Friends of Unity prepare for MLK  Jr. event

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

The Friends of Unity will host their fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday festivities on Monday, Jan. 15.

The parade will begin at 4 p.m. and will follow a route through downtown Newton.

The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Sand Ridge Missionary Baptist Church located at 5705 Bethel Roberts Road, Newton. The Rev. Anthony Robinson, president of the Third New Hope Educational Congress and pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Newton will be the keynote speaker.

The previous MLK Day programs had been held at the Newton Historic Depot, but Eva McDonald, one of the organizers of the event from Friends of Unity, said the change in venue was to provide more space for attendees and make the event more spiritual.

“We thought it would be a little more room and it would be more of a spiritual venue in connection to the way Dr. King spoke in churches,” McDonald said. “We wanted to go back and bring the past into the present.”

While several area churches have been scheduled to participate, McDonald said the event is still open to choirs, praise teams, psalmists, dramatists, and mime and praise dancers.

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination. The slain Civil Rights leader would have been 89 on Monday, the same day as the holiday.

All parade participants are asked to line up at 3:30 p.m. on School Street at Newton High School. The organizers are asking all churches in the county to please provide an entry in the parade.

For more questions, contact McDonald at 601-917-9350; Rev. Anthony Robinson at 601-527-2112 and Diann Chapman at 601-527-2610.