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Kingsport to observe MLK Day with parade, vigil
THIS ARTICLE COURTESY THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS
KINGSPORT — A noontime parade, a church celebration and a candlelight vigil are scheduled as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances in Kingsport.
The Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance will host the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Service at Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church Sunday at 6 p.m.
The guest speaker will be Bishop Warren M. Brown, Fort Washington, Md., presiding prelate of the Mid Atlantic II Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church.
A native of Knoxville, Brown recently celebrated 50 years in the gospel ministry. He has held pastoral assignments in Knoxville and Morristown, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
Currently Brown serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees of Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., is a member of the executive committee of the World Methodist Council, and is president of the Board of Bishops of the A.M. E. Zion Church. He has been honored by Livingstone College Alumni with the “Outstanding Service Award.”
The 10th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade will be held in Kingsport Monday beginning at noon at the intersection of East Sevier and Center streets downtown.
The theme this year is “Remember! Celebrate! Act! — A Day On, Not A Day Off.”
The purpose of the parade is to “celebrate a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech coming to fruition with the election of the first African-American as the president of the United States,” said Ronnie Collins, general overseer of the Tennessee and Virginia Fellowship Against Racism and East Tennessee Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship Inc.
“A parade is more inclusive. We’re continuing to put forth every effort for diversity and unity,” said Collins, organizer of the parade.
Monday evening, the fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Candlelight Vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at Glen Bruce Park in Kingsport. The event is sponsored by the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services and New Vision Youth.
Churches involved in the event include First Broad Street United Methodist Church, First Broad Street Baptist Church and First Broad Street Presbyterian Church.
Other participating organizations at the event will be Girls Inc., Kingsport Fire Department, Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, National Guard Armory, Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Kingsport and Riverview Boys and Girls Clubs, Kingsport Ministerial Alliance, Kingsport Board of Education, Holston Valley Medical Center, Indian Path Medical Center, Douglass High School Alumni, Northeast Tennessee Red Cross, Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Kingsport, Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the Sullivan County Health Department.
Representatives of Grace Church in Kingsport will light a candle for the earthquake victims in Haiti, and a candle will be lit in memory of Jalissa Ferguson.
The public is invited to attend and bring a candle.