Dozens of people gathered at First United Methodist Church at 9:15 a.m. on Monday for the Anson County Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Following prayer, the group marched from the Methodist church to New Parker’s Grove M.B.C., where a service was held.
The service included a full program with prayers, scripture readings, a sermon and songs led by Bishop Walter R. Ellerbe, Rev. Sylvia McLendon, Rev. Michael McLeod, and Rev. Sandra G. Ellerbe, with songs by McLendon and the New Parker’s Grove choir.
The Rev. Sandra Ellerbe spoke at the service, telling the attendees that she was thankful that God sent King. “Because of what he did, we’re free to sit where we want, we can drive where we want, we can go into a restaurant,” she said, listing several other liberties King helped blacks gain. Additionally, Ellerbe told the attendees that King donated the $54,123 he received for the Nobel Peace Prize to the civil rights movement. “That was the kind of man Dr. King was,” she said. “So I just want to say ‘thank you’.”
Additionally, Ellerbe thanked those who she said “picked up the baton [from King] and ran with it.”
Ellerbe briefly recognized such people and groups, including Leon Gatewood, with HOLLA!, Ebenezer Baptist Church, United Methodist Church, Rev. Steve Adams with Harvest Ministries, and many others.
Rev. Ellerbe noted that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which King helped organize. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at that march, the largest demonstration for human rights in American history.