Press "Enter" to skip to content

53rd Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Culminates with Ebenezer Service on Monday, January 17

53rd Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Culminates with Ebenezer Service on Monday, January 17

The 53rd observance of what would have been the 93rd birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had he lived beyond 1968 was climaxed with the annual commemorative service Monday, January 17th in the Horizon Sanctuary of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Whether it was a threat the day before of snowy, icy weather hitting Atlanta’s inner city or COVID, the normally overflowing crowd which comes to Ebenezer in previous years was sparse for the 2022 ecumenical gathering of political and social leaders and a variety of singers, children’s groups and teen to young adults performing to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. There was also one other absence that didn’t escape Dr. Rapheal Warnock, a member of the U.S. Senate and senior pastor of Ebenezer. “I know that the joy of the Lord is my strength is a scripture. But if it were a person, it would be Elder Cal Murrell, the Happy Preacher,” he said. “We remember him and my predecessor who never missed this service, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson [Isakson died in December of 2021]. Murrell was found dead the morning of January 15 at his high-rise apartment on Richardson Steet in the city’s Mechanicsville community.

The theme for this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday events which started January 10th was “It starts with me”. Speakers at the commemorative service Monday stuck to that theme. Michael Tubbs, a former Mayor of Stockton, California, used scripture from the book of Amos, fifth chapter which warned the Israelites about the perils of “too much sleeping,” “Amos said he was tired of all the celebrations devoid of real action,” said Tubbs. “Today, we can’t continue to dream without waking up. You know, science says too much sleep can kill you. I submit to you, today, that that is what this King’s Day is about, particularly this year. We can’t keep speaking about dreaming without waking. What we are seeing in our country today is the result of 50-plus years of sleeping and dreaming.”

The service keynoter, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church USA, spoke along similar lines when he suggested that America needs a revival. “Christ spoke of the redemptive power of love as did Dr King,” he preached, ” King said it was the only way. Jesu was right. So was Dr. King… To mend this world, we need an American revival.” He further illustrated his remarks with his own parable about flying Delta Airlines.” I do so quite frequently. Being on that plane 35,000 feet in the air taught me something about trusting God. If you can trust Delta, surely you can trust the Lord. ”

The commemorative service also heard from United States Vice President Kamala Harris via video. Not unexpectedly, she noted the fight in Congress over a Voting Rights bill. “Today, our freedom to vote is under assault. In Georgia and across our nation, anti-voting laws are being passed that would make it more difficult for as many as 55 million Americans to vote. That is one out of six people in our country. And the proponents of these laws that are creating obstacles around our ballot boxes are doing so to interfere with our elections to get the outcomes they want and discredit those they don’t want. That is not how democracies work. If we stand ideally by, our nation will pay the price for generations to come. Today, we cannot be complacent We cannot give in or give up. To honor the man we celebrate today, we must continue the fight for the freedom to vote, a freedom for all.”

Last updated on January 18, 2022

Translate »
Verified by MonsterInsights