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Dr. Emmanuel L. McCall, pastor of the Fellowship Group Baptist Church in East Point, Ga., and former moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, challenged Campbellsville University's guests to move from hatred to love at a worship service in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recently in Ransdell Chapel.
The Rev. Ronnie Turner, pastor of New Zion Baptist Church, led the opening prayer. The closing prayer was given by the Rev. Delmetria Cayson-Combs, pastor of Fannie Chapel CME Church. The Zion District Choir performed.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, welcomed those who attended and asked them to remember the sacrifices that have been made as we remember the life of Martin Luther King.
"We should remember the larger issues of what unites us and social justice," he said. "Hatred paralyzes life, hatred darkens life, love illuminates life. Service illuminates, and we must work together in Christ."
The Rev. John Chowning, vice president of church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, introduced McCall and praised him for coming from Georgia to Campbellsville with his busy schedule.
McCall, an adjunct faculty member with the McAfee School of Theology, said he knew Martin Luther King for 11 years in Louisville.
"Dr. King's dream was to have people challenged. If God did not give you a dream, there is something absent from your life," McCall said. "Everybody ought to have a vision and dream, and God has given that to you.
"Those were interesting years when a national and international celebrity walked among men as brothers," he said. "King was 'humble in spirit.'
"I valued my time with King and his family," he said. "What was the genius of this man was his ability, without intention, to be a role model for what a modern day prophet should be like."
In our current society, McCall asked what happened to prophetic voices like King's.
"Being prophetic can be dangerous, it can get you killed."
He said God is trying to "love this world and bring it back to himself with ethical and moral responsibilities that go with it."
He said being prophetic also means being moral and ethical.
"How I live my life does affect you," he said. "Dr. King did not set out to be anybody's role model, but God used him to set us free."
He said King took the best of the traditions he learned from preachers at Ebenezer Church and molded them together.
"We need the prophetic voice of God," McCall said. "The prophetic voice, not only of the pulpit, but from the pew, calls us back to love God and to love each other."
The Rev. James Washington led in a closing song, "We Shall Overcome," as those in attendance held hands and sang.
- Joan C. McKinney is news and publications coordinator at Campbellsville University.