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Citizens gather for Martin Luther King, Jr. program

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.

On Monday, Jan. 15, the Madison County Chapter of the Charmettes, Inc. held their annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program. The event began with a service at Mt. Zion Church, followed by a march to the Madison County Courthouse. Once at the courthouse, those present heard presentations from clergy members from various local churches, as well as from local young people.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo by Rick Patrick, January 15, 2018
Rev. Jessica Muse, Pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church, in Greenville, delivered the keynote address during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program, sponsored by the Madison County Chapter of the Charmettes, Inc.
Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo by Rick Patrick, January 15, 2018
Charmettes member Sharon Postell (left) presents a plaque to Madison City Mayor Rayne Cooks (right) in recognition of Cooks' service to the citizens of Madison.

Charmettes member Gwen Hubbard welcomed everyone to the program. Then, Madison County High School (MCHS) senior Ta'Ronn Johnson gave a stirring recitation of Dr. King's famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech was first given by King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Aug. 28, 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Rev. Octavious Tookes, Pastor of Revelations Missionary Baptist Church gave a prayer, followed by a scripture reading by Rev. Ernest Raines, Pastor of Young Reaper Missionary Baptist Church. Emily Dickey recognized public officials who were present at the program.

Madison County Central School sixth grade student Amari Alexander read her essay, “What 'Take a Knee' Means to Me.” In her essay, Alexander explained why she supports the recent actions by professional football players wherein they refuse to stand during the playing of the National Anthem, instead choosing to kneel on one knee as a form of protest. MCHS students Keytavia Edwards and Lorrenzo Lee sang for those in attendance.

The keynote speaker for the program was Rev. Jessica Muse, Pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church in Greenville. During her address, Muse gave highlights from Dr. King's life and recounted the work he did in furthering the cause of civil and human rights. Muse urged all in attendance to register to vote and exercise that right when elections are held. Muse also stressed her desire to hold officials accountable once they are elected.

The program ended with Rev. Charles Barfield, Pastor of Pineland Missionary Baptist Church leading everyone in a closing prayer.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo by Rick Patrick, January 15, 2018
The Madison County Chapter of the Charmettes, along with the help of several ministers and others, Presented the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program at the Madison County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 15. Pictured on the front row, from left to right, are: Tameka Jones, Tressica Alexander, Shirley Barfield, Anna Jo Martin, Cheryl Clemons, Emily Dickey, Gwen Hubbard, Sharon Postell and Rev. Ernest Raines. On the back row, from left to right, are: Rev. Octavious Tookes, Rev. Charlie Barfield, VeEtta Hagan, Rev. Jessica Muse, Bernice Robinson, Darlisa Williams and Rayne Cooks.

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