The annual Leadership and Grand Marshall Breakfast at Historic Dorchester Academy continued a long tradition Saturday with more than 125 governmental, civic and religious leaders attending to honor the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Mistress-of-ceremonies Sharon Terry welcomed and recognized guests, including city and county officials, civic leaders and ministers of local churches.
“It does my heart well to see the leaders of this county to come out and celebrate with us this morning,” Terry said. “Thank you all for coming.”
Everyone was then invited to stand and sing, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song Terry said is sometimes called the national anthem for blacks. Terry then introduced Tirae Antoinette Stevens, the 2011 recipient of the MLK Scholarship.
The morning included a series of inspirational speakers and singers, including a spiritual solo by Minister Jerry Sapp. Following an invocation and blessing of the food by Deacon Joseph Wynn, guests whom Terry had described as “looking like they need some breakfast,” began lining up for a breakfast feast.
As diners finished their grits, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, Jaqisha Danielly performed two instrumental arrangements. She was followed by several speakers with inspirational greetings, including Sallie Richardson, who talked about the history of Dorchester Academy as well as Dr. King’s relationship with the landmark.
“It was in the early 1960s when Dr. King was here,” Richardson told guests. “He loved to come here. It was Andrew Young who suggested he use Dorchester as a training school.”
Richardson was followed by the Midway Mayor Pro Tem Curtis Robert, and Dwight Newbould, president of the Liberty County Chapter of the NAACP, who used the occasion to have local NAACP representatives say their oath of office for 2012. Newbould was followed by the Rev. Richard Hayes of the Liberty County Ministerial Alliance. He talked about his ministry’s Collaboration for the Kingdom, emphasizing that it was important to help those in need of help without overlapping our services.
The key speaker, Debra Frazier, principal of Midway Middle School, told guests that Dr. King understood that America was founded on the principle that all men are born with a birthright to freedom. She reminded them this generation must get back to that same understanding Dr. King stood for.
“There is no value in vandalizing our schools,” she said, alluding to recent the break-in and vandalism at area schools. “It is your responsibility to live the dream of Dr. King.”
Frazier concluded her remarks by reciting Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech. She was followed by Ada Holmes who led guests in several spirituals.
With souls now stirred, it was time for the ceremonial passing of the torch for this year’s grand marshal of the MLK Parade. This year’s marshal is John D. McIver, former mayor of Riceboro and current chairman of the Liberty County Commission.
The annual MLK Day Parade will start at 10 a.m. Monday through downtown Hinesville, followed by a memorial service at Bradwell Institute.