At King celebration, prayer calls for unity
Images of Martin Luther King Jr. : including one from his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial : faced the pews Sunday at True Love Baptist Church, where dozens gathered to honor the civil rights leader.
The evening, which included spirited choral performances and Scripture readings, marked the 34th annual Service of Repentance and Reconciliation honoring King’s life and legacy. It was organized by Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County and United Pastors of Fort Wayne. Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“This significance of this occasion, remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., should not be lost upon any of us, as our nation stands today, badly in need of healing,” said Raymond Dix, pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church.
“The racial divide in America is in a season of revival,” he added. “Hate and division are once again fashionable, fueled by those sources who profit from the pain of racial and ethnic division.”
Dix wondered what challenge King would have tackled next had he not been assassinated in 1968.
“Would it be more legislation? I would like to think he would have turned his attention to the church,” Dix said.
The church hasn’t done well with issues of race and ethnicity, he said, noting the characterizations of black churches and white churches.
“Everybody’s equal at the foot of the cross,” Dix said.
Timothy Lake prayed for unity using King’s words.
“Help us never to let anybody or any condition to pull us so low as to cause us to hate. Give us strength to love our enemies and to do good to those who despitefully use us and persecute us,” Lake said, reading one of King’s prayers.
“Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace,” he added, still reading King’s words. “Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together and live together until that day when all God’s children, black, white, red and yellow will rejoice in our common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray.”