Dr. King’s legacy honored at Kneel-in

Dr. King’s legacy honored at Kneel-in
January 19
04:30 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Following the panel discussion many people stayed to collectively pray in a candlelight vigil.



The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. transcends race, gender and religion.  He is one of the most celebrated figures in modern day history and his impact will be felt for generations to come.  To celebrate his birthday and legacy, the Drum Majors Alliance held its third annual Kneel-In at St. Phillips African Moravian Church last Sunday, Jan. 15.

The Drum Major Alliance, founded by Terrance and Allonda Hawkins, is a budding alliance of Triad area Christians seeking to do justice, love mercy and walk in humble submission to and reflection of Jesus of Nazareth. Their mission is to equip, organize and mobilize disciples of Jesus to be drum majors for justice in the world and reconciliation in the Church.

St. Phillips senior pastor, Russ May, says they enjoy hosting the event because the story of St. Phillips mirrors that of the city of Winston-Salem.

“Right here in this area, the northern part of Winston-Salem, we are looking at the challenges Dr. King talked about as far as poverty and in terms of how we welcome our neighbors,” said May.  “This is an important ground for living out Dr. King’s message and vision in addition to his dream.  The story of St. Phillips is an important part of the black community here in Winston-Salem, so we were glad to host them at their request.”

The service opened with a prayer and the Franciscan blessing.  Scripture and inspirational singing followed. Daniel Jose Camacho then took the podium to speak about “Recovering King’s political vision.”  He touched on King’s radical political and economic views and how we as a people should seek to reclaim them.

Allonda Hawkins spoke to the audience about the life of civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer.  She touched on the fact that Hamer was not as celebrated as King but made a significant impact on the movement.

The panel discussion was the highlight of the evening. The six panelists, including May, covered a myriad of topics from the civil rights era and how they translate to today’s time.  They brought up discussions involving King, Donald Trump’s impact on America, economics and race relations, to name a few.

Terrance Hawkins, who served as moderator, said the alliance came about following the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.  He says he and many other Christians felt institutional churches were not the safest places to have meaningful dialogue so they held them privately.  After some time they had the idea to hold the meetings publicly, which birthed into the initial Kneel-In.

“A lot of people think that Christians are supposed to be timid and stay within the church walls, and we don’t believe that,” Allonda Hawkins said.  “We believe we are supposed to be prophetic, we are supposed to be bold, we are supposed to be the people on the front lines of these types of events and people are hurting due to the turmoil that has been happening in our country.”

“People are getting a clearer vision of King’s legacy and connecting dots in their personal life on how they can be a part of the change our nation and our world so desperately needs,” added Terrance Hawkins when speaking about what he hopes people take away from the event.

“If anyone came in here and was pushed a little bit further to be a part of what God is doing to change the world, then I think mission accomplished.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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