By Thomas Sellers Jr.
St. Mark M.B. Church, led by Rev. Keith L. McGee, welcomed the community for the 10th time on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday for a day of celebration.
The vision of the church in Atoka a decade ago was to reflect on the legacy of the late Civil Rights leader, keep his dream alive and honor those who exemplify King’s vision.
The 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration was held in the Millington Harvell Civic Center Jan. 18 with guest speaker Rev. Dr. Christopher B. Davis Sr., of St. Paul Baptist Church in Memphis. Before Davis took the stage for his speech, the St. Mark Choir welcomed those in attendance with two songs of praise.
The members of St. Mark left the stage area making way for the Millington Central High School Voices of Praise. The MCHS students delighted the crowd with their selections.
With ears alert, the eyes of the crowd were treated to the Tribute in Dance by Mikayla Jones, Libiya Gray, Airen Young and Nya Ham. The girls made leaps and gave graceful moments to “Glory” by John Legend featuring Common.
Then it was time for those in attendance to listen to the words of Dr. King. Rev. Quinton Brown read in a powerful barrotone King’s I Have a Dream speech from 1963.
That set the mood for Bartlett High School senior Taylor Payne to introduce Davis. And the longtime minister talked about his journey and how those who proceeded him made it possible for him to be on a mission for God.
After another performance by the MCHS Voices of Praise, it was time to recognize this year’s Community Service Award honorees Dr. Martin Croce, Carolyn Hardy, Judge Gina Higgins, Thomas Kirchberg and Adrian Nathaniel.
In closing, all song Stevie Wonder’s version of Happy Birthday in honor of King. And Chick-Fil-A’s Grant Edwards gave the benediction to conclude the 2016 celebration.