The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

January 21, 2014

MLK events stir pride and a call to 'game changers'

By GRACE GADDY
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held high in hearts Monday during an MLK Day celebration that featured a downtown parade and subsequent luncheon at the Ben E. Keith Community Room in Palestine.

The Rev. Dwayne Moffitt, pastor of South Union Baptist Church of Palestine, spoke during the luncheon hailing King as “a game changer” and encouraged listeners to live as such.

“Don't stop marching just because you don't think there's work to be done,” Moffitt said. “Being a game changer means respecting the past and embracing the great possibilities that the future holds. We should strive to encourage one another — not with hatred, not with backbiting — but by lifting up each other in Christian love.”

Moffitt quoted the late American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson to expound upon this message.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well,” Emerson wrote.

Moffitt named people who embodied this “game changer” mindset — men like King, the late Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama.

“The champions before us were committed to a cause. One person fighting for a cause may be able to convince one more, but imagine what we could do together,” Moffitt said. “I believe that Dr. King would like for you and I to remember that the fight for equality has not been won, and African Americans still face opposition on political, economical and socioeconomical levels.”

Moffitt said the need for game changers “is ever more present.” He encouraged listeners to “correct their vision” and open their eyes to examine the way they see justice.

“We must challenge our views and broaden our scope,” Moffitt continued, to see past one's own neighborhood and city.

“Encourage your children to explore and gain as much knowledge as they can,” Moffitt said.

Lastly, game changers must connect their victories and be committed to working for justice in unity.

“Let us remember that history is still being recorded. It didn't stop with Dr. King.”

Lunch was provided by Progressive Waste Solutions. The parade was put on by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Palestine/Anderson County Unit No. 6242. For more information about the NAACP, visit www.naacp.org.