Residents celebrate life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Published 5:44 pm Thursday, January 11, 2018

During a time of uncertainty and divisiveness across the country, a handful of Carter County residents recently chose to come together and preach the message of unity.
Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library and UT – Extension held their monthly homeschool event with assistance from Browns Chapel AME Zion Church to present a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Service Day Celebration at the Recreation Center Thursday afternoon.
With MLK Day set for Monday, Jan. 13, residents were able to get a headstart on remembering one of the country’s champions of promoting equality.
Throughout the event, children and other attendees were able to participate in different games and activities while learning about the importance of coming together as a community.
Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey issued a proclamation during Thursday’s event and said the excitement from attendees leads him to believe the inaugural community celebration will continue for years to come.
“I think right now, based on what we’ve experienced here today, that even though this is the first event, it definitely won’t be the last,” Humphrey said. “I can see this as an annual event moving forward. This is extremely important for us to bring the community together, we’ve seen that today. I’m in support and I will do everything that I can to help with these events because we need our citizens working together as one, not as a divided mass. I’m honored and privileged to have a part in this event.”
Whether it was mingling or taking in the soulful sounds of the Douglas Community Choir, Dr. Jeannette Clark, Reverend of Browns Chapel, said Thursday’s event was about spreading community togetherness and remembering King’s message to promote equally across the country.
“It’s an honor to be here today to help our homeschool children learn more about the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and have a chance for everyone to come together and share in fellowship,” Clark said.
To spread the message of MLK Day, Tracy Haynes recited King’s speech in its entirety, which drew praise and applause from the crowd. Following MLK’s message, the choir sang various songs to cap off the day.
Seeing the excitement and support for the event was a joy, according to Clark. With the support for the inaugural event, the Reverend indicated the goal for next year is to prepare in advance so that there could be time to organize a work day on the official MLK Day.

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