Speakers urge audience to continue his work for freedom.
The Rev. Haywood Davidson, pastor of Historic New Bethel A.M.E. Church in Ormond Beach, said Martin Luther King Jr. Day may be a federal holiday, but people should be thinking of how to make good on his legacy every day.
“My dream is that we can better citizens of the community by getting involved,” he said. “We need to make discrimination not exist.”
Davidson spoke at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 19 at South Ormond Neighborhood Center on Division Avenue.
Sponsored by the city of Ormond Beach and VITAS Healthcare, the free event is organized each year by the MLK Committee, a group of local citizens led by Tina Carlyle.
Representing the city was City Commissioner and Deputy Mayor Bill Partington.
“Over the past 12 or 13 years, I’ve only missed a couple of these,” Partington said. “It’s a special day. I always learn something or something touches my heart.”
The opening events included a stirring rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Christine Rowe, which brought the audience to its feet; a poem read by Carolyn Parker; and a singing of the National Black Anthem, which was written in 1900 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
Rowe sang two other songs during the service.
Welcoming the audience to the event was Minister Gary Pelham of New Harvest Christian Church, who said King was divinely inspired by God to serve.
“To be leader, you first must be a servant,” he said. “I pray you are all inspired by Dr. King. He dedicated his life to benefiting all mankind.”
Parker, who presided over the ceremony, said she recently asked some young people if they had a dream. She said one young person said they dreamed of a day when people would get along and stop all the violence.
“I noted that the dream hasn’t changed much,” she said.
In his speech, Davidson said King was one of the most inspiring persons in history, whose life was full of passion and dedication to freedom. He was a man of powerful words that will never be forgotten.
“He was a catalyst for change,” Davidson said.
Davidson said people must come together and not wait for a miracle.
“Miracles are the result of effort,” he said. “How can you want change and not be the cause of change? The legacy of Dr. King shows what one person can do and what people working together can do.”
He mentioned that today’s social media gives a voice to people, saying that one person with a computer has as much power as a group of protestors.