The Legacy Café, an extension of the Ben Johnson Education Center, was the setting for the leadership brunch at 9 a. m., Jan. 20, where the Rev. Dr. Elbert Demery Jr., was the presider. The invocation was rendered by Bishop Lee Hall.
Greetings were extended by the Rev. Brian Small followed by a solo from Tonya Mims. Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow provided information regarding the MLK Day observation agenda. The Rev. Janvonte’ Mims gave tribute to Dr. King’s life, legacy and contributions.
The surprise feature was the Citizens Service Award presented to the Rev. Dr. Elbert Demery Jr., pastor and teacher of the Evergreen Baptist Church in St. Maurice and Dean of the United Theological Baptist Seminary.
A large number of citizens composed the audience at the noon observation where the Rev. Dr. Aill Harris Jr., was the presiding officer. A spiritual prayer came from the Rev. Ronnie Williams Jr., pastor of the Rockford Baptist Church. A member of the Black Heritage Committee, Carolyn Sawyer, brought the greetings on behalf of the sponsoring organization.
Dr. Doris B. Small was far-reaching when she stated the occasion. Morrow utilized this opportunity to present a Citizens Service Award to the Harris who is pastor of Abundant Life Ministries. St. Paul Baptist Church, pastored by the Rev. Leo Walker, Sr. lifted the countenance of this event with their song service. They brought an element of joy to the observation. Ed Ward Jr., committee chairperson, assigned Eddie M. Jones, brother of the keynote speaker, to introduce him.
The mayor of Grambling, Edward R. Jones, gave great information regarding the economic development portion of the late Dr. King’s message. He urged the attendees to open businesses, support their community efforts and to keep the premises in their community as orderly as possible. The NSU Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity provided tributes to their late fraternity brother, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Councilman Lawrence Batiste read the City’s MLK Proclamation and presented it to Edward R. Jones.
The climaxing MLK observation focused on the wreath-laying ceremony at the MLK Triangle. The Rev. Steven Harris was presider. He used his voice and his singing gift to set a great tone for the program. Pastor of the Christian Baptist Church, the Rev. Otis Jackson Jr., gave the prayer. The song service was led by the Rev. Larry Alexander and the occasion was stated by Rev. Steven Harris. Bishop Lee Murphy Hall, pastor of the Eastside Church of God in Christ, gave uplifting remarks about the legacy of Dr. King. He was memorable in his commentary.
Rev. Jeremy Odoms of the Dawn of Light Lodge #22 provided remarks on Dr. King’s affiliation with the Masonic movement. Morrow read the City’s MLK proclamation and presented it to Bishop Hall. The brothers of the NSU Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity laid the wreath on the MLK Monument and sang their fraternity hymn. The benediction closed the program.