Stanly NAACP hosts 20th Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Prayer Breakfast

The theme for the 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Prayer Breakfast at the E.E. Waddell Community Center Saturday was “The Time Is Now.”

Saints Delight Church Pastor Charles Barrino expanded on that theme in his keynote remarks by titling his address “Somebody’s Got To Take a Stand.”

The banquet room was filled nearly to capacity with citizens representing all walks of life, including Stanly County commissioners and school board members, along with council members from Albemarle and Badin.

Pastors from several area churches were also recognized at the event sponsored by the Stanly County NAACP Chapter No. 5453.

Attendees enjoyed breakfast along with music by the Saints Delight Praise Team and a praise dance performed by Odessia Wright.

Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael read a proclamation and Stanly County Board of Commissioners Chairman Scott Efird spoke.

Laura Emery with the Stanly County Health Department had a faith, health and community update, sharing with those in attendance the signs of stroke. She shared an acronym “Be Fast,” which stands for balance, eyesight, face drooping, arm and leg weakness, speech difficulty and treatment.

In his speech, Barrino talked about a “one day mentality” in which people say things they want to do, like getting more exercise, “one day.”

He said he was sure there were days King wanted to quit, but said there was a fire in his soul.

Quoting 2 Timothy 1: 6-7, Barrino talked about the internal fire people have, saying “Someone has to activate. Someone has to be a starter. Stir it up means I can’t just sit back and watch and wait. Somebody has to take a stand.”

Some people’s flames have flickered out, he added, saying today was a day to “not just talk about what’s going on. I’m going to stir the gift inside me…I’m going to activate my faith.”

In Barrino’s message, he talked about stoking people’s internal fires about civil rights.

Barrino said a fire takes oxygen, heat and fuel to burn, adding in the spiritual realm, “heat is prayer. Oxygen is the word of God and fuel is yourself.”

“If you stand on His word, change is going to come.”

He said, “the cause is bigger than you are,” and added, “if wrong is wrong, stand up for what is right.”