Local Church Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday with Special Service

Published 01/19 2014 10:53PM

Updated 01/19 2014 11:42PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Members and visitors of Zion United Church of Christ heard the exact words from a sermon given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1959.

It's a sermon that Pastor Donna Ross preached to her congregation to honor the late Civil Rights leader.

"We very often hear the 'I Have a Dream' speech, we often read the letter from Birmingham Jail; a lot of his very passionate oratory and words for his advocacy. But, we have to remember all of that advocacy came from the very deep well of his faith," said Pastor Ross.

The sermon titled, "The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life," focused on major issues that were occurring in the world during the late 1950s.

Pastor Ross said some of those issues still occur today.

"The issues of justice, the issue of wholeness, the issue of fairness. The issue of taking care of yourself, and of course, the obvious issue of always loving God," said Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross wanted her congregation to see Dr. King as the minister he was.

"It's one of the sermons that I hadn't heard. So, it was kind of nice to re-live his words," said James Newson.

Aside from reciting one of Dr. King's famous sermons, they also sang some of his favorite hymns, like 'Lift Every Voice and Sing.'

"It's a way to continue his legacy because in reality, although things are better in this world, they aren't at their best. The marches Dr. King inspired in our country so many years ago still continue to this day," said Pastor Ross.

Dr. King's speeches, sermons and letters are words that many Americans, like Pastor Ross and James Newson, apply to their everyday life. 

"This is more of him saying that we all need to come together regardless of race, creed, color, or whatever," said Newson.

Dr. King wanted equality for all mankind.

Even though his efforts had a tremendous impact on America, Pastor Ross thinks we still have a ways to go.

"It is a journey, it is a destination. We shall overcome, we are overcoming, but we haven't overcome yet," said Pastor Ross.

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