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The Roanoke Valley Southern Christian Leadership Conference with members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity laid the wreath honoring the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. at the front of his statue in King Park in Roanoke Rapids this afternoon.

C.E. McCollum, pastor of Oak Grove and Piney Grove Baptist churches and president of the Roanoke Valley SCLC served as the keynote speaker.

“As stakeholders in King’s dream of redeeming the soul of America, the urgent need is to decide the role you will play in this awesome task of creating a more inclusive America,” McCollum said. “Today King’s words resonate with us with new depth and meaning. It’s only through a shared responsibility and the richness of ideas that come from a diversity of people and perspectives that we can tackle the challenges that lie ahead.”

Said the pastor: “Regardless of the horrific scenes we’ve been witnessing in the news, I still believe in a better America. America is my home away from my heavenly home and until God calls me, I will continue to have hope for America because I’m one who believes God’s promises are ever strong and love conquers all.”

King Day observance

Meanwhile, 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.