YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Martin Luther King Planning Committee of the Mahoning Valley celebrated the doctor’s life and work on Sunday with a service at Third Baptist Church in Youngstown.
The pews were filled with community members, singing songs and listening to Martin Luther King Jr.’s words. Organizers hope the message grabs the younger crowd’s attention.
“They’re the next generation. If you know anything about the Civil Rights Movement, it targeted the youth,” said Penny Wells, a member of the committee.
Young members of different religious faiths such as Judaism, Islam and Christianity explained to the crowd how Doctor King’s beliefs tie in with their faith.
“Just the fact that he was a Baptist minister doesn’t mean it’s just for Christians,” Wells said. “It was for all people, all races, all religions and we want to be inclusive.”
The event also included musical presentations by a combined youth choir from area churches.
Organizers say everyone can learn something from Doctor King, like working together to solve problems. Even though King died 48 years ago, Wells says his principles could help the Youngstown area today.
“I think what we need to do in the community is to work together to further racial reconciliation and do it nonviolently.”
The MLK Planning Committee also has a community workshop on Monday morning at the First Presbyterian Church on Wick Avenue.