On Monday, McDowell County residents will still pause to honor the life and legacy of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his struggle for equality and justice for all Americans.
But this year, the annual Martin Luther King Day service at Addie’s Chapel United Methodist Church will be held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Connie Martin, with the Addie’s Chapel United Methodist Women, said this is the first time that the annual MLK Day service will be held this way. This will be the 24th year her church has hosted this service.
“It’s new, and we hope it goes over well,” she told The McDowell News.
And with the shocking events last week at the U.S. Capitol and warnings about more violence across the nation, the ideals of peace and justice that King strived and died for is needed now more than ever, according to Martin.
“With everything that is going on, we need to remember Dr. King believed in doing what is right and what is just, but he believed in doing it peacefully,” Martin said.
The virtual service will start at 11 a.m. on Monday. You can watch it on the Facebook page for Addie’s Chapel United Methodist Church. You can also call 1-774-220-4000 and enter in the Conference ID number of 2012-8752#.
The Rev. Walter Pegues, the church’s pastor, will be the guest speaker. The theme of the service is “What Can I Do?”
“We all have a part to play,” Martin said. “We need to forget politics and do what is right for all.”
There will be special music as well, but the details are still being determined by the organizers.
The annual service is sponsored by the Addie’s Chapel United Methodist Women. Donations for their missions can be made to Addie’s Chapel UMW, P.O. Box 914, Marion, NC 28752.
“I just hope everyone listens in and it will be uplifting,” Martin said.
For more information, call 652-5506 or visit the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Addieschapel2
In addition, local citizens can join in a statewide virtual celebration at noon today.
Here is the press release:
Gov. Roy Cooper and the NC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission invite everyone to the virtual 2021 NC State Employees’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Program and John R. Larkins Award Ceremony.
The theme for this year’s event is derived from one of Dr. King’s most notable quotes: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
The 2021 John R. Larkins Award will be presented during the broadcast to honor a state employee who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to equality in the workplace and dedication to improving local communities through volunteerism and community service.
Monday, January 18, 2021 is the federal holiday that honors Dr. King and is widely recognized as a day of service. For volunteer opportunities in North Carolina visit VolunteerNC, for virtual and at-home tasks to assist nonprofits. You may also reach out to local organizations in your community for ways to help.
What: Online Broadcast of the 2021 NC State Employees’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Program & John R. Larkins Award Ceremony
When: Friday, January 15, 2021 at noon
Dr. Christopher C.F. Chapman, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church (Salisbury Street, Raleigh)
Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services
The Honorable Roy Cooper, Governor
Jaki Shelton Green, NC Poet Laureate
Dr. Dumas Harshaw, Pastor of First Baptist Church (Wilmington Street, Raleigh)
Michael Regan, Secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality
Machelle Sanders, Secretary of the NC Department of Administration (Keynote Speaker)
To view that service, go to YouTube and search for N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.