“We are grateful to God for what He did through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so we are here to celebrate the God that gave Dr. King the success,” – Pastor J.D. Palmer.
Although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started out as an obscure Baptist preacher, his calling soon led him far from the pulpit. Yet he always would return to it. Carrying his heaven-sent convictions out of the ing church and into the society he knew he had to change he was never slowed by the specter of violence, inclement weather or any other obstacles that might have discouraged a lesser man. This past Saturday, January 15 would have been his 82nd birthday, and the people of East Texas were out in force to honor his legacy.
Wet whithout cold and biting winds did not stop the March. It wound its way from Longview’s Broughton Center to ing online Mount Olive Baptist Church where the marchers attended the annual King’s celebration service. The church’s pastor Reverend J.D. Palmer was touched and thankful for the large turnout in spite of the miserable weather.
“We are grateful to God for what He did through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so we are here to celebrate
the God that gave Dr. King the success,” Palmer said. “We celebrate Martin Luther King’s legacy, but we worship and praise our God.”
Longview Area Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance President Reverend Lewis Thompson was also moved by the large turnout, but, considering Dr. King’s positive influence and ultimate sacrifice, he was not surprised. Reverend James Lister agreed, noting how King did not just pray for social change, but got up off his knees and worked for it.
“This is about sacrifice to others, and our lives should also be a sacrifice for others, too,” he said. “Every step counts and every contribution is important.”
Longview Independent School District Assistant Superintendent of Community Relations Andrea Mayo came to support the event.
“I have been given so much, and I want to set an example, [to] be a visible symbol to bring our community together,” she said.
Ray Coates is a teacher of the Word of the Lord and with Longview Community Men. He had no doubts as to why he came to the March.
“The call on my life is to help tear down the wall between races and denominations, and that is the reason why I am here,” he said.
Even children such as fourth-graders Jace Tiller and Ben Doss from Spring Hill marched along Longview’s chilly, soggy streets to show their support for a great man whose immense stature and godly influence continues to impact so many world-wide.