Here’s a fascinating article from the Salina Journal, describing an ecumenical Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event held at the CrossRoads Church (a Brethren in Christ congregation in Salina) and featuring a keynote address from Jay Johnson, pastor of the Zion Brethren in Christ Church in nearby Abilene.
Here’s a taste:
While he was young when Martin Luther King Jr. was leading the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the Rev. Jay Johnson told the crowd Sunday at the MLK Day celebration at Salina’s CrossRoads Church that it is not difficult to see the role the church played in King’s life and how he led the movement.
“Where he got his nonviolence from was Jesus Christ,” said Johnson, pastor at Zion Brethren in Christ Church in Abilene, after the celebration. “Everyone knows him as a civil rights leader and everyone knows him as a man we respect, but many people tend to forget how he rose to that level was as a member of the church. That is where he got his philosophy and it pushed him to the forefront of the community.”
Johnson was the keynote speaker at the annual celebration that filled the church with a diverse crowd that spanned several generations.
During his speech, Johnson’s reference to events during the civil rights movement were recognized by people in the crowd who lived during that time.
“You think back to the ’40s and ’50s and it was different,” Johnson said. “Young people today hear about Dr. King, but don’t think about the struggles we went through. In the ’60s, there were separate drinking fountains in the South for whites and coloreds. A black person couldn’t go to a restaurant and order.”
Read the whole article here.