January 22nd, 2014
45th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Celebration
Beulah Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Tony Hart was the Guest Preacher for the celebration. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
NEWBURGH - For the 45th year, the Christian Ministerial Fellowship of Newburgh and Vicinity celebrated the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
More than 150 people attended this year’s event, hosted by Baptist Temple Church.
They sung the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” remembered deceased ministers during a Memorial of Silence, but most importantly, paid tribute to the slain civil rights leader.
Bishop Jeffrey Woody, President of the Christian Ministerial Fellowship stated, “You may consider 2013 as a year of; broken promises, insufficiency, increased crime, higher rents and sub-standard housing. While our perceptions may be accurate, we cannot afford to remain on the shores of apathy and watch the cruise ship [of] life pass.”
Bishop Woody continued, “If we truly desire change in Newburgh, in Orange County, in the Hudson Valley, we must rid ourselves of the garments of apathy and prejudice and exchange them for sympathy and impartiality in order to be dressed for life. Many have been to the mountaintop and know that the Promised Land is within reach.”
Woody called on those assembled to stop standing on the shores of apathy by being silent, but to “cry aloud and spare not as we have been called to herald the Good News.” He said, “We cannot afford to remain silent and ignore the cry of the innocent, hurting, wounded, and less fortunate. We must stand united against the maladies of our society in order to make it to the Promised Land.”
Rev. Dr. Tony Hart of the Beulah Baptist Church was the Guest Preacher. “I come to reinforce that which you already know about Martin Luther King,” Hart said. Hart quoted scripture and Dr. King. He spoke of the many trials and tribulations Jesus and King both faced. He pointed out their similarities, including their resistance to violence. “For in the end,” Hart said, “love conquers hate.”
One way to keep King’s spirit alive is through service to others. King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”