MLK Day spotlights past struggles and hopeful future

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Music was a key part of the Community’s Observance of the National Holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, as singers and dancers celebrated Dr. King’s legacy and the impact he made on civil rights throughout the nation.

The theme for the event was “It’s a struggle, where do we go from here?”

The day began with a courthouse ceremony featuring the Bearcat band performing music and speakers including Sheriff Wiley Griffin, Bainbridge City Councilwoman Glennie Bench, Liz Tomlin and Jennette Grimsley. Topics ranged from honoring what Dr. King and others fought for while also preparing the future generations to continue pushing for a totally equal society.

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Grand Marshal Eddie Brinson and his wife, Alesia, were honored with roses before leading the parade toward Hutto Middle School.

The Hutto Middle School Chorus sang a piece to open the event at HMS, followed by a scripture reading by Rev. Eric Collins and then a prayer by Rev. Mark Wilkerson. Greetings were given by Decatur County Superintendent Tim Cochran and Commissioner Pete Stephens.

Rev. Craig D. Conyers, a native of Bainbridge, Ga., was the keynote speaker. Conyers now lives with his wife Sharon and two children in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is the son of Deacon Willie J. Conyers and the late Daisy Donalson Conyers and the grandson of the late Luther Conyers Sr. and Ella Mae Brown Conyers, as well as the late R.G. and Willie P. Donalson.

Rev. Conyers is a graduate of Spotsylvania Senior High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia and a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. He also earned a Master of Arts Degree in Ministry from the Luther Rice Seminary, Atlanta.

He was ordained a deacon on Oct. 23, 1994, at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, and went on to be licensed into the gospel ministry in 1999. He was ordained on January 20, 2002, and has served as Pastor and Senior Elder at Christ the King Bible Fellowship in Murfreesboro since January, 2007.

Luther Conyers introduced Craig D. Conyers to the crowd.

Jamilah Harrell gave a creative dance to music that the audience followed with applause.

Toward the end of the event, awards were given to honor the African-American men and women who were among the first to join the Bainbridge Police Department and Decatur County Sheriff’s Office in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Rev. Mark Wilkerson closed the event with a prayer of benediction, and refreshments were served in the HMS lunchroom.