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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Only a few days away from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. An organization here in Meridian is honoring Dr. King with a MLK celebration.

The national holiday marks the major role Dr. King played in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. A celebration in his honor will be held this Sunday at a church here in Meridian, where Dr. King once preached.

Reverend Gary Houston helped plan the event at the First Union M.B. church.

“The celebration service is really a time to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin King but, not only that but the legacy of so many other civil rights persons, men, and woman. Black and white who helped the trail blaze of freedom and hope for all people”, said Rev. Houston.

Dr. Charles Johnson

One of those trailblazers was Meridian’s very own, Dr. Charles Johnson, who died on Wednesday of this week.

"During his role, he organized the Meridian Action Committee", said Houston. "The Meridian Action Committee played a pivotal role in working for social justice and economic justice.”

Historic First Union M.B. Curch

Sunday’s event will begin with a candle lighting and then a march from Prince of Peace church to the First Union M.B. church. It’s the same church people gathered and marched to in 1964 after the disappearance of three civil rights activists. Dr. Martin Luther King also visited this very church.

“It’s all going to take place in this historic place where Dr. King preached during a time of much unrest. We as clergy believe that if freedom, hope, justice, and equity will be heard, it has to come from our voice as well”

Reverend Houston says one of the most important messages of the service is to highlight Dr. King’s push for unity.

“We’re in such an alternate place in our community, we’re divided in our nation, we’re divided in our community. We’ve become trivial and that’s not the message that Dr. King promoted”, said Rev. Houston. “He promoted the message of unity of all people. That if we rise together, we all rise. If we hold back the purpose and the promise of freedom, then we all fall”

Sunday’s event begins with a candle lighting at 5:00 P.M. at Prince of Peace church on 30th Avenue. Afterwords, praise and worship will lead by Pastor Odell Hopkins of West Mt. Moriah Baptist Church starting at 6:00 P.M held at First Union M.B. church.

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