Finding the Promised Land
By Kathryn Schiliro • Photos by Angelina Bellebuono
Morgan County NAACP celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
It's all about promises. And faith.
The message delivered by Evangelist Denise Reid, speaker at the Morgan County Branch of the NAACP's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. religious program Monday evening at Madison's Present Glory Baptist Church, drew parallels between Dr. King and the Biblical figure Moses.
"God's will for Martin Luther King and Moses was surrendering to His will," Reid said. "God allowed him (Dr. King) to go to the mountaintop. He saw the Promised Land."
Like Moses, Dr. King led his people to the Promised Land; in King's case, this journey was the Civil Rights Movement. Both the Israelites and African-American people endured suffering at the hands of their "Pharoahs." And like Moses, King didn't live to see his people finally come to the Promised Land.
But, according to Reid, God promised both Moses and King that they would lead their respective people to the Promised Land. And He kept that promise.
"He made that promise to Moses and He made that promise to Dr. Martin Luther King," Reid said. "Martin's struggles for us were God's plan for his work."
The morning's NAACP King-related event delivered a message of unity, according to Morgan NAACP President Laura Butler.
"Don't look at outer appearance, look at inner appearance," Butler said. "We are serving the same God."
In further addressing those present, Butler encouraged them to take part in local government meetings and civic activities.
"You need to go there and voice your opinion," Butler said. "At one time we couldn't go to those meetings and express our feelings."
On this, the 82nd anniversary of King's birth, those present recognized the work of Dr. King. They also recognized the work that still must be done.
"He (God) brought us from a mighty long way, and we have a mighty long way to go," NAACP Life Member Horace Benford said.
In other Morgan NAACP news, the branch has scheduled their Founder's Day celebration for Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at Plainview Baptist Church, and their Black History Program for Feb. 20 at 4:30 p.m. at Union Springs Baptist Church. The speaker for Founder's Day will be Quincy Rhodes, Morgan NAACP's first vice president, and the speaker for the Black History Program will be host pastor Robert Terrell.
"Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!"
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I've Been to the Mountaintop"
April 3, 1968, Mason Temple, Memphis Tennessee
Celebrating Dr. King
Local African-American Museum holds day-long event
The following was given to event attendees:
“Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
“January marks the eighty-second year of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth. Celebrations will be held throughout the United States and across the world on January 17, 2011.
“The Morgan County African-American Museum along with The Dreams and Visions Company will remember the 17th at the museum located at 156 Academy Street in Madison, Georgia from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
“'Even when there was no State or Federal holiday, people would celebrate Dr. King's birthday in their homes and churches,' recalls Attorney Katrina Breeding who along with her mother, Mary Breeding, are co-founders of The Dreams and Visions Company. 'Today when children are asked about Dr. King they state that he had a dream, was killed in Memphis or that he was the first Georgian to win a Nobel Peace Prize. There is much more to learn about Dr. King and the civil rights movement,' she said.
“The seven-hour Remembrance will include: video footage of his speeches and the adult and children marches, a photo exhibit of historical sites in Birmingham and Montgomery, autobiographical movies of his life and times, recordings of music sung during the civil rights movement and a children's reading and coloring corner. Dr. King authored several books. They along with other books about people and events of the civil rights movement will be available for readers.
“Eight-year-old Victoria Davenport of Greene County and 10-year-old Vivian Charnise Breeding of Clarke County are artists in residence of The Dreams and Visions Company. This is the third year that their work is on display. 'Although they are young, their art reflects a remarkable understanding of the spirit of Dr. King's dream,' observed Attorney Breeding.
“The event is set up so that one can participate for seven minutes or for the full seven hours. The goal is to pay tribute to a man who paved the way for the freedom of all people and to leave knowing a little bit more than when you arrived.”
Printed in the January 20 edition.