By Steven D. Manning
Special to Frost Illustrated
The city of Fort Wayne has something to be proud of when it comes to celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Summit City is host to the largest celebration in Indiana that honors the slain, world renowned, civil rights leader.
On Jan. 20, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Club is scheduled to present its 29th Annual Dr. King Unity Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grand Wayne Center. In conjunction with the daylong celebration, an event earlier that day, called Breakfast With the Clergy, is scheduled to feature keynote speaker Pastor Kenneth Christmon.
In 2012, the Rev. Christmon was appointed as the new pastor of Turner Chapel AME Church. He also serves as the associate vice chancellor for diversity at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne.
Unity Day Program Director Fran Grant, said, “I am truly looking forward to hearing Pastor Ken speak at the breakfast. The MLK Club’s friendship with (Pastor) Ken goes back many years, even before the passing of our late President Glyn Gleason. As a matter of fact, the year prior to our move to the Grand Wayne Center, we held our Unity Day Celebration at IPFW. So, it’s going to be really nostalgic having the Vice Chancellor with us. I hear that he has really turned up the volume at Turner Chapel.”
Pastor Christmon said, “I greatly appreciate the chance to be a part of the day’s celebration. For more than a decade, I have had the opportunity to support the event as a leader at IPFW. The 2014 opportunity is extra special after having been named the new pastor of Turner Chapel. In both roles, I am passionate about challenging, supporting, and celebrating efforts that express Dr. King’s dream and keeping the vision of unity alive here in Fort Wayne.”
Pastor Christmon continued: “As keynote speaker of Breakfast with the Clergy, my primary subject will be embracing change and respecting our past. I will reference Hebrews 11:6—‘without faith, it is impossible to please God.’ Also, James 2:14—‘faith without works…’.”
Pastor Christmon said, “I am humbled by the opportunity and I am thankful for the MLK Club, its leadership and for their legacy of giving back to our community.”
The Breakfast with the Clergy event is scheduled for 8 a.m., Jan. 20 at the Courtyard Marriott, across the street from the Grand Wayne Center. The cost is $20. RSVP by Jan. 17, by calling (260) 493-0980.
Next, we’ll report on MLK Club’s selection of Clergy of the Year.
Steven D. Manning is president and CEO of Manning Video Productions LLC. He can be reached at (260) 247-2517.