LOXLEY, Alabama — Communities came together for the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 18 for the 16th annual march and program hosted by the Loxley Area Martin Luther King Group.
Pastor Bennie Richardson II with the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Foley, a resident of Loxley; and Pastor Silvanus Harris Sr. with the Missionary Baptist Church in Daphne, joined Loxley march organizers Gloria Autry and Ronnie McBride, along with about 25 participants, marching from the Loxley Church of God to Loxley Municipal Park, where an outside program of prayer was held.
Similar programs planned in Foley and Daphne on Monday were cancelled because of Coronavirus concerns.
The theme for the program was “Prayer can and will change situations,” and included readings from 2 Chronicles.
“It is very fitting that prayer is included in today’s theme,” Richardson said, “for it is impossible for us to do what we need to do without prayer.”
Harris encouraged those present to not only lift up the word “celebrate” but to also lift up the word “vision.”
“Now more than ever it is important for us to have that vision of coming together,” Harris said. “It is through togetherness that we will overcome.”
The program also included special music by Tracey Miller and concluded with the traditional singing of “We Shall Overcome.”
Each year, the nationwide Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is held on the third Monday of January to commemorate his birthday on Jan. 15. Introduced as legislation by U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, MLK Day was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
Marches held in King’s honor commemorate the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery that created national support for federal voting rights legislation.