King’s legacy recalled locally

Martin Luther King Jr. is being remembered locally as a great man who had an important message for people.

At the city’s Freedom House Community Worship Center, about 30 people gathered Sunday evening for special services that remembered the civil rights leader.

Minister JoAnn Walker challenged the congregation to work on behalf of what King stood for – non-violence, brotherhood and unity.

“We have to realize the dream is not fulfilled,” she said. “Are we truly working together?”

Members of Freedom House Youth performed “I Have a Dream,” with each member proclaiming their own special dreams, which included goals of becoming a physician, a therapist and a veterinarian.

“Are you part of their dreams?” asked Walker. “Will you let them grow up and be all they can be?”

State Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, said King spoke out for the oppressed.

He said King was in Memphis in 1968, standing up for the city’s striking sanitation workers, when he was assassinated.

“He came to show them support,” he said.

He noted that King had been against the war in Vietnam at a time when it was not popular.

He said people need to live their own lives in King’s image and to speak out against those who do wrong, including those in power.

“We have to work against violence by working with police,” he said. “When we see violence perpetuated against people, we have to stand up.”

Pastor Ann Runnels, of Nisbet United Methodist Church, reminded the congregation that King was a man with a Godly vision.

At Trinity Episcopal Church, members of The Center’s afterschool program gathered Sunday morning to sing as part of a special program reflecting on King.

Heather Eisner, operations manager, said programs honoring King traditionally are done by the Campbell Street Community Center. The afterschool program now is held at the church.

“They love to be in the spotlight,” Eisner said.