Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.



United Methodist leaders and churches will be involved in services and events celebrating the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 14 and 15, 2018. The federal holiday, held on the Monday nearest his birthday, honoring the preacher who in 1964 at age 35 became the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  He was selected for his nonviolent leadership of the U.S. civil rights movement.

Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will be the keynote speaker at the 18th annual Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast on Jan. 15 at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. Get flyer with details.  

See photos from the 2017 service at Garden City
The Rev. Dr. Scott Gallagher will be the preacher at the annual service sponsored by the Pittsburgh and Greensburg Districts. It is scheduled for 4 p.m., on Sunday, Jan. 14 at Garden City UMC in Monroeville.

Garden City Gospel Choir and other groups will provide music for the celebration. The offering received will support the MLK Jr. Memorial Scholarship established by the Greensburg & Pittsburgh Districts to assist seminary students who have been called, and have responded in active ways to put an end to racism.

Rev. Angelique Bradford and Ellwood City, First UM Church will host a community worship and celebration service honoring Dr. King on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 4 p.m.  The speaker will be the Rev. William Lindsay of Love Hope Baptist Church, with the Love Hope choir singing.  A special offering will be received for the Lawrence County NAACP.

Dr. King believed that God intended for the human family to live in community as interrelated members with the Christian love-ethic as key, according to C. Anthony Hunt, a Baltimore pastor and scholar who studies King and Dr. Howard Thurman.  He saw the struggle to eradicate racial hatred and economic oppression as not just a moral imperative but also as a divine imperative for both church and society. His prophetic leadership was grounded in four key principles — call, conviction, courage and commitment — that still have great relevance to leaders engaging in prophetic witness and public ministry today.  Read more on King's legacy in excerpts from Hunt's latest book, Stones of Hope: Essays, Sermons and Prayers on Religion and Race, in Leading Ideas from The Lewis Center for Church Leadership. 

Explore ways to bring people of faith together to talk about moving forward in race relations in the name of Christ using Moving Faith Communities to Fruitful Conversations about Race, a free resource with four videos about race in America. They come from the Institute for Community Engagement at Wesley Theological Seminary. 

Read United Methodists Share MLK's Dream