Luncheon, candlelight vigil to round out MLK Day

Holly Viers • Jan 14, 2018 at 4:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Monday’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day won’t stop with the parade.

Later that afternoon and into the evening, two more events will be held in celebration of King’s memory, and each one is open to the community.

Community luncheon

The first event, a community luncheon, will begin at 1 p.m. at the Riverview Community Room on Wheatley Street. As in previous years, the meal will consist of spaghetti, salad, bread and drinks. Desserts will be provided by the Pi Omega Omega — Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Candlelight vigil

That evening, the public is invited to Shiloh Baptist Church, located at 712 E. Sevier Ave., for a candlelight vigil. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature a performance by the church’s Angels in Motion praise dancers. New Vision Youth members will also recite some of King’s famous words, and the Full Gospel Mission Youth Community Choir will sing “This Little Light of Mine.”

Kenneth Calvert, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and representative of South Central Kingsport Community Development Inc., said a presentation will also be given by a group of students who recently participated in a writing and oratorical project through Eastman.

Community partners

The events are sponsored by South Central Kingsport Community Development and New Vision Youth in partnership with Kingsport Parks & Recreation and the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority.

“We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together in unity,” said Johnnie Mae Swagerty, executive director of New Vision Youth and South Central Kingsport. “Teamwork is the biggest factor in making these events successful.”

Why you should participate

Swagerty and Calvert encourage people to come to these events to help carry on King’s legacy.

“I think what highlights Dr. King’s life is that he stood for justice for all,” Calvert said. “It is much better than it was, but on any given day, there is always still work to be done.”