Spartanburg community comes together to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, impact


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Powerful words from an important man still carrying a deep meaning decades later. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday but his memory was very much alive Sunday evening in Spartanburg.

The casual observer walking in, might think this is a celebration. And in fact, it is. It’s the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact he had on so many people.

“He was a person that loved people, didn’t make any difference what color you were. The only thing that he strived for was that everybody be free,” said Rickey Jones.

“He was a prophet to the nation,” Dr. Joseph Sanders Parks told 7 News.

Dr. Joseph Sanders Parks has been a student of Dr. King and his works. In fact during his first sermon when he was just six years old, he borrowed Dr. King’s words.

“I was standing in the pool pit of the projects, standing on the stairway with the other little kids. My first sermon was, ‘I have a dream’,” said Sanders Parks.

But it goes to show that historic message knows no age. It’s those words that continue to be carried on from generation to generation.

“If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have the right to sit in the classroom and to sit at the same lunch counter, go to the same school, have the same rights,” 12-year old, A’zurii McNair told us.

Rewind over 50 years, that’s when Kenneth Pillerson saw Dr. King’s speech on TV. It’s a day he told 7 News he still vividly remembers.

“My god, when I first heard him talk I couldn’t believe it. He was awesome and I think most of all, he was a godsend man,” said Kenneth Pillerson.

The Spartanburg County Baptist Association has been holding this annual memorial of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for years and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, they said King’s words will always matter.

Monday, the United Way of the Piedmont will host it’s annual day of service. There will be different volunteer opportunities throughout the day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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