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Easy route not part of MLK, God’s plans

Easy route not part of MLK, God’s plans
Easy route not part of MLK, God’s plans
The Rev. Tom McGilliard, pastor the Fountain and Oak Grove United Methodist Church Charge, delivers a message at the 33rd Martin Luther King Jr. service Sunday at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Corydon. Photos by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor,  Editor,  [email protected]

The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was remembered as one who did not take the easy way out.

The Rev. Tom McGilliard, from the Fountain and Oak Grove United Methodist Church Charge in Corydon, said when he thinks of King, he is reminded of the Apostle Paul.

“Our world is filled with people who want to take the easy way,” he said. “Our God didn’t take the easy way out.”

MLK service
Barbara Wallace, left, Eddie Wallace, Evangelist Dwight Dyson, the Rev. Cindy Cushman, interim pastor at Corydon Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Stacy DeBose-Dyson, pastor at St. Paul AME Church talk following the program.

He reminded those attending Sunday afternoon’s MLK Worship and Praise Service at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Corydon that, despite having shots fired at his home, cross burnings on his lawn, death threats against him and even being knocked unconscious, King continued to do what he believed was necessary to advance the rights of persons of color.

King “kept pushing the frontiers of God and the kingdom of God,” said McGilliard, one of three speakers at the service.

The pastor said King told a group that he had “been to the mountaintop and seen the promised land,” adding he might not “get there” with them but he would see them there. King was assassinated the following day, on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

The Rev. Rick Harting, pastor at Corydon Christian Church, followed McGilliard.

“I should’ve gone before him,” he quipped. “I don’t know if I’m nearly as inspiring.”

However, Harting said he brings a different perspective to the events leading up to King’s death.

“I was born in 1972; I missed a lot of things, which was both a blessing and a curse,” he said. “I grew up in a world where Rosa Parks had already refused to give up her seat on that bus” on Dec. 1, 1955.

However, Harting knows the history; he was a former teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools where he tried to instill the importance of King’s works to the next generation.

“I told them I wouldn’t have had half of them in my class” if schools were still segregated, he said.

“It pains me that people had to live that experience,” Harting said.

And while strides have been made toward equality, there’s still work to be done.

“The worse thing we can do is to forget about (King),” Harting said, encouraging those who lived the times of civil unrest to remind people what it was like. “King would want us to keep pushing. … God loves everyone. That’s what King was trying to get across. … ”

The Rev. Stacy DeBose-Dyson, pastor at St. Paul AME since October and who also serves a congregation in Franklin, said she was 4 when King was killed.

She admits “my generation” didn’t experience the discrimination like the one before hers, “so it’s kind of hard to imagine what our parents, grandparents went through.”

For DeBose-Dyson, it was even easier, as her mother moved the family from Alabama to Kentucky. However, she admits racism still exists and she sees “history repeating itself.”

“The United States of America stands for something,” DeBose-Dyson said. “All people are created equal. … I will not keep silent; I will keep fighting.”

Numerous musical selections, led by Evangelist Dwight Dyson, minister of music at St. Paul AME, were part of the service. They included “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “We Shall Overcome,” “Something About That Name” and “Every Praise.”

Eddie Wallace, a member of St. Paul AME, welcomed everyone to the service and sang “We Are Redeemed.”

In his prayer, Harting encouraged attendees to “go out into (God’s) world to continue the work (God) put before us.”

The program, the 33rd MLK service in Harrison County since 1979, concluded with everyone singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”