MLK’s ties to Augusta recalled during celebration


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augustans celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hundreds attended the interfaith service, now in its 33rd year.

Leaders from the nation’s capital to the Garden City convened at Paine College’s Gilbert Lambuth Chapel not just to pay homage to Dr. King, but to celebrate local achievement.

Starting with Lift Every Voice and Sing, it was a celebration fit for a king.

As people across the CSRA remembered the legacy of Dr. King, they were reminded of his ties to the Garden City.

Bethel AME Church Pastor, Rev. Augustus Hall Jr., told the audience, “Martin Luther King came to Augusta on two occasions. First, in 1962, the Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church where he announced from that pulpit that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy should issue a second Emancipation Proclamation. The second time was in 1968, the Beulah Grove Baptist Church, where he came to solicit support for the poor people’s campaign.”

Amid the greetings, songs and call and response were signs of togetherness seen through people from all races and political parties.

Global Race Unity, Inc. spearheaded the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Celebration, awarding local achievement to the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, an award accepted by his daughter Deanna Brown. Local, black, Greek letter fraternities Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. also received awards along with Pastor Angela Harden, youth Henry Stephens and Judge Carl Brown.

Rounding out the tribute to the man with a dream was a message about truth marching on.

“We’re getting to a place where we’re going to crown the first trillionaire in the world soon,” said Rev. Dr. Eric Wendel Lee Sr., Springfield Baptist Church (Conyers) Senior Pastor and keynote speaker. “And it would be a tragedy to have all those resources in the hands of just a few.”

The dream does not end here, monies collected at the event will help support an MLK statue in Augusta.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps

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