LUMBERTON — There are several events scheduled across Robeson County Sunday and Monday to honor slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Born on Jan. 15, 1929, his birthday became a national holiday in 1971. His efforts to advance civil rights for African-Americans and others in the United States through civil disobedience and nonviolent means have been far reaching and emulated as a way to effect positive change and fight injustice.
The town of Red Springs has scheduled a Martin Luther King event for Sunday. The event will take place at 6 p.m. at St. James AME Zion Church at 116 Brown St. The church’s pastor, Sharon Mitchell, will speak at the event, which is open to the public.
The Rev. Jimmy Gilchrist, organizer of the county’s 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, said honoring King’s legacy is very important and what he stood for should not be forgotten.
“We want to continue on with Dr. King’s dream and fulfill what he believed in and his philosophical concept of equal rights for everyone,” said Gilchrist, president of the Robeson County Black Caucus, which is sponsoring the event.
The celebration will begin at noon Monday at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Lumberton. The Rev. Henry McNeill, pastor of New Horizon Baptist Church in High Point, will be the keynote speaker.
At The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a week of events involving volunteering and service-oriented programs is scheduled in honor of King. Events get started at 9 a.m. on Monday at University Center, where people can register to volunteer at My Refuge soup kitchen in Lumberton, participate in a roadside cleanup, donate blood and participate in reading parties, where volunteers will read books about Martin Luther King Jr. to students in area elementary schools.
At 10:30 a.m. on Monday at Renaissance Event Center, located at 107 W. Central St. in Maxton, an event honoring King titled “Renewing A Spirit of Empowerment-Following King’s Example as Champions for Justice and Civil Rights” will take place. There will be a keynote speaker, and refreshments will be served.
In Rowland, people will take to the streets Monday morning as part of Carolina Youth Action Association’s march in remembrance of King. Rowland Commissioner Jean Love, chairperson of CYAA, said everyone is welcome to participate in the march that will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dollar General located at 301 N. Bond St. and end at South Side Alumni building, 606 Martin Luther King Drive.
Love said about 200 people typically show up for the march, which dates ton 1999. The march is expected to take about an hour and will be followed by a program inside the South Side Alumni building. Refreshments will be available.
The Islamic Society of Lumberton, in conjunction with Zakat Foundation of America, will be honoring King through service on Monday. Society embers will be at Robeson County Public Library, 104 Chestnut St., from noon to 2 p.m. providing meals, blankets and groceries to people in need.
A Martin Luther King Day Service has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday at First Baptist Church, 301 N. Main St. in Fairmont.