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Beginning this weekend, several local events will seek to keep the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive.
A pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement, King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4, 1968.
Five years prior, at a march on Washington, King delivered what is perhaps his most famous speech, in which he said, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Barbara Johnson, a member of the Taylor County Civic League, which organizes the King reception, urged the community to attend this year's events and help keep that dream alive.
"We just hope people will come and help us celebrate," she said. "We are excited about this year's events, we always are. We won't forget Dr. King."
All events are free.
In addition to a celebration, the Rev. Delmetria Cayson-Combs said the events also offer cultural education opportunities.
"We must never stop learning about the culture of others," Cayson-Combs said. "This is another opportunity to learn more about the legacy of a great man and to learn more about a culture that respects Dr. King so."
As a member of the Ecumenical Alliance, Cayson-Combs helped organize Sunday's events.
Saturday, Jan. 19
The events begin on Saturday with the Taylor County Civic League's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reception.
The reception is at the Winters Dining Hall on the Campbellsville University campus at 6 p.m.
The Wooten Sisters of Somerset, Ky. will provide music. Youths from the community will perform a skit directed by Phyllis Mattingly.
Sunday, Jan. 20
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, hosted by the Ecumenical Ministerial Alliance of Campbellsville, will be Sunday at 6 p.m. The celebration will be at the Ransdell Chapel on the Campbellsville University campus.
Just before the celebration, the annual march will begin at 4 p.m. at Campbellsville Middle School. The march will end at the Ransdell Chapel.
The guest preacher for the worship service will be the Rev. Jacqueline King.
Pastor of Stoner Memorial AME Zion Church in Louisville, King is a native of Danbury, Conn.
She received her bachelor of science degree in business administration from North Carolina A&T State University, a master of science in education from the University of New Haven and a master of divinity degree from Yale University. While studying for her divinity degree, King served as the pastor of the Black Church at Yale for two years.
In 2004, she received the Leadership and Commitment Award from Boston TenPoint Coalition and was named the 2006 Person of Distinction by the Metro Bay Area Club of National Association of Negro Businesses and Professional Women's Clubs Inc.
King is also a member of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, NAACP and a graduate of the Focus Louisville 2006 Leadership Class.
Monday, Jan. 21
On Martin Luther King Jr. day, the Central Kentucky News-Journal will publish the winning entries in its annual "I Have a Dream" essay contest, co-sponsored by Greater Campbellsville United.
There are three categories for entries: age 12 and younger, ages 13 to 18, and an adult category.
The winner in each category will receive prizes from GCU and the News-Journal, including cash and passes to Green River Cinema 6 for the child and teen winner and, for the adult winner, two tickets for a dinner cruise at Green River Marina.
Wednesday, Jan. 23
The Rev. Gerald Joiner will be the speaker for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Worship Service at Campbellsville University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Ransdell Chapel.
Joiner is pastor of Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville, a Campbellsville University alumnus and member of the Church Relations Council at CU.
The Gospel Explosion Choir, a group of about 40 individuals from Taylor, Adair and Green counties, will be providing the special music.
Joiner, who graduated from CU in 1975, is the 17th pastor of the historic Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
From a secular employment perspective, Joiner has held a number of senior management positions for major corporations such as Hunt Wesson Foods, Coca-Cola Foods, Clorox, Pillsbury, Kal Kan Pet Care and M&M Mars Inc.
- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at email@example.com.