0

King’s legacy celebrated at pair of events

The Jonesboro High School JROTC color guard presented the colors at the Clayton County MLK Prayer Breakfast Jan. 18 at the Morrow Center. (Photo by Curtis Green)

The Jonesboro High School JROTC color guard presented the colors at the Clayton County MLK Prayer Breakfast Jan. 18 at the Morrow Center. (Photo by Curtis Green)

MORROW — Georgia Court of Appeals Chief Judge Herbert Phipps was the guest speaker at the 23rd Annual Clayton County MLK Prayer Breakfast at the Morrow Center recently.

Phipps has served as part-time Magistrate and Associate Judge of the Dougherty County State Court, Dougherty Circuit Juvenile Court, Dougherty Circuit Superior Court and Court of Appeals of Georgia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and a Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

He has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and taught English at Thammasatt University and private schools in Bangkok, Thailand. Phipps told the audience about his experiences as a lawyer in Albany, Georgia which involved civil rights litigation, school desegregation, voting rights, student rights, jury discrimination and discriminatory employment practices.

The Jonesboro High School JROTC presented the colors and soprano and former member of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Doris Rivers, gave a rendition of “Amazing Grace” after the video of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as produced by the Balm in Gilead Inc.

On Jan. 19, the 29th Annual Clayton County Ecumenical Service was held at Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church in celebration of the national holiday observance in honor King.

During the ceremony, Bishop William Sheals, pastor of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Norcross delivered a sermon about the civil rights non-violent advocate — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sheals and King shared the same birthdate of Jan. 15.

Entertainer Emmanuel Lewis, Commander in Chief of the Masonic Lodge Atlanta Consistory No. 24A, gave greetings to the congregation.

Top leaders of the county were present and greeted the audience. Clayton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeff Turner, Clayton County Chief of Police Greg Porter, Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill and state Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex).

State Sen. Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro) gave tribute to King and thanked the audience for continuing to support the ecumenical service honoring him for 29 years. Davenport is the president of the sponsoring organization, The Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County.

The Zion Grove Baptist Church Mass Choir of Ellenwood provided music for the service and the host pastor, Rev. Wimbley Hale, Jr. of Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church, introduced Sheals to the congregation and welcomed him to Clayton County.

“This has been an incredible weekend, motivating, encouraging and filled with much history. Clayton County continues to join the state and nation in honoring this true drum major for justice,” said Davenport.