Published 12:02 am Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Members of the Opp Community gathered Monday to celebrate the legacy left by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and all agreed the community needed to come together to make changes.

The nearly 50 participants gathered at the Opp Police Department and marched down Main Street to Hardin Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

King, a Baptist minister, led the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s until his assassination in 1968.

The Rev. Johnny Lawrence said he was thankful for the works of King.

“It’s not so much the man, but God behind the man,” he said. “Our nation was founded that all men were created equal but there was a time when all men were not equal. God sent a deliverer. The power of God moved the hearts of people.”

Lawrence told the crowd gathered that many things needed to be done among people.

“The way for it to be done is by the will of God,” he said. “We have to unite and put God first in all of our decisions. Prayer begins in the individual home and in the individual’s heart.”

Lawrence encouraged the crowd to keep King’s dream alive, and reminded the crowd they are blessed to have Barack Obama as president.

“A lot don’t like him,” he said. “But a lot didn’t like Jesus either.”

Councilwoman Mary Brundidge said it was a blessing to be there.

“Glad we are all out here,” she said. “Dr. King was such a great man. I went to some of his rallies back in the day. I didn’t ever meet him, though.”

Brundidge placed an emphasis on making changes in the City of Opportunity.

“There are a lot of things we are going to have to nationwide and Opp-wide,” she said. “We need to come together right here.”

Covington County NAACP President Aaron Bogen discussed how the NAACP and the Opp Housing Authority are working together for the children of the community.

“We did something this weekend,” he said. “We took some children to Knoxville, Tenn., and they talked about Dr. King. It was great.”

Bogen said the NAACP and the housing authority are joining forces and asking for the community’s help to provide tutoring services for local youth.

“We also want to for a city league,” he said. “We want to give our children something to do during the summer to help keep them off the streets and off of drugs.”

Troy University student Alexandria Caldwell told those gathered that, “we are equal, too. We aren’t any better than anyone. We need to stop holding grudges. It’s not just about us.”

Others encouraged the audience to go see the movie “Selma” and that the community needed to get back to “the village” in rearing children.