‘Beloved Community’: Morristown celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. with prayer, song and art, Jan. 20-24

He doesn’t grow old like the rest of us.  Nor does his message.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 85 this year.  There are plenty of vigorous octogenarians these days, and one must wonder what wrongs this civil rights crusader would be righting now if given the chance.

martin luther king jr

Martin Luther King Jr. Poster: SelfImageMedia.com

Instead, Morristown will remember one of Dr. King’s enduring visions on Monday. Preparing the Way for the Beloved Community is the theme for celebrations on Jan. 20, 2014.

Martin Luther King Day starts at 8 am with the 29th annual Morris Interfaith Breakfast, at the Hyatt Morristown.

Pastor David Smazik of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown will preside, and the featured speaker is the Rev. James Henry Alexander of the Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, N.C.

Tickets are $20, and some still are available, said Felicia Jamison, chairwoman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Committee.

At noon, the focus shifts to the Calvary Baptist Church on MLK Boulevard, where the 44th annual celebration of Dr. King’s life will be led by Pastor Jerry Carter Jr.  Ken Brown of Morristown will oversee the musical selections, and the Rev. Gary V. Simpson of Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn will deliver the sermon.

Later in the day, Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi and several Morris freeholders are scheduled to commemorate the holiday by volunteering at the Table of Hope soup kitchen, at Bethel AME Church  at 59 Spring St. in Morristown.

“It is our pleasure to help in any way to make sure this program thrives,” Ann said in a statement.

Art in the Atrium is back for its 22nd year of celebrating African-American artists.

Art in the Atrium is back for its 22nd year of celebrating African-American artists.

The 1963 March on Washington will be marked later in the week, at the annual Art in the Atrium  showcase of top African-American artists.

This year’s exhibition, which runs through March 14, features creations by Leroy Campbell, Maceo Mitchell, Bisa Butler, Janet Taylor Pickett, Sandra Smith, Dwight Carter and Alonzo Adams, among others.

Painter James Denmark of South Carolina will speak at the Jan. 24 reception, open from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Morris County administration building on Court Street in Morristown.

Your Crown has Been Bought and Paid For….., a quote from African-American author James Baldwin, is the theme for the show, now in its 22nd year.






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