32nd Annual MLK Club Unity Day, Breakfast with the Clergy honors legacy of Dr. King in a number of ways

| January 4, 2017
Prophet Cedric Walker

Prophet Cedric Walker

By Clifford Buttram Jr.

Special to Frost Illustrated

The Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Club is a non-profit organization and was founded in 1986 by the late Glyn R. Gleason. It was organized to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to promote education, literacy, and ethnic and cultural diversity.

The 32nd Annual Unity Day celebration is scheduled to be held at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne and the keynote speaker is the nationally known historian and orator Troy Patterson Thomas of Gary, Indiana, who will recite a 20-minute condensed and memorized version of Dr. King’s March 25, 1965 speech that concluded the “March from Selma” to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.  The day will also include a tribute to President Barack Obama and a lengthy display of local talent, vendors and the announcement of the Club’s second trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in July 2017.

Unity Day Guest Speaker

Mr. Troy Patterson Thomas has delivered speeches of Dr. King’s since 1987 when, as an 11-year-old, he presented a memorized oration of “I Have A Dream” and four other MLK speeches.  Since then, he has made more than 1,000 presentations of many of Dr. King’s speeches at churches, schools and universities, conferences and private assemblies.  He has presented for Coretta Scott King, at the Indiana Statehouse Rotunda, on WGN and CNN TV and many other local and national media.

Mr. Thomas memorizes easily and most of his presentations are memorized orations. His delivery has the mesmerizing timber and pitch of Dr. King’s voice.

A second portion of the Unity Day Guest Speaker focus will include a presentation by Al Jennings entitled  “Sons of Barack” which is a 23 minute video featuring 13 young men, teen-age to 30 years of age, speaking of President Barack Obama’s 2008 DNC Convention speech. The young men are then interviewed about what his presidency has meant for their hopes and aspirations as young African American leaders of the future.

Breakfast with the Clergy

The celebration will begin with our 9th Annual Breakfast with the Clergy to be held promptly from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Jan. 16 in the Convention Center.  Bishop Willie Bolden, pastor of The Well of Fort Wayne Church, will deliver words of inspiration at the Breakfast and Prophet Cedric Walker will be named the 2017 Clergy of the Year.

The Clergy of the Year is based on the ministries of the church, such as the church reaching out to the community, feeding the hungry, promoting programs for youth and, developing stronger ties within our community and we’re pleased to announce and present the 2017 award to Prophet Walker. Nomination forms for future candidates will be available at the breakfast or you can mail in a nomination to the MLK Club, P.O. Box 15694, Fort Wayne, IN 46885-5694.  Please include the name of the church and describe all active church ministries.

The plated breakfast remains at a low cost of $20.00 per person or $160.00 for a table of 8.   You must RSVP by January 9th 2017 and you can do so by calling Fran Grant (260) 493-0980 or email her at agelessdiva@frontier.com. Remember that the RSVP deadline is 1/9/17.  It is extremely important that you adhere to this date.

Clergy Breakfast Speaker Archbishop Willie Bolden

Archbishop Bolden has served in the ministry for more than 40 years, empowering and enriching thousands of lives around the world through teaching, mentoring, preaching and many miraculous healings by the grace of almighty God.

In 1976, he founded Calvary Chapel Church Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana with eight people.  He built a twenty thousand square foot building and the ministry grew to over two thousand in attendance.   After the completion of the building in 1989, Archbishop Bolden emplaced a pastor, his brother Bishop Melvin Bolden, to oversee the ministry and moved to Tampa Florida to start another work. He started Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, now called Rehoboth The Well of Tampa Florida Church, which grew to more than 1,000 members.

Because of the death of his brother, he and his wife, Pastor Rhonda, have returned to lead the Fort Wayne church again now called The Well of Fort Wayne. In 2004, they purchased a fifty thousand square foot building for the worshipers. God began tugging on his heart about a new assignment and moved to Los Angeles, where he built Rehoboth Faith Cathedral. In 2014, his former wife of 39 years the late Glenda Bolden who helped him build the ministries, went home to be with the Lord.

Archbishop Bolden has truly been blessed by God to divinely connect with his present wife, Pastor Rhonda A. Bolden, who has already been a tremendous help in the work of the Kingdom of God.  Bishop Bolden and his wife Pastor Rhonda, along with many bishops, pastors and ministers launched a New Fellowship called Kingdom Alliance Ministry Fellowship International (KAM) September 2015. Together, they will help to bring the Church “Back to the Basics,” while “Expecting the Supernatural.”

Unity Day Activities

The 2017 MLK Unity Day celebration is scheduled to include many new vendors and activities for the public to enjoy. Listed below are a few of the activities planned for the program:

• The gospel portion will spotlight some of our local favorites:  Elder Demarkus Pennington; Pastor Anthony Pettus and the GPBC Mass Choir; Chris Ford and the Fort Wayne Community Choir; twins Nija & Deja; and Sylare Starks of Greater Mt. Ararat, and many others.

• The Maverick Drill Team and Sheekristyle Dance Academy will perform.

• Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded and three very deserving people will receive community service awards.  Recipients are Mayor Tom Henry, Iric Headley and Pastor Elisha Harris.

• Parkview nurses will give free health screenings and Walgreen will offer free flu shots.

• A new segment will feature natural hair which is an integral part of black history.

In early African civilization natural hair indicated the family background, tribe, and social economic status. More and more we are returning to our “roots” and live models will display some of today’s natural hairstyles.

  • We will wrap up the day with a thank you to President Barack Obama.  The salute will include the showing of “A War for Your Soul” by filmmaker Reggie Bullock.  The film is an amazing depiction of the black experience.  It has been viewed by hundreds and praised by mayors, city leaders, students and educational officials in almost every city around the country.

Over the next two weeks, the MLK Club Inc., courtesy of Frost Illustrated, will present additional details about the Unity Day program, speakers, performers, vendors, and other activities for your attendance information. The MLK Club would like to thank Frost Illustrated for their continued support throughout the years and we hope that the Fort Wayne community will continue to purchase the newspaper to continue as an informed citizen and to prepare for the 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Day celebration. Please join the MLK Club in celebrating our award winners and remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 16, 2017.

Courtesy of the MLK Club Inc. Board Members.

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Category: Events, Local, Spiritual Matters, Unity Day Celebration

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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