Natchitoches community celebrates MLK Day

The Black Heritage Committee organized a Celebration Day for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 20. The day started with a program at the MLK Recreation Center themed around “Being Great in a Kingly Manner.”

Rev. Otis Jackson Sr., Pastor at Christian Baptist Church gave the opening remarks and presided over the opening prayer. Rev. Steven Harris spoke to the occasion, stating that everyone in attendance should be mindful to hold their character in higher regard than their image.

The key note speaker was Bishop Lee Murphy Hall, Pastor at Eastside Church of God in Christ. To all those gathered in the MLK Park Triangle on Texas Street, he said that one’s denomination does not matter because everyone has a reason to say, “Praise the Lord.”

“If King were here today he’d use these words,” said Hall. “Peace, Love, and Unity. Even in the 21st Century, he would say something like, ‘We must learn to love one another as God loves us.’ We must seek peace and learn to use our mouth to talk rather than go look for a gun. We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish as fools.”

Hall’s message was that everyone must use MLK Day to reflect on the things King stood for and to advocate to the next generation about the struggles that were overcome.

City Council Member Sylvia Morrow presented Hall with a proclamation from the City of Natchitoches declaring Monday, jan. 20, 2020 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the City. The brothers of the NSU Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity closed out the ceremony as they laid a wreath on the monument in the park and sang a hymn.