A spirit-filled group of inspiring and inspired community members gathered Sunday evening at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as one of several local events celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this weekend. Led by various church leaders representing the Upper Ohio Valley Ministerial Alliance, the worship ceremony represented diverse backgrounds and perspectives looking toward a single horizon: a society that truly offers justice and equity for all of its citizens. The group was entertained and energized by local gospel singers, Voices of Praise, and the musical offerings concluded with a rousing rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commonly understood to be the African-American anthem.
A highlight of the gathering was the honoring of four local community members in the name of Dr. King: Moundsville Mayor Gene Saunders and Northern Panhandle Headstart Director Marlene Midget, who were awarded Wheeling Jesuit’s MLK Jr. Award and Rosa Parks award, respectively; and father and daughter the Rev. Willie Stinson and Dr. Willette Stinson, who received the Upper Ohio Valley Ministerial Alliance MLK Jr. Awards. Local community leaders such as Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron, Chief Schwertzfeger, and Ohio County Superintendent Dianna Vargo also joined this diverse group.
The celebrations in honor of this true American hero continue tomorrow at Laughlin Memorial Chapel in Wheeling. Educational programs for children begin with a 9 a.m. breakfast, followed by a reading by winners of the YWCA 2015 Project on Racism Essay Contest. Find details here: MLK DAY.
View Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech here: I Have a Dream