Events planned to celebrate the life of civil rights icon.
Plans have been made to make this year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration one of the best the Arkadelphia community has ever seen. The theme for this year’s celebration is "Strength to Love." According to Kasey Summerville, member of the MLK Day planning committee, the celebration will begin Sunday at 6 p.m. with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel Musical Concert. The concert will be held at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church, located at 1501 Caddo St., and will feature the St. Paul A.M.E Church Spiritual Warriors Praise Team, the St. Paul A.M.E. Church Inspirational Choir, and Future Generation of Pine Bluff. The Gloryland Pastors Choir, under the direction of the Rev. Cedric Hayes, will be the featured guests of the evening. The event is hosted by Jennifer Coleman Lawyer, host of The Jenni Love Show, www.joynetradio.com. Monday's events will be held at the Community Family Enrichment Center located at 301 N. 23rd St. and will begin with a free breakfast at 7 a.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Workshops, which are scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m., will be available for all ages. Youth topics to be addressed are "Good Behavior = Good Results,” presented by Darrell Middleton, "Social Media Etiquette,” presented by the Rev. Kyle Jones, and “Move More, Eat Less,” presented by Ramona Peters. A roundtable discussion for adults will be led by Rosboro Hendrix. The topics discussed will be the new voter identification laws, health care accessibility, and the 1/2-cent economic development sales tax. "We want to find out how people feel about these issues and also see what we can do to help them," Summerville said. According to Summerville, the topics that will be presented during the workshop are relevant for current times. "Although we are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, we wanted to focus more on topics that we are faced with in today’s times," Summerville said. At the end of the workshop review, vans will be available to transport people from the CFEC to Henderson State University. Summerville noted this year's program will include more student participation from HSU. "We have always had the support of their Greek organizations and students in the past," she said. “This year, we are excited to collaborate with Henderson State." The university will host its "Hour-of-Power – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance” beginning at 11 a.m. in Arkansas Hall. The Rev. Jameel Wesley, pastor of Eighth Street Baptist Church of North Little Rock and HSU alumnus, will be the guest speaker. One of the highlights of the MLK Day celebration is the Marade, which is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Mount Olive Baptist Church. Walkers, floats, bikes, cars, four-wheelers and those who would like to ride horses are urged to be at the church, located 307 N. 16th St., at 1:45 p.m. to begin lining up for the Marade. The End-of-Marade program will be held at approximately 2:20 p.m. at Third Street Baptist Church. "We have had it in the District Courtroom, but we have outgrown the space," Summerville noted. The program will feature HSU's Angelic Voices of Christ and the St. Paul Spiritual Warriors. "We will also be recognizing the Arkadelphia High School Athletic Department and their teams because they have had a great season,” Summerville said. All athletes of Arkadelphia High School are urged to attend the event. Guest speaker for the program will be Phillip Turner, president of Henderson’s Student Government Association. Refreshments will be served after the program in the church's family life center. For more information about the events contact Summerville at (870) 403- 6187 or Doug Nelson at (870) 403-3760. For information about the Marade, contact Rev. Llewellyn Terry at (870) 403-1675.