TROY — Richard’s Chapel United Methodist Church will host a march to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 16, starting at the Troy Senior Citizens Center and ending with a special ceremony at Richard’s Chapel United Methodist Church on McKaig Avenue.
“The purpose of the holiday is to acknowledge the importance of social justice and civil rights in this country,” Richard’s Chapel Pastor Kima Cunningham said. “We have certainly come far, but we certainly have far to go.”
Marchers will gather at the Troy Senior Citizens Center at 134 N. Market St. at 9 a.m. and march across the Market Street Bridge at 9:30 a.m., proceeding around the square to end up at Richard’s Chapel, located at 851 McKaig Ave.
Richard’s Chapel will host a special celebration service and community luncheon featuring students from Heywood Elementary School, starting at 10:30 a.m. The celebration service will also feature keynote speaker Reverend Jawwad Love, activist and Pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church in Springfield.
“We’re excited about him coming,” Cunningham said. “He’s a long-time activist and pastor, and a really progressive thinker.”
“He’s going to talk about becoming the ‘Beloved Community,’” she said.
“Dr. King’s legacy is much about something called Beloved Community,” Cunningham said. “Beloved Community is really about everybody being at the table, and about all of us having an equal opportunity and a level of equity to be part of the community where we live.”
The celebration service will also feature students from Heywood Elementary School.
“We’ve got some students from Heywood School, who are going to do some little pieces about what they think about the Beloved Community and civil rights and Dr. King,” Cunningham said. “We’re really excited to hear from them.”
The public is invited to participate in the march and service, and transportation will be provided for those who are unable to walk the distance of the march.
“We’ve got a good starting point at the senior center,” Cunningham said. “It’s not that far; it might be half a mile or maybe three-quarters, I’m not sure.”
“If there are individuals who can’t walk, they can still meet at the senior center, and one of the vans from the Lincoln Community Center will be there to transport them,” she said.
More information can be found online at www.richardschapel.com, or by calling 937-689-4715.
“Dr. King’s holiday is not just a holiday for African-Americans,” Cunningham said. “It’s a holiday for all people. Hopefully, this celebration is one that brings all people together, because Beloved Community means all people at the table.”