Stanly celebrates 21st Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Prayer Breakfast

Published 3:53 pm Sunday, January 14, 2024

The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was celebrated Saturday morning in a nearly filled banquet room at the E.E. Waddell Center in Albemarle for the 21st year.

Saturday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Prayer Breakfast brought together in fellowship members of the Stanly County NAACP, politicians, ministers and members of the community to celebrate King’s life.

Attendees enjoyed a praise dance from the Sons of Thunder group representing Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, along with a musical selection from Union Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church.

Members of the Sons of Thunder dance team from Galilee Missionary Baptist Church perform at the Unity Prayer Breakfast Saturday. (Photo by CHARLES CURCIO/staff)

Union Chapel pastor Dr. Reginald Boyd Jr. delivered the keynote address. The title of the event was “Normalcy…Never Again,” but Boyd titled his address “Normalcy No More.”

The pastor talked about the pursuit of righteousness and freedom, saying the New Covenant surpasses “the transitory glory of the old, emphasizing the transformative power of the Spirit; when we turn to the Lord, the veil is lifted.”

He spoke regarding Matthew 23, saying the passage “vividly portrays the hollowness of the soul, revealing a duality between deeds and action…it serves as a point of illustration of how greed and self-importance can arise to hypocrisy, injustice and condemnation.”

Boyd added “such hypocrisy begets injustice, dismissal and racism,” referring to hypocrisy which has happened throughout America’s history “in the interactions with the African-American community.”

His said normalcy was always in a state of flux and different people’s definition of what is normal may vary significantly.

However, Boyd added, it was “far from normal, that individuals of color must constantly glance over their shoulders while walking down the street just to ensure they are not being followed by someone who perceives them out of place in a particular neighborhood.” He said it was not normal to have a fear of being pulled over by police or to be labeled a thug, just by the color of skin.

Boyd said the architects of the United States wrote a “promissory note” for all men to be equal, but added, “it is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note…America has given the Negro people a bad check marked insufficient funds.”

“Diversity, equity and inclusion should be intrinsic,” he said. “We refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation, and so we come to cash this check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

Boyd said the time is now “to rise from the dark and desolate valleys of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

Rev. Tim Scott’s daughter, Jalil Scott, left, and widow, Angela Scott, celebrate his legacy during the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Prayer Breakfast Saturday, (Photos by CHARLES CURCIO/staff)

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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