The Andover Baptist Church is celebrating a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday — and everyone is invited.
This year marks 50 years since King gave his famous I Have a Dream speech, when 200,000 gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to hear King share his dream for the future. He called the gathering “the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” King delivered his speech 100 years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation’s by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
When members of Andover Baptist Church’s congregation gather next week, that will be on their minds.
The predominantly African American church will hold its sixth annual Martin Lurther King Jr. Celebration and Brunch on Monday, Jan. 21, at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, regardless of one’s hometown or religious beliefs.
“The theme of our day is all about living the dream,” said Denise Wynn, missions ministry chair at the church. “We have a lot of people living the dream today. We have a lot of people inside the congregation who, because of their ancestors, are who they are today.”
This marks the sixth year for the event, which church Pastor Lyndon Myers said the church started “as an outreach opportunity for our church, where we can reach out to the community and invite them in.”
“There was no Martin Luther King celebration happening in Andover,” he said. “I had an idea to use this as an opportunity to put on an event.”
The event will feature keynote speaker Chuck Walker Jr., deacon of Good Shepherd Church of God and Christ in Roxbury. It will also include performances by Confirmation, a Boston-based gospel ensemble.
Gospel music performed by Confirmation will also provide a historical note on the day, specifically with a presentation of “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” according to David Coleman, Confirmation founder and director of choral music at the Dana Hall School in Wellsley.