MLK remembered for his pastor’s voice

| January 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

 

Dugal

Dugal

Chaplain (Col.) Mike Dugal
U.S. Army-Pacific

 

When you think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., what title do you attribute to him: civil rights leader, activist, pacifist, radical, agitator, scholar, sojourner, prophet or pastor?

Yes, pastor!

Did you know that Dr. King was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1960 until his untimely death in 1968? Before that, he was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

The most well known speech of Dr. King’s oratory history is his “I Have A Dream” speech, which was delivered in 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

Few of us may be aware of his equally dynamic sermons that reflect his deep faith and conviction, that all men are created equal in the image of God. His belief in God and duty to his fellow man ignited the fire for his thirst for racial equality and human dignity.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice, in a crowd at Washington, D.C. in 1963. (Photo courtesy of U.S. National Archives)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice, in a crowd at Washington, D.C. in 1963. (Photo courtesy of U.S. National Archives)

Following are some of his faith-based quotes that need to be heard once again:

•“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

•“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”

•“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

•“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

•“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

As we pause to recognize and celebrate this national holiday, may we dare to hear this pastor’s voice regarding faith, love and dignity of others. Dr. King’s prophetic voice can never be limited to birthing hope only for our African-American community. His pastoral words of forgiveness, faith and freedom birth hope for all who are mistreated and ridiculed regardless of faith, gender, creed, color, ethnicity or culture. His historic voice constantly calls us to be better than we are presently.

I challenge you to embrace his passion and desire to honor all people; may we start where we are and proceed to something better and greater than ourselves. Remember his words:

“If you can’t fly, then run,

If you can’t run, then walk,

If you can’t walk, then crawl,

But whatever you do,

You have to keep moving forward.”

May all of us be found guilty of moving forward to better our relationships, to better our families, to better our community and to better our Army.

As Dr. King said, “What are you doing for others?”

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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