Goler Metropolitan celebrates anniversary and visit from MLK

The church members who were present during King's speech in 1964 stand with the ceremonial wreath outside of the church.

Goler Metropolitan celebrates anniversary and visit from MLK
May 04
02:50 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Goler Metropolitan is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Instead of just having a one-day celebration, the anniversary committee decided to have an all-year celebration, where they honor the church each month of the year.

On Sunday, April 29, the church held its wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic visit to the church on April 13, 1964.  There were several members of the congregation in attendance who were present the night Dr. King spoke in 1964.

“To have the honor of hearing Dr. King speak and then be able to celebrate that during our anniversary is phenomenal,” said Frances Steward, who was present the night King spoke.  “Dr. King was a great man and my philosophy has always been you cannot reap a harvest of love where the seeds of hate are sewn.”

There were several elected officials present for the celebration, such as Mayor Allen Joines, County Commissioner Fleming El-Amin and the Rev. Dr. Paul Lowe, a state senator.

Anniversary Committee Chairwoman Annette M. Wilson was very happy with the turnout of the Saturday afternoon event. She says it was a great collaborative effort to put everything together and she thanks all that were involved.

“We are elated, and when you think about the tone of things happening in our country, it’s more important for us to come together,” she said.  “The NAACP used to meet at Goler Metropolitan, and I remember that as a child, so for us to come full circle and know we have to be involved to help make things better is just uplifting.”

Toward the end of the service, the church played an excerpt from King’s speech at Goler Metropolitan in ’64. The Rev. Johnny L. Ruff, senior pastor of Goler Metropolitan, says it’s important for us, especially the younger generation, to remember the legacy of Dr. King because of what he stood for.

“As we see the political arena changing, attitudes and perceptions of what is correct change, but the reality is that where we came from is a battle we are still meeting and fighting,” said Ruff.  “It’s important to remind our-selves from time to time that we still have some work to do.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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