Andalusia native pays tribute to Dr. King

Published 12:01 am Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered primarily for his actions that paved the way for black Americans’ freedom, but an Andalusia native has recorded a song illustrating that his actions apply to all of humanity.

“This song is to remind the public of who this man was and the hero he was,” said Debra Church, a 1994 Andal-usia High School graduate and current New York resident. “His goal was in a sense to free the people of color, so we could have freedoms, but I think it was more of humanity in general. Nowadays, you don’t have to be people of color to be mistreated.

“He is famous for saying, ‘I may not get there with you, and we as a people will get to the Promised Land,’” she said. “I want this song to be an anthem not just for Martin Luther King’s birthday, but also Black History.”

The song, which was originally written by Church’s sister, Mary Ann Bullard, was penned years ago when Mt. Moriah Church was putting together a Black History Month program.

“We were at our church with Towanna Stinson and Adella Church, and someone needed to write a song,” she said. “And it just came to (Bullard).”

The song, which includes a music video that incorporates footage from King’s rallies and speeches, along with Church’s studio performance, begins with the line, “Martin Luther King fought for freedom and dignity.”

It talks about how King encouraged all nations to take a stand for civil rights.

“Join together. Take a stand,” the song says. “He paved the way to freedom.”

Andalusia native Debra Church has released a single, written by her sister, paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. | Courtesy photo

People are also encouraged to make King’s dream of hope and healing come true.

“Now is the time. We are the future. Make it happen.”

The song was recently released on CD Baby and iTunes.

“We put a lot of hard work into it. My friend put it together,” Church said. “It’s pretty much been a hit. We just put it out there, and people are demanding it. They want it for the cause of unity to cause people to be united, to make the world a better life.”

The song ends with King’s assassination, his “I have a Dream” speech and President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

“If Dr. King was able to risk his life, I’m going to use my life,” she said.

There are plans to present the song to Martin Luther King III at the King Center in Atlanta sometime this year.

Church, who currently teaches toddlers, said she hopes to one day become a full-fledged recording artist.

“Right now, I do it on the side,” she said. “Of course, with my toddlers, we do performing arts, but I’m trying to transition into the music world.”