His words are alive
Hope for equality the message at candlelight memorial service
By EUGENE L. TINKLEPAUGH, Staff Writer
Every voice lifted in song Sunday at a packed church in downtown Washington to commemorate the memory, life, legacy and dreams of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Community leaders, churchgoers and memorial organizers were part of Beaufort County’s 21st annual candlelight memorial service. The vigil filled the Spring Garden Missionary Baptist Church with music, praise and a message of hope.
Speakers touched on King’s adherence to nonviolence and his colorblind pursuit of equality for all people.
The theme of the memorial service was “Making the dream a reality” hearkening to the civil rights leader’s most well-known speech in which he calls for such equality.
Many expressed Sunday that there’s still a ways to go before King’s dream is a reality, thanked God for how far the nation has come in realizing King’s dream and hoped for a future of continued strides towards achieving that dream.
Lodge belongs to the first integrated class of Washington High School students. She has been in the ministry for 14 years and has served as pastor for five.
One of the event organizers and a founding member of the Beaufort County chapter of the NAACP, William O’Pharrow said that King “believed in the goodness of all people.”
That goodness, O’Pharrow said, made the civil rights movement possible and makes continued efforts towards equality possible.
Sunday’s service, he said, was a time to reflect on America’s history, but also a time to come together, black and white, and continue to move forward.
A candle lighting was conducted by the NAACP Youth Group &Delta Academy I. While members of the youth group lit six candles, a passage was read highlighting the six principles of nonviolence King called for in the movement.
Lodge’s message to “retaliate with love” was based on King’s message of nonviolence.
Terry Peele, a member of the observance committee that organized the annual memorial service, summed up the reason for the day as a recognition that “everybody has a dream.”
Peele said King’s life was cut short in the midst of the great things he was doing for all Americans.