King’s life recalled at tribute

Published 11:59 pm Monday, January 19, 2009

Citizens of all races and ages joined together in a community tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday evening at St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church in Andalusia.

During the 1 1/2-hour long service, King’s legacy was honored through music, poetry and prayer. Church youth group members read essays and poems talking about King’s life.

“We really do this for our children,” Sammy Glover said during the service. “It is important for all children, black and white, to know that things today have not always been this way.”

The Rev. Paul Lee, pastor of First African Missionary Baptist Church in Florala, delivered the message that all of mankind is able to overcome because of the sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ.

“The dragon (devil) and his angels lost the battle with God,” said Lee, who read from the Book of Revelations. “We are still in a world with hatred all around us, but we shall overcome. Jesus has fixed it so that his church can overcome. Jesus made it possible for us to have eternal life; with Him we shall have victory over death.”

Speakers at the service also touched on the historical significance of today’s inauguration.

“Forty years ago, I don’t think the world was ready for what is going to happen (today),” Glover said.

“In the time of Martin Luther King, we see there was a war going on as well,” Lee said. “There was Bloody Sunday in Selma, and in Montgomery where Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat. But all this suffering has come to the point where tomorrow, we will see the inauguration of the first African-American.”

Lee cautioned, however, that mankind must continue to trust in God in order to overcome the struggles and trials that will certainly come in the future.

“We are not through fighting yet,” he said. “But when we hold onto God’s unchanging help, we know that one day a change will come. (King) may not have lived to see his dream come true, but he knew that one day it would overcome.”

Befitting the theme of the service, the congregation closed by joining hands and singing the hymn, “We Shall Overcome.”