Community

Taking a stand: Islanders celebrate Dr. King

Nine-year-old Jessica Vester, Sequoia Bickford, 8, Bianca Boyles, 9, and Sade Mobley, 11, join together in song at a rehearsal for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebreation at the House of Prayer. They will perform for the public on Sunday. - Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times
Nine-year-old Jessica Vester, Sequoia Bickford, 8, Bianca Boyles, 9, and Sade Mobley, 11, join together in song at a rehearsal for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebreation at the House of Prayer. They will perform for the public on Sunday.
— image credit: Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times

With the recent tragedy in Tuscon only a week old and daily videos of the partisan scuffles in Congress being shown on televisions nationwide, it seems the country needs a reminder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s teachings now more than ever.

On Monday, many will enjoy a day off work and school but it’s not likely all or even the majority of people will reflect on the message Dr. King was trying to get across to the American people. It may be wise to dedicate a few moments to consider the messsage of the martyred civil rights leader and Alabama clergyman. He said back in the 1960s what many are still failing to understand today.

“Dr. King was about unity,” Oak Harbor Pastor Fannie Dean said. “He was about everybody and all races.”

For the past four years, Dean has been organizing an event at the House of Prayer off Goldie Road to celebrate the life of the famous activist. According to Dean, the effort was originally launched by the Oak Harbor Black Citizens Association in the ‘80s, and even though the group members eventually disassembled, it was their hope that the event would continue every year.

At 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, Dean and the congregation of Unity Fellowship will be honoring Dr. King through song and dance and they’ve invited the public to attend. Yesterday, the group performed at the Base Chapel at the naval station.

“We’re representing Jesus,” 11-year-old Sade Mobley said during a dance rehearsal Wednesday. Sade’s mother, Tenyce Mobley, choreographed a children’s dance and Evangelist Effie Boyles led the entire group in their worship songs.

“We’re lifting up our hands and voices for who?” she asked the choir.

“For the world to see!” they hollered back enthusiastically.

The theme for this year’s event is, “We’re taking a stand.” Dean said many people are living in fear these days as more and more depressing news and stories of hatred pour through media outlets, but instead of cowering or running away, people need to take strength in one another and face the difficulties head on.

“We still have to take a stand, no matter what the enemy is throwing our way,” Dean said.

Some MLK celebrations have already taken place across the island. Many Oak Harbor students gathered for school assemblies on Friday while students in Coupeville wrote letters to military men and women in honor of MLK and Good Citizenship Day.

Honor the King

Join Unity Fellowship at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 16, for songs and dances that honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event will be held at the House of Prayer located at 620 Erin Park Road across from the U-Haul garage on Goldie Road in Oak Harbor.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Whidbey community is invited to attend the sixth annual commemoration of the life of King titled, “Blessed be the Peace Makers.” The service will begin at 1 p.m. Monday at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church located at 5217 Honeymoon Bay Road Freeland.

Community Events, April 2014

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