Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Family
on January 18th, 2016 in Holidays | No Comments
Today we are honored to celebrate the work of a servant, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He came from a long line of Baptist ministers, his grandfather and father serving Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Martin graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 and entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was elected president of his class. He then entered Boston University completing his doctorate in 1955 and met and married Coretta Scott, a person of superior intellectual and artistic attainments. Together they had two sons.
Dr. King became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama and began his work for civil rights. Leading nonviolent demonstrations, Martin championed the equal rights of all people and was called by God to sacrifice his personal privacy and comfort zone to serve others. On December 21st, 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, in part because of Dr. King’s bus boycott. During the days of the boycott, King was arrested, his home bombed and he was subjected to personal abuse.
In 1957, Martin took over leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The ideals for the organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques were from Gandhi. In the 11-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled six million miles, spoke 2,500 times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest and action. At the same time, he wrote five books. He led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a “coalition of conscience.” Later, he directed a peaceful march on Washington, D.C. of 250,000 people to whom he delivered the address, “I have a Dream.” He conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for Lyndon B. Johnson. He was arrested 20 times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees, named Man of the Year by Time magazine and ultimately became a world leader.
At age thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified, he announced he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. On the evening of April 4th, 1968, while standing on the balcony his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. King was assassinated. What a man, what a life, what an example each of us have to look up to for the sacrifice of equality and that every one of us are created in the image of God.
God calls each of us to sacrifice our personal lives for the greater good, the greater Kingdom.
We thank each and every one of you for your sacrifice, your love and care in the service for others as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King and his family today, especially Coretta Scott for her loving, loyal support to her husband in the cause of equality for all people.
— Letter to Our Employees: From Al Holbrook, Chairman