By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
Dr. Henry Armington exhorted the audience at the 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Celebration Monday to keep “fighting and singing” for Dr. King’s dream.
“Even when you kill the dreamer,” Dr. Armington said, “the dream still lives on.”
A Jefferson native, Dr. Armington pastors Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Shreveport.
The annual celebration of Dr. King’s legacy at the Jefferson Community Center is sponsored in Jefferson by the Marion County Diversified Civic and Social Concerns Organizations. The theme for the 2019 celebration was “Unity – Standing Together United As One.”
Dr. King would have turned 90 on Jan. 15 if he had not been assassinated.
Dr. Armington lamented much of how society in the United States has changed since the 1964 “March on Washington.”
“People left after Dr. King spoke folk had been revolutionized. They were encouraged. They had been motivated and inspired,” Dr. Armington said. “Now we see killings and bombings. Prophetically, it is said men’s hearts are failing them.”
► Watch Dr. Armington recall the effect of Dr. King’s 1964 speech
The American family is “fractured,” Dr. Armington said. “Our divorce rate is rampant.”
“He decried what he called the American Holocaust, “legalized abortion.”
Dr. Armington touched obliquely on the current political situation.
“Kings and kingdoms may rise and fall,” Dr. Armington said, “but the people of God shall be alive and well in solidarity.”
The speaker urged the audience to “build your hopes on things eternal and hold on to God’s unchanging hand. I believe I can fly. I heard the voice of the Savior telling me to fight on.”
Dr. Armington conceded that the struggle would not be pain free. Some may have to suffer. “I turn to my right there is trouble. I turn to my left and there is trouble. There is no place on this earth that is totally safe.”
Dr. Armington then concluded, “There is no need to despair. Joy comes in the morning.”
Representatives from local governmental entities were in attendance.
Mayor Charles “Bubba’ Haggard introduced city council members who were present and congratulated MCDCSCO for the evening.
County Judge Leward LaFleur shared with the group his favorite quotations from Dr. King and introduced members of county government in attendance.
Trustee Leah Cooper represented Jefferson Independent School District voicing appreciation for the banquet.
MCDCSCO President and Founder Mrs. Jessie Walker acknowledged the efforts of those who prepared the Community Center for the event and thanked those who came.
Joyce Smith and Lola Pullum handled presentations. Mary Spearman and Edgwena Tarpley conducted the door prize drawing.
Music was provided by GJP Band of Marshall.
Fr. David Puckett gave in invocation and Pastor Gus Patton voiced the benediction.
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