speaker, and he used King’s life as a teaching guide after reading from II Timothy 4:7 — “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

“I believe Martin Luther King would say that those are his last words and his legacy. But we ought to do more than celebrating his life and his coming and going,” said Noble, who spoke about the importance of getting a solid education, like King did.

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“You’ve got something that will make someone hire you for the rest of your productive life,” he said.

Noble also said that wherever you go in life, you should make yourself available to serve and make a difference.

That difference, Noble said, can be made by anyone.

“If the floor is dirty, sweep it. If the community is not what you want it to be, lift it,” he said.

A Christian home is another key part of making a difference, and young people should be taken to church and raised on Biblical values, Noble added.

Noble mentioned that he was present for the second march on Selma, and that he was arrested and placed in the Dallas County Jail. Years later, he received a pardon from the State of Alabama.

“I didn’t know I was a criminal,” he said. “There was just a joy in knowing that we made ourselves available.”

The program also featured a number of songs by The Anointed Voices, and speakers included the Rev. W.O. Edwards, Reginald Green, the Rev. Charlie Sankey Jr., the Rev. Samuel Johnson and mistress of ceremony Martha Thomas.

Bennie McDonald remembered “The Luverne 10,” the first group of students to integrate Crenshaw County Schools in Sept. 1965.

Two current students were also involved in the program: Darrius Reed, a senior at Luverne, read a speech remembering the Legacy and Life of Martin Luther King, and Dominique Caldwell, a sophomore at Brantley, presented an interpretive dance.

The program committee that presented the program included Charlie Johnson, James Woods, Willie Harris, Vester Burnett, John Dillard, Reginald Green, Bennie McDonald and Martha Thomas.

Church sponsors included Sweetwater Baptist, Goshen First Baptist, Spring Hill Baptist, St. John Baptist, King’s Chapel A.M.E. and Star of Hope.