32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Celebration
On Monday, January 20, 2020, the 32nd Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration was hosted by Impact Church of The Woodlands at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in the main sanctuary at 12 p.m.
The annual free public celebration is a longtime event that was started by Impact Church of The Woodlands (formerly St. Paul Church) and is still hosted by the church today every year at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. The 2020 theme was “Sustaining the Struggle for Equality; Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”
View photos from the event taken by Rod Prado from Hello Woodlands on in the Facebook album here.
In the program, Dr. Jesse Tyson led the master of ceremonies, Dr. Ed Robb, Senior Pastor of The Woodlands United Methodist Church, gave the invocation, Rev. James Payne presented a commemorative tribute, and Dr. Roche Coleman, Senior Pastor of Impact Church of The Woodlands, gave the benediction.
Special performances during the program were made by the Children’s Mass King Choir, Resound Special Needs Ministry Choir, and The Woodlands Area Mass King Choir. The Oak Ridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC led the posting of the colors.
During the commemorative tribute, Rev. James Payne shared a moving message inspired by this year’s theme and the ways of the ant, as stated in Proverbs 6:6 that reads, “Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise.” Rev. Payne shared how we, the community and the nation, can learn from the ant in three points:
- Ants pronounce the problem together. A tiny ant may be small and not strong; however, together, a colony of ants form a powerful mound that can withstand all types of elements. We, together, must solve the problem together and be “real” that equality does actually exist. We have our differences, but that is ok. We need to communicate with each other, come together, and act together.
- Ants participate in solutions together. After a storm, a colony quickly rebuilds their mound quickly – within days or a week – together. Civil rights is a problem that everyone should get to work on. In also taking the statement into consideration: if they are willing to take my rights, one day they will take yours.
- Ants protect the house. When an intruder steps into an ant mound, the colony comes together and acts quickly to protect its home. Many proclaim, “I am only one person!” But, ants are not strong creatures. Whoever steps on the ant mound has to deal with not just one ant, but the entire colony and community of ants.
In these three points, Rev. Payne shared how we can learn a lot from ants, to “consider its ways, and be wise,” and why we must come together and say I’m willing to change. Rev. Payne ended the speech with reading 2 Chronicles 7:14 that states, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Following the Commemorative Tribute, Scholarships, Poster Awards and the Drum Major Award were presented to the award winners who came up on stage. This year’s Drum Major Award was presented to Jackie and Christine Battle, owners of Philanthropy in Market Street – The Woodlands, who are dedicated to serve their community, be a faithful witness for God, and glorify and honor God as a family.
The title of the Drum Major award is derived from a sermon given by Dr. King in February 1968, in which he referred to a 20th century notion of greatness – the innate human need for recognition, the desire for distinction – calling this impulse the Drum Major instinct. Dr. King shared, “If you want to say that I was a Drum Major, say that I was a Drum Major for justice; say that I was a Drum Major for peace; I was a Drum Major for righteousness.” The Drum Major Award is presented to recognize a woman, man, business, or organization in Montgomery County whose life or work best exemplify the ideals of being a “Drum Major.”
The 32nd Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration was sponsored by the Howard Hughes Corporation, TME Enterprises, and Woodforest National Bank.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration committee included the committee chair Cheryl Tyson and committee members Bernadine Davis, Wanda Davis, Elsa Dotson and William O’Neal.
View photos from the event on the Hello Woodlands Facebook page!