Keyser & Westernport MLK events, 2005
Churches remember slain civil rights leader
King forced to overcome hurdles
THE CUMBERLAND TIMES-NEWS
January 17, 2005
JENNIFER RALEY T
KEYSER, WVa. —
A Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Grace United Methodist Church drew an enthusiastic crowd on Sunday evening.
About 70 people gathered in the Keyser church to pay tribute to the slain civil rights leader.
I just think it is important for folks to remember who Dr. King was and what he stood for and teaching that to the children. If they don't teach them, they won't know, and he didn't just care about black children, he cared about all children," said Keyser resident Kimberly Rolls.
The annual celebration, sponsored by Local Concerned Citizens on Racism, a Keyser based organization, is held at a different area church every year.
The presentation featured speakers from various ministries and a local citizen, Ed McDonald.
McDonald spoke about similarities between King's struggle for equality and the struggle of the blind. McDonald, who is blind, said both causes had to overcome many hurdles.
The Rev. Harry Coleman, who attended one of King's speeches while in college, said he greatly admires King's perseverance.
Keyser resident Bill Nesbit said he found the service to be quite meaningful.
"It helps me to realize that there is still prejudice, myself included, and this opens my eyes to it, and makes me realize it and get rid of it," said Nesbit. "I admired Dr. King and I admire his perseverance."
The Rev. Gordon Humphreys also enjoyed the service. "I think it's very important that we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King; he has impacted religion, culture and freedom, and he has brought a movement of unity, bringing people together, and empowering those who had been oppressed for so long," said Humphreys. "I feel it is important to set aside this time for one of the true 20th century martyrs."
Ministerial association to mark King's birthday at Westernport church
The Tri-Towns Ministerial Association will hold its Martin Luther King Jr. birthday service today at 7 p.m. at the Westernport Church of the Brethren. The Rev. Homer H. Davis of Charleston will be the speaker.
A native of West Virginia, Davis graduated from West Virginia State College and is a charter member of the board of directors for the National Center for Human Relations. In 1964, he was ordained elder in the Washington Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Davis served charges of the West Virginia Annual Conference until 1969, when he was appointed Conference Minister of Reconciliation. From 1971-79, he was under special appointment beyond the church with the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, serving in Huntington, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.
After leaving the federal government, he returned to West Virginia, and was appointed district superintendent of the Charleston District.
In 1998, Gov. Cecil Underwood presented Davis with the Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award for Human and Civil Rights.
The service is open to the public.
Jennifer Raley, Cumberland Times-News
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008