By Dewey Terrill
The theme is set for the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance in Junction City on January 20th and 21st. “Rise Up the Legacy of Martin and Ruby” will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the founder of the local celebration, the late Ruby Stevens.
Stevens first began the observance with the Komomantyn Club at Junction City High School during her teaching career, and then one year later coordinated the first community observance. For many years Stevens led that annual program at the Municipal Building. In later years it was moved to other locations, most recently the C. L. Hoover Opera House. The celebration begun by Stevens continues today, and this is the first one since her passing last year.
The activities on the 20th will include a gospel celebration AT 3:30 p.m. featuring the Reverend Desmond Lamb and the choir from the Forest Grove Baptist Church. There will be a new addition to the celebration, a One Voice Choir, comprised of choir representatives from different churches across the community that will be performing in one small ensemble.
Planning Committee Co-Chair, Daphne Maxwell noted the celebration will recognize King as a reverend, “and the importance faith played in his success in leading the movement. ” Maxwell added it’s important to recognize the importance of praise, worship and prayer.
The activities on January 21st will begin at 10 a.m. at the C. L. Hoover Opera House will feature the remarks of Trey Walker, educator and former Kansas State football player. Committee Co-Chair Ronald Atkinson Jr. said, I think it’s really great that we’re trying to not only drawn in new people but draw in the youth as well.”