Bethlehem Baptist Church hosts Unity breakfast to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Published 5:31 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

WEST POINT — The theme of Monday’s annual Unity Day Breakfast — “Exemplifying Perpetual Service to One Another” — was taken from the Book of Matthew and celebrated in song, prayer and stated in proclamations from the cities of West Point, Lanett and Valley.

An overflow crowd was present inside the fellowship hall at Bethlehem Baptist Church heard singing by Mrs. Carolyn Murry Morgan and the youth trio of Jazmyne Lewis, Jordan Lewis and KaLisa Lynch.

Their renditions received loud ovations from the large crowd present and got everyone in a good frame of mind for the annual Martin Luther King holiday celebration.

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The event was sponsored by the local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest sorority for professional women who attended historically black colleges.

Proclamations were read on behalf of the cities of Lanett, Valley and West Point before guest speaker Rev. Jesse J. Walker II of Ebenezer Baptist Church was introduced by his wife Linda Walker.

“He’s the apple of the eye of his 99-year-old mother,” she said. “He’s the best nurse and caretaker anyone could ever have.”

Rev. Walker said people could learn a valuable lesson about life from a statement once made by famed Atlanta educator Benjamin Mays, who once said that life is short, but that committed people can make a difference in the span of one minute.

He’s experienced something like that when he was serving as a minister in Atlanta. He and his wife were on their way to visit one of their church members in the hospital. Near the King Center, they happened to notice a family that had been evicted.

He said the sight of that family gnawed at him even while they visited somebody in the hospital.

When he returned to the site, he found that most of the family had left and were in temporary accommodations. The man of the family stayed there to watch their belongings.

“The next day I started calling some of the top pastors in Atlanta to see if they could join me in helping them,” he said. “One of them told me he didn’t have the time to get involved. Can you imagine that?”

This situation reminded him of the Biblical story of the good Samaritan. A man who had been beaten, robbed and left lying in a ditch received no help from his kind, many of whom walked on by. It was someone of different ethnicity, a Samaritan, who stopped to help him.

“We have just a minute,” he said, referring back to what Mays had said. “It’s up to us how we use it.”

Compassion, Walker said, is something that comes as we age.

“As we age, helping others becomes a personal responsibility,” he said. “Jesus tells us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit those who are ill. You cannot be a Christian without helping other people. We must love those who have gotten in a ditch and those who have not.”

Rev. Walker concluded by saying that some of us may never get beyond the boundaries of West Point, Lanett and Valley but that God will always love us. He said that we could ask elected officials to fix potholes in the road, but when it comes to a truly better place to live it’s all about living right. Those who live right, he said will one day walk streets made of gold. Anyone who follows God’s word, he said will have a life that will not be in vain.

“We have only a minute to do it, let’s use it in a way that helps our fellow man,” he said.