Editor's note: This article was last updated Jan. 22 at 7:23 p.m.

MOREHEAD CITY — Love, hope and looking forward to a brighter future were the themes of Monday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration.

A small crowd gathered at the Crystal Coast Civic Center to remember Dr. King a few days after his birthday and spread his message of love and acceptance.

Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga., and was a spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He was assassinated April 4, 1968.

Morehead City Mayor and member of the MLK Committee Jerry Jones welcomed the crowd Monday and spoke of Dr. King’s legacy and sacrifice.

“It was almost 52 years ago when a great American was taken from us. Today we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday and we remember the works and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King,” Mayor Jones said. “Now it is said that there is no greater love on this Earth than to give your life for others. I’m sure that wasn’t in Dr. Martin Luther King’s plan to be taken at such an early age. In fact, I believe it wasn’t in his plan to be taken. But I bet he was prepared for that.

“As a pastor told me one time, when it is your time to go be prepared to go. I’m confident that Dr. King was prepared to go that day. As I look around this room and as I look around my community and my country, the legacy of Dr. King is alive and well,” he continued.

Mayor Jones said it is the responsibility of the community to continue to spread Dr. King’s legacy and dream to a younger generation.

“It’s always the right time to do the right thing,” Mayor Jones said, and MLK Committee co-chairperson Pauline Walker echoed that message as she told the crowd the reasons behind hosting the birthday celebration.

Ms. Walker said Dr. King dedicated his life to certain ideals that many in attendance were familiar with.

“He was famous for his speeches that were so powerful. Those speeches encouraged people to work in a peaceful manner when others chose violence,” she said. “America will always remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each year, on the third Monday in January we celebrate his birthday.

“The legacy of Dr. King lives in each of us, and we are responsible to promote, to teach and to live the American dream. This, my fellow Americans, is what I, Pauline Murray Walker, consider to be the purpose of the occasion today, along with the Carteret County committee celebrating the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” she noted.

The celebration also featured live music by the Family Worship of Queen Street Missionary Baptist Church and the Crystal Coast Community choirs, but the real treat of the afternoon was the keynote speaker, Bishop Donald Crooms with Faith Tabernacle of Praise in Beaufort.

The title of his speech was “2020 Vision, Let’s Rise Up and Build.”

Bishop Crooms started by singing a hymn and encouraging the community to build and move forward during the new decade.

Bishop Crooms was a child when Dr. King was assassinated, and he said he didn’t learn about Dr. King until high school. The reasoning behind this was sometimes what is accomplished in the present doesn’t make a mark until long after a person is gone.

“The times were hard, and racism was commonplace,” Bishop Crooms said. “Dr. King was a dreamer. He was a visionary. What would lead a man to see further than what already existed? What would cause Dr. King to believe that there could be something different? It was a divine calling.”

Bishop Crooms said Dr. King had a vision of the way things can be, for the possibility of a better future.

With the help from God, Bishop Crooms said Dr. King pushed through challenge and controversy to help his fellow man.

“But because he was a visionary, he decided to say, ‘If I can’t change it now, when?’” Bishop Crooms said. “Even what was almost unthought of before him, he somehow put his hands to the plough and decided we are going to make a change.”

Bishop Crooms encouraged the audience to take a leap of faith, follow Dr. King’s dream and build a better world.

“I encourage you to grab your dream. If you’re breathing, it’s not too late. There’s still work to be done,” he said. “Dr. King didn’t get to see his dream…but my God we are further now than we were 52 years ago. There is a national holiday that bears his name, because not only did he change America, he changed the entire world.

“I believe 2020 is about getting a clear vision and working that vision until that change is manifested,” Bishop Crooms said. “…Let’s make a better Carteret County. Let’s make a better Newport and Morehead City and Beaufort and Havelock and New Bern…let’s rise up and build.”

Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email megan.soult@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.

(Previous report)

MOREHEAD CITY — Love, hope and looking forward to a brighter future were the themes of Monday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration.

A small crowd gathered at the Crystal Coast Civic Center to remember Dr. King a few days after his birthday and spread his message of love and acceptance.

Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Ga., and was a visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He was assassinated April 4, 1968.

Morehead City Mayor and member of the MLK Committee Jerry Jones welcomed the crowd Monday and spoke of Dr. King’s legacy and sacrifice.

“It was almost 52 years ago when a great American was taken from us. Today we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday and we remember the works and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King,” Mayor Jones said. “Now it is said that there is no greater love on this Earth than to give your life for others. I’m sure that wasn’t in Dr. Martin Luther King’s plan to be taken at such an early age. In fact, I believe it wasn’t in his plan to be taken. But I bet he was prepared for that.

“As a pastor told me one time, when it is your time to go be prepared to go. I’m confident that Dr. King was prepared to go that day. As I look around this room and as I look around my community and my country, the legacy of Dr. King is alive and well,” he continued.

Mayor Jones said it is the responsibility of the community to continue to spread Dr. King’s legacy and dream to a younger generation.

“It’s always the right time to do the right thing,” Mayor Jones said, and MLK Committee co-chairperson Pauline Walker echoed Mayor Jones’ message as she told the crowd the reasons behind hosting the birthday celebration.

Ms. Walker said Dr. King dedicated his life to certain ideals that many in attendance were familiar with.

“He was famous for his speeches that were so powerful. Those speeches encouraged people to work in a peaceful manner when others chose violence,” she said. “America will always remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each year, on the third Monday in January we celebrate his birthday.

“The legacy of Dr. King lives in each of us, and we are responsible to promote, to teach and to live the American dream. This my fellow Americans is what I, Pauline Murray Walker, consider to be the purpose of the occasion today, along with the Carteret County committee celebrating the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,” she noted.

The celebration also featured live music by the Family Worship of Queen Street Missionary Baptist Church and the Crystal Coast Community Choir, but the real treat of the afternoon was the keynote speaker, Bishop Donald Crooms with Faith Tabernacle of Praise in Beaufort.

The title of his speech was “2020 Vision, Let’s Raise Up and Build.”

Bishop Crooms started by singing a hymn and encouraging the community to build and move forward during the new decade.

Though Bishop Crooms was a child when Dr. King was assassinated, he said he didn’t learn about Dr. King until high school. The reasoning behind this was sometimes what is accomplished in the present doesn’t make a mark until long after a person is gone.

“The times were hard, and racism was commonplace,” Bishop Crooms said. “Dr. King was a dreamer. He was a visionary. What would lead a man to see further than what already existed? What would cause Dr. King to believe that there could be something different? It was a divine calling.”

Bishop Crooms said Dr. King had a vision of the way things can be, for the possibility of a better future.

With the help from God, Bishop Crooms said Dr. King pushed through challenge and controversy to help his fellow man.

“But because he was a visionary, he decided to say, ‘If I can’t change it now, when?’” Bishop Crooms said. “Even what was almost unthought of before him, he somehow put his hands to the plough and decided we are going to make a change.”

Bishop Crooms encouraged the audience to take a leap of faith, follow Dr. King’s dream and build a better world.

“I encourage you to grab your dream. If you’re breathing, it’s not too late. There’s still work to be done,” he said. “Dr. King didn’t get to see his dream…but my God we are further now than we were 52 years ago. There is a national holiday that bears his name, because not only did he change America, he changed the entire world.

“I believe 2020 is about getting a clear vision and working that vision until that change is manifested,” Bishop Crooms said. “…Let’s make a better Carteret County. Let’s make a better Newport and Morehead City and Beaufort and Havelock and New Bern…let’s rise up and build.”

 

Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email megan.soult@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.

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