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Celebrating the King Holiday: ‘A Day On—Not Off’






The nation will celebrate Monday, Jan. 20, as the King Holiday. The day will mark the 28th anniversary of the National Holiday named in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Nobel Peace Prize winner would have been 85 on Jan. 15.  He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.


Events are planned throughout the metro Atlanta area to remember King for the indelible mark he made on the nation. Organizers want people to use the holiday not as a day off, but as a day of activism.


In Atlanta, Emory University students and staff will be working with residents on various beautification projects in the city. Volunteers from the DeKalb County Service Board will be doing cleanup, painting, landscaping and other projects in Tucker, Lithonia. In Gwinnett County, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority will conduct a roadside cleanup and voter registration drive. The Chi Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in Rockdale County will be improving the appearance of the Westbury Health and Rehabilitation Center in Conyers on the holiday.    


Here’s a listing of some of the other ways local residents will remember Atlanta’s native son: 








Ebenezer to host commemorative service



The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service will be held on Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m., at Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Horizon Sanctuary, 407 Auburn Ave., N.E., Atlanta.


The ecumenical service, which is open to the public, is the spiritual hallmark of the King Holiday Observance in Georgia. Members of various religious traditions and state, national, and international governments will participate.


The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Warnock became pastor in 2005. The church was originally founded in 1886 during the Reconstruction Era. The Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. his father, Martin Luther King, Sr., and Martin’s brother, Alfred Daniel “A.D.” Williams King, have all pastored the church.


The church seats 2,000 people. Early arrival is suggested.





Bishop Paul S. Morton to keynote Ben Hill MLK program   


Bishop Paul S. Morton will be the keynote speaker for the Ben Hill United Methodist Church Martin Luther King Day Program on Monday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m.


“Continuing the Legacy of Faith, Hope, and Love” is the theme of this year’s program, which will be held at 2099 Fairburn Rd. S.W., Atlanta. The public is invited to attend.


Bishop Morton, senior pastor of Changing a Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church, is an anointed singer with six Stellar Awards to his credit.  He was recently nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award. He is the founding President of the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship International. Born in Ontario, Canada, he relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1972. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Bishop Morton relocated to Atlanta to open his current church. He co-pastors with his wife, Debra Morton, the Greater St. Stephens Missionary Baptist Church in New Orleans, where he was senior pastor for 33 years.







Esteemed grand marshals to lead NAACP King parade, rally



Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church Pastor William E. Flippin, Sr. and DeKalb County Public Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond will serve as grand marshals of the DeKalb County NAACP’s 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parade.  


The parade and annual rally will take place on Monday, Jan. 20. The parade will start at 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Green Pastures Christian Ministries Inc., 5455 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur, and end with a rally at MLK Jr. High School, 3991 Snapfinger Road, Lithonia.   





New Bethel to present 13th Annual MLK Drum Major Awards



Pastor Richard Allen Washington, Sr. and the New Bethel A.M.E. Church, 8350 Rockdbridge Road, Lithonia will celebrate its 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award Celebration on Monday, Jan. 20, 2 p.m.


The theme for this year’s celebration is “Continuing the Dream: The Fight for Justice.” The keynote speaker will be State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, District 39. DeKalb Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond will be among several people honored at the program.  The event is free and open to the community. 770-484-3350.









United Ebony Society ready for Annual MLK Day Parade



The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc. will host its 14th Annual MLK Day Parade on Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m. The parade will start at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, and end at  Moore Middle School, 1221 Lawrenceville Highway.


The theme of the parade is “Strengthening our Community, Nation and World.” A free health fair will take place at Moore Middle School.  678-227-3190. 









Rockdale Chamber, NAACP set benefit breakfast



The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and the Rockdale branch of the NAACP will co-host a benefit breakfast on Monday, Jan. 20, commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


The event will be held at 7:45 a.m. at Longhorn Steakhouse, located on Iris Drive near I-20 and West Avenue. The keynote speaker for the event will be the Douglas R. Hooker, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission.


The cost to attend the breakfast is $10. Limited seating. A large turnout is expected. Proceeds will benefit the United Way.

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