Ministers’ Conference marks King Day with celebration amid ‘Two Americas’

Ministers’ Conference marks King Day with celebration amid ‘Two Americas’
January 19
04:45 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Dr. Lamonte Williams (far left) stands with the award recipients at the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. service. 



All across the city of Winston-Salem, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was being celebrated this past Monday, Jan. 16.  The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) held a daytime march and a nighttime King Day celebration at St. Paul United Methodist Church. The theme for this year’s service was “Two Americas divided and struggling for genuine equality.”  Special awards were given to members of the community for their work along with members of the MCWSV for their tireless dedication to the conference.

During the service Mayor Allen Joines delivered a special greeting commenting on the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  He also touched on the strides he and the members of the conference are making in social justice issues facing the city of Winston-Salem.

The service was a multi-religion event where Rabbi Mark Cohn of Temple Emmanuel read a Hebrew Scripture. Imam Khalid Griggs of Community Mosque of Winston-Salem read a Scripture from the Quran followed by a New Testament reading from Elder Debra Jeter of Mt. Moriah Outreach Center.

The Humanitarian/Social Justice Award was presented to the Silk Plant Forest Truth Committee for its work in freeing Kalvin Michael Smith.  Dr. Stephen Boyd, professor at Wake Forest, says the committee learned a lot from those who assisted in the freeing of Darryl Hunt and applied that to their efforts to free Smith. Both black men said they were wrongly convicted of crimes.

“We learned from the Darryl Hunt movement and they mentored us and we are very grateful for them and this award,” Boyd said.

The community Empowerment Award went to D. Ritchie Brooks for his work with the community garden of Cleveland Avenue.  Brooks says he was “truly grateful and honored” to be presented with his award.  He says he did not do it for recognition but instead because it was the right thing to do.

The MCWSV Honorary Lifetime Member Award was presented to Rev. Dr. Carlton A.G. Eversley and Rev. Dr. John Mendez.  Dr. Mendez was away with a prior engagement but Dr. Eversley said over the years he has seen such growth in the community and was proud to be a part of it.

“This award was so important because the concern for racial, social and criminal justice has gone beyond racial boundaries and that speaks volumes,” Eversley continued.

The final award was the MCWSV Past President Award presented to Bishop Todd. L. Fulton.  Fulton was the president of the MCWSV for the last two years and is credited with “breathing life back into the conference,” according to colleagues.

The Rev. Dr. Dennis Leach Sr. of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church delivered the sermon Monday evening.  During his sermon he told the tale of the interaction of Jesus Christ and a Samaritan woman at the well.  He paralled that story with Dr. Kings message of togetherness.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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