Community remembers King legacy at Mount Calvary service

Published 3:02 am Tuesday, January 20, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Niles celebrated the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a special service on Monday at 1 p.m. to remember his message.
The service was led by Mistress of Ceremonies Emma Kelly and its theme was "One Nation Under God."
Niles City Council member Georgia Boggs was one of the speakers at the service and she talked about the legacy left by Dr. King. Boggs asked the question "How are we keeping his dream alive?"
She went on to point to the importance of providing education and religion for today's youth. The afternoon service also featured a recitation of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech by Joseph Strotter.
Much to the congregation's delight, the Mount Calvary Choir provided energetic and emotionally-charged music throughout the service.
One of the choir's performances was followed by a solo performance of "Precious Lord" by Valray Croom.
Mount Calvary's pastor, the Rev. Bryant Bacon, provided the introduction of the service's main speaker, Elder Versie Flake of Peace Temple Cogic in Dowagiac.
The Rev. Bacon explained the important role Flake has played in his life and said "If you listen closely, you will get something you have never heard before."
Flake called Dr. King, "God's gift to the world" and he reminded those in attendance of Dr. King's important message to the rest of the world, that "all men are created equal."
Flake delivered a powerful speech full of both inspiration and a sense of humor.
The service ended with the congregation joining hands and singing "We Shall Overcome."
Pauline Washington, a member of the church who was in attendance, said it was important to keep Dr. King's message fresh in our minds.
She acknowledged we have made some progress since Dr. King's time, but also said we still have a long way to go.