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Members of the community gathered in 2017 at Logan Street First Baptist Church in Williamson for a ceremony honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

WILLIAMSON — The Williamson Branch of the NAACP and Youth Council, in partnership with Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will present an ecumenical, commemorative service, on Sunday, Jan. 19 in observance of the birthday, life, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The celebration will be at 3 p.m. at the Logan Street First Baptist Church in Williamson, according to Pastor Rev. Gerald Dotson. This year marks the 34th anniversary (1986) of the King holiday.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change invites the public to participate in a variety of activities that reflect the spirit of inclusion, service, and brotherly love that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. promulgated.

The book titled “Dr. King’s Vision: Humanity Tied in A Single Garment of Destiny” underscores King’s commitment to spreading love and peace among all of humanity, even through the most trying times.

In the words of King, “Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional sentimentalism. It is the active pouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”

The quote: “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice” from the book “Stride Toward Freedom,” written by King, is the 2020 focus of the West Virginia Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission.

Guest speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Dale Carey, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Williamson. He serves as president of the Greater Williamson Area Ministerial Association.

Various other clergy and persons from the community will be participating, with greetings anticipated from both the City of Williamson and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and special music by guest soloists.

The tribute will be led by the NAACP Youth Council.

The local NAACP celebrates more than 25 partnership with SWVCTC, insuring the success of this annual program as well as those during Black History Month, positively impacting the communities.

The Branch, Youth Council and SWVCTC encourage participation in community projects on the MLK Jr. Day of Service, the national observance, on Jan. 20.

“A Day ON, Not a Day Off: Citizenship and Service in Action,” sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (MLKDay.gov), has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter century.

MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

The CNCS works with the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, schools and businesses nationwide. On this day, the third Monday of January, the King Center encourages the world to engage in volunteer service in tribute to the work and life of King.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.