Glasgow’s First Baptist Church celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with their annual Sunday youth service and Monday march and service earlier this week.
The tradition started in the 1990s and was founded by the late Lana C. Lovejoy, wife to Lorenzo Lovejoy, former pastor of Glasgow First Baptist Church. Lana passed away in Dec. 2018, and this year’s service was dedicated to her memory.
Preparations for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events began in early Dec.
The youth choir for the Sunday service, directed by Anita Fant, began practicing earlier this month. The choir is compiled of 30 churches.
The most symbolic part in the church’s memoriam of King was their march from Barren County’s Courthouse to First Baptist Church, located on South Lewis Street. King was highly known for his marches for activism, and the church recognizes this with their own march even in freezing temperatures.
First Baptist has upheld this tradition because of its meaning to members of the community.
“We’re celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King and his contributions to society,” Joseph Trigg, Glasgow city councilman, said.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day means much more to Trigg, as it does with many members who attended the service.
“On a personal note, growing up in the beginning of segregation, it was the part that started unifying our country as it was,” Trigg said. “I served in the military for about 30 years, and that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Martin Luther King. I would’ve been in a military that is segregated, and it would not have given the same opportunities today.”
Trigg said that he would like to increase participation in Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities.
Ernesta Hayes, a member of the church, became teary-eyed as she talked about what Martin Luther King Jr. Day means to her.
Hayes spoke about the strife between people in current society, and how King was able to end it in his time. She wanted the day to be a symbol of unification for the community.
“It means a lot to the community,” Hayes said. “We need this.”
Barrett Wright, pastor of Scottsville First Baptist, said that Dr. King is his idol.
“He was this guy who stood for justice and equality on an unprecedented level — to the point where it killed him,” Wright said.
Wright said King is who he looks to for balance in the world, aside from Jesus Christ. He likens the two together though, as he stated that, like Jesus, King, “gave the ultimate price for what he believed in.”
Wright believes King impacted the community as he was able to bring everybody together, no matter their race, economical status or other differences.
“I’m not the only one who shares the passions and convictions of King,” Wright said. “I think everyone here has that and has the same sorts of passions and convictions that King had. They believe that our current leaders have the potential to get us to where we need to be but sometimes we have to challenge them.”
Last year, Wright modernized King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech for the service. This year, he gave a sermon that spoke about King in the standards of today. He brought in many of the issues society faces today: mass incarceration, the economic wealth gap between races, and the government shutdown.
“Because of Dr. King’s preparation and passion, it has highly influenced me today to where I want to continue to carry the torch, ” Wright said.
55 years after King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, people are still dreaming for the same future. First Baptist Church plans to continue bringing people together to celebrate that dream and King’s memory.