By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Keeping Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream alive was the message of Monday’s King birthday celebration in Tupelo.
It was standing-room only in the St. Paul United Methodist Church auditorium, where King’s legacy was honored with speakers and music on his national holiday.
The Rev. Roosevelt Gage, the guest speaker and a pastor at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Louisville, had the crowd on its feet when he preached about King’s dream.
“We all have dreams, but our dreams are a little bit different than Martin Luther King’s dream,” he said. “Martin Luther King’s dream is deeply rooted in the American dream.”
After his speech, members of Gage’s church in east-central Mississippi led the audience in singing “We Shall Overcome.”
The holiday marked what would have been the 81st birthday of the civil rights leader, who was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.
The Modern Beautician Club, which hosts the celebration, took an offering, some of which will be donated to Haiti earthquake relief.
The club also gave $500 MLK scholarships to Brayla Jernigan, a Mississippi State student, and Xavier Robinson, an Itawamba Community College student.
Celebrations began Monday morning with a motorcade that traveled from the VF Outlet Mall to the church.
Monday’s events followed Sunday’s celebrations, which included former Gov. William Winter’s receiving the Drum Major Award.