By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun
Monday’s federal holiday to honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will begin with a rally held at 10 a.m. at Bunert Park on East. Seventh Ave. In the event of inclement weather, the rally will be held at the MLK Community Center, 1114 E. Sixth Ave.
Minister Cathy Douglas of Single Believers Ministry will lead music at the rally, and Rev. Kenneth Walton of First Independent Baptist Church will be the speaker.
“The rally should be about an hour, then we will march to the MLK Center,” said Elmeree Burrell, event organizer. “Around 12 noon, the oratory contest will begin with grades four through six, followed by seventh and eighth graders, then high school students. As usual, we will give monetary prizes to the winners.”
The oratory contest, a Corsicana tradition, rewards county schoolchildren who memorize all or a portion of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Students take turns reciting the speech, with other performances in between.
“Students will also participate in the program with music and praise dancing,” Burrell said.
First place will receive $100, second place $50, and third place winner will take home $25. Judges Molly Sparks Walker, Wyardine Waters and Thelma Thomas will make their decisions based on certain criteria.
There will be concessions available such as hot dogs at the MLK Center, so if you plan to eat, get there before noon when the program starts. There will also be booths set up for information by the Boys and GIrls Club, 4-H Club and Mosaic.
That evening at 6 p.m. at Calvary Worship Center, 1364 N. Beaton, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance will sponsor a worship service.
“We have a real good program planned for the evening, a little something different,” said Dairy Johnson Sr., president of IDMA. “There will be singing, preaching, similar to last year. Pastor Charles Washington of Haynes Memorial COGIC, Mexia will bring the message. We have the CHS ROTC Color Guard committed, and Mistress of Ceremony is Minister Cathy Douglas.”
Minister Valorie Horn will direct the choir, and anyone wishing to join the choir is welcome. Minister Paul Lewis will lead the music.
“All churches, all denominations are invited and welcome to come and be a part of this service,” Johnson said.
Orlando Williams will assist, and welcome will be given by Rev. Gary Johnson of Calvary Worship Center. A proclamation will be presented by Mayor Chuck McClanahan, County Judge H.M. Davenport Jr., and State Rep. Byron Cook.
There will be testimony given by Pastor Donnie Watson of New Cornerstone Baptist Church; Bishop William Lewis Jr. of Greater Love Outreach Fellowship will do the New Testament reading. Pastor Dan Layne of Dayspring Fellowship will bring the invocation. Penny Liggins will do the occasion, and Bishop k.d. davis sr. of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church will present the speaker. There will be remarks by Johnson, and the benediction by Bishop Ricky Walters of Lifeline Fellowship Church.
“We remember the legacy, the life and the dream that MLK so envisioned — We shall overcome,” Johnson said. “And the dream continues to live on.”