Peace and Brotherhood: College, Community Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Ceremony drew a crowd last Monday, Jan. 16, at the Wise Church of God.

UVa-Wise students joined college and local community residents Jan. 16 in Wise for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration and march.
UVa-Wise students joined college and local community residents Jan. 16 in Wise for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration and march.

As it is customary for the assembly to follow a new theme each year, attendees this year united in the spirit of “Peace and Brotherhood.”

At one time, a small gathering offered only on the UVa-Wise campus for students, the college’s Black History Committee eventually relocated the ceremony to area churches and expanded participation by welcoming both students and community members.

Mikayla Ferrand participated in the Wise Main Street march that opened the evening’s ceremonies.
Mikayla Ferrand participated in the Wise Main Street march that opened the evening’s ceremonies.

Attendees every year now look forward to enjoying a homecooked meal with friends before joining together in a candlelit march down main street Wise in Dr. King’s honor.

Last week’s peaceful procession culminated at Wise Baptist Church for the ceremony’s final event: A service echoing Dr. King’s powerful dream. Reverend Mike Winters, Reverend Herbert W. “Woody” Scott and our own Chancellor Henry took the podium to deliver messages of acceptance, love and humanity.

In addition to the personal messages offered, Reverend Justin Preston delivered an inspiring rendition of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” address, and The Wise Guys, Mt. Sinai Baptist Church and Angel’s R.ose performed several uplifting hymns throughout the service.

Drawing from the evening’s tranquil atmosphere, the ceremony closed with the congregation joining hands to sing the final hymn “We Shall Overcome.” With handshakes, hugs and smiles, the crowd departed, renewed with a sense of peace and brotherhood.

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