Community turns out to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017
It was 53 years ago that an American Baptist minister from Atlanta, Ga., delivered a speech to a crowd of civil rights supporters in front of the Lincoln Memorial. His efforts were key in rehabilitating and transforming the history of this nation. On Monday, the nation and the Picayune community celebrated the birth of that man.
“Martin Luther King Jr. only believed in what was right. He didn’t care about your color or race. He never wanted to be remembered for his Noble Peace Prize, he wanted to be remembered as a man who was sticking up for what was right,” Hollis Fortenberry, a participant of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade, said.
Filled with smiling faces and songs of glory, the MLK Day parade celebrated King’s dream, which was to “let no one be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Fortenberry said, quoting King in his popular “I Have A Dream” speech.
The parade ran through the streets of Picayune, beginning at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church and ending at Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ, where a service was held in honor of King. Keynote speaker Rev. Henry S. Marshall, pastor of Pilgrim Bound Baptist Church, shared the theme of “we’re coming Lord” as he led the service during Monday’s celebration.
“Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that we are coming to you Lord; that we are right around the corner. He said we’ve seen the promised land, and so I took it as we will just run around the corner and see it as well, we’re coming Lord,” Marshall said. “But in order for us to get where we are going, we need to stop procrastinating.”
Marshall said words need to become actions.
“What are we waiting for? For another black president?” he said. “I can remember the days when I couldn’t wait to have a black president. The last eight years we’ve had a black president and we are still coming. You’re going to have to be the next president; be the president of your neighborhood watch program. Don’t wait for the next president, you be the president of this society. We’re coming Lord.”
Martin Luther King Jr. believed that the only course of action was to do it, Marshall said. He mentioned the well-known lyrics of the old folk song, “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain” and how the words relate to King’s dream.
Marshall shared the story behind the spiritual lyrics of the song, which date back to the 1800s. He said it references the second coming of our Lord and the rapture.
“Who will drive the chariot when she comes? Who will drive the chariot, who will drive the chariot, who will drive the chariot when she comes?” Marshall sung. “Get this, Jesus will drive the chariot when she comes.”
Marshall ended his speech with a scripture after discussing how the nation has come a long way since King stood in front of thousands of civil rights supporters in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
“As 1 John 4:7 says, ‘Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born God, and knoweth God,” Marshall said. “We’re coming Lord, we’re coming.”