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The Roanoke Valley Southern Christian Leadership Conference will observe its eighth annual wreath-laying service in honor of the late Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The event will be held at Martin Luther King Community Park located at Wyche and Virginia streets in Roanoke Rapids.

Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will have the honors of placing the wreath in memory of King, who was a fraternity brother in the organization.

Those participating in the wreath-laying will be Ervin Griffin Sr., president emeritus of Halifax Community College, Jonathan Bulluck, president of the Epsilon Sigma Lambda Chapter of Rocky Mount; Antonio Squire, and General Arnold Gordon Bray.

The memorial prayer and inspirational words will be given by Charles McCollum Sr., president of the Roanoke Valley SCLC and pastor of Oak Grove and Piney Grove Grove Baptist churches.

After the laying of the wreath, a special blessing and moments of reflections will be given at the Sarah Keys Evans Plaza, also located in the park. The plaza was unveiled August 1.

Evans refused to give up her seat on a bus which had stopped in Roanoke Rapids on August 1, 1952.

Her action prompted the landmark case Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company in which the Interstate Commerce Commission outlawed segregation of Black passengers in buses traveling across state lines in 1955.

Due to the surge of COVID-19, this year’s ceremony will be abbreviated.  

For more information contact:  Georgette B. Kimball at 252-536-1019 or Ophelia Gould-Faison at 252- 532-0071

King Day observance

Oak Grove and Piney Grove churches will sponsor the 19th Annual M.L.K. Holiday Celebration virtually Monday beginning at noon. 

The national observance will be streamed live on Facebook at Oak Grove Media Ministry and will be recorded to post on YouTube.  

Mertis B.Horton will serve as the celebration leader; Congressman G.K. Butterfield will be the guest speaker; Kaileb Harrison will recite Dr. King's I Have A Dream speech; Senator Erica Smith will present declarations of hope; and McCollum will reflect on the MLK Day events from 2002-2021.

Other participants are Dr. C. Sparrow, Minister A. McCollum, Minister F. Bell, Ms. C Johnson, Mr. T. Davis, Mr. K. Hicks, Mr. M. Hawkins, Mrs. C. Ross-Holmes and Gould-Faison.  

The John 3:16 Center was selected as the 2021 MLK Community Service Project benefiting families in surrounding counties. 

Mail monetary donations to John 3:16, P.O. Box 1541 Littleton, NC 27850. 

The 17th Annual MLK Parade has been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.