Ministers’ Conference set to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Below freezing temperatures didn’t stop dozens of citizens from coming together for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally and march held downtown in 2016.

Ministers’ Conference set to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
January 12
04:00 2017

Chronicle file photo



The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) has several events planned for the commemoration of the holiday to remember civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday, Jan. 16, the MCWSV will kick off the holiday with the King Day Prayer Breakfast co-sponsored with The Chronicle. The breakfast will start at 8 a.m. at the Grand Pavilion Ballroom in the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem.  U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn, will be the keynote speaker.  Ellison’s brother, Eric Ellison is the chairman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party.

Following the prayer breakfast will be the annual King Day march, which will start at 10:30 a.m.  The march will leave the Embassy Suites on Cherry Street and proceed to Sixth street and head north onto Trade Street. The one-mile march will end at Union Baptist Church at 1200 Trade St. At 7 p.m. the conference will hold its evening worship service at St. Paul United Methodist Church at 2400 Dellabrook Road in Winston-Salem, where Dr. Donald Jenkins is senior pastor.  The Rev. Dr. Dennis Leach, senior pastor of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, will be the speaker during the service. The Rev. Dr. Lamont Williams, president of the MCWSV, will be the worship leader

Three community awards will be presented during the service.  The Humanitarian for Social Justice award will be presented to the Silk Plant Forest Truth Committee. The Community Empowerment award will be presented to Richie Brooks of the city of Winston-Salem for his work with the Ministers’ Conference community garden.  The Ministers Conference Past President award will be presented to Bishop Todd Fulton.

Dr. Williams said the theme for the evening service is “Two America’s divided and struggling for genuine equality.”  He says for the service he wants it to be as inclusive as possible.

“You will see men and women, Christians, Presbyterians and Jewish. We are trying to reach all walks of faith, male and female,” said Williams. “For the program I have been assured that they have reached out across denominational lines, which sometimes is a major barrier.”

Williams went on to say the conference decided to choose this particular theme for the service because America is divid-ed.

“Now we find ourselves in this moment in history where we have basically two classes of citizens, the haves and the have nots,” Williams continued.  “My task to the committee was how do we bring about relevant questions to reconcile the difference between these two classes of citizens in America and the prophetic dream that Dr. Martin Luther King had of this one America one dream.”

“This is what has driven the Ministers’ Conference to challenge the dominant culture and speak to the conciseness of our city to compel our citizens to strive untiringly to that one America.  When we analyze the time, the tone and texture of our current culture, where there is so much energy on dividing America into two new millennium classes, the question Dr. Martin Luther King raises in the April 16, 1963, letter from the Birmingham jail still rings today with thunderous clarity about how long, how long must we wait?”

King was born on Jan. 15, 1929.  He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.  In 1986, Congress honored King with an annual national holiday on the third Monday in January.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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