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A King tribute

A King tribute
A King tribute
Photos by Alan Stewart The Rev. Monty Fourte of Fifth Street Baptist Church in Louisville delivers his message about trouble everyone endures in their life Sunday at the 27th annual ecumenical Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Corydon. Photos by Alan Stewart (click for larger version)

From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Rosa Parks, to each and every one of the some 150 people who attended the 27th annual ecumenical Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Sunday afternoon at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Corydon, all have experienced trouble of some kind.
During an impassioned speech that was inspired by the theme of the service, Down Through the Years, the Rev. Monty Fourte of Fifth Street Baptist Church in Louisville told the audience that King went through all kinds of trouble ‘ not the least of which included racism and arrests (30 times to be exact) ‘ prior to his assassination in 1968, and that all people, not just African-Americans, have gone through trouble to get past racism. But, Fourte said, trouble isn’t over yet. All people have to put ‘trouble’ in trouble.
Fourte then drew on a quote from King.
‘To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. When you are in trouble, you’ve got to fall down on your knees and tell God you need him,’ Fourte said. ‘Dr. King dealt with some trouble to get us to this point to deal with new trouble. Don’t think trouble is gone. Don’t think blatant racism hasn’t taken place since we’ve had a black president. Trouble is here again, and we’ve got to deal with this trouble.
‘But the thing I like most is that down through the years, through all of the trouble that we’ve gone through; down through the years, through all the pain and heartache, through every sip of alcohol we’ve taken; down through the years, through every joint that we smoked; down through the years, with snort of cocaine that we took; down through the years, with everyone that we’ve hurt with the words we’ve said; down through the years, every time we’ve cheated on one another; down through the years, every time we’ve talked about someone else; down through the years, when we’ve caused trouble in the church house; down through the years, when we’ve caused trouble in our own house; down through the years, trouble, trouble, trouble, but through it all God has been good.
‘Martin Luther King went through trouble, and we’re going to go through trouble. But, I’ll say this to trouble: Jesus.’
After Fourte’s speech and prior to a pitch-in meal, Father Robert Hankee of St. Joseph likely echoed many in the audience: ‘I don’t know about you, but I feel like I just got done working out.’
The program ended with everyone in attendance holding hands as Ray Charles’ ‘America, The Beautiful’ was played.
‘The tributes each year offer a different experience/meaning. Each participant made a great contribution in their own way. The program was like going to a theater on Broadway,’ Jewel Brown, one of the main organizers, said. ‘I cannot name all the people who came out to help us make this year at St. Joseph Catholic Church so memorable.’
Brown described Fourte as ‘dynamite.’
‘That young man can really set a service on full blast,’ she said. ‘I had to take my shoes off and put on my house slippers, for the man could preach! He was just an awesome speaker.’
Brown noted that Harry Reno of Louisville, who had attended each MLK tribute for the past 33 years (prior to the ecumenical tribute), had passed away Thursday.
‘This was the first that he missed. We will always remember Harry and Evelyn Reno for they were so faithful,’ Brown said. ‘The first time my dad took me to a MLK Jr. March on Washington, I fell in love with this movement. That was in 1963. We practice the dream in Corydon and make it real, at least once a year.’
Sunday’s service lasted a little more than three hours and included musical numbers by Down by the Wayside Choir from Louisville, Another Blessing from Irvington, Ky., St. Joseph’s bilingual choir and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in New Albany, a cappella performances by Brown and youngster Briana Rogers of St. Paul AME, a skit by Briana’s mother, Diana, portraying Rosa Parks, and a reading by Briana’s father, Harry. Bethel AME Church also performed a dance in which the performers appeared to be angels.
Other participants included the Revs. Jerry Robinson, pastor at St. Paul, Webster Oglesby of Lincoln Hills Christian Church, Scott Hill, pastor at Corydon Presbyterian Church, and Barbara Harris of Bethel AME.
Photos

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