Area events to honor MLK Jr.

Posted: January 7, 2014

The Winchester Star

Martin Luther King Jr.

Winchester — The community will join together in the coming weeks to honor the life and acts of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Several local organizations, schools, and churches will participate in events leading up to and on Jan. 20, the day designated to celebrate the birthday of the man who used nonviolent protest to inspire change. King was born Jan. 15, 1929.

Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet

A new event this year is a Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet hosted by John Mann United Methodist Church to honor King’s life and legacy.

The banquet, whose theme is “The Dream Lives On,” will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Travelodge, 160 Front Royal Pike, Winchester, said Sadie Nelson, chairman of the board at John Mann.

“My goal for this banquet is to bring all races together in one accord and celebrate a dream — that people can get along and live in the same areas and work at the same jobs and be treated equal,” said Nelson of Frederick County.

The cost is $20 and the deadline for purchasing tickets is Saturday.

The speaker for the banquet is Dr. Sonya Ford, a 1986 graduate of John Handley High School, and Dr. Ray Crawford Jr., a 1991 Handley graduate, will act as worship leader, Nelson said.

Her goal was to have two successful African American natives come to Winchester to talk about how, “If you follow your dream, it doesn’t matter where you live. You can do something with your life and all you have to do is set a goal and work for your goal.”

Also featured during dinner will be musical performances by Sheri Hummer from Living Waters Christian Fellowship in Winchester and Susan Summers of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Winchester. Movers for Christ, a dance group of children from St. Paul’s, will also perform.

For more information, contact Nelson at 540-662-8397, Angela Brown at 540-664-8712, or Shaunita Gilkerson at 540-931-4565.

Spirit of Oneness Service

Mount Carmel Baptist Church will host a Spirit of Oneness service celebrating King’s life.

The service will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the church at 1317 S. Pleasant Valley. It is free and open to the public.

The Young Adult Choir and Friends will minister through music. The church is led by the Rev. Gilbert Mack Jr., pastor.

For more information, contact the church at 540-667-6532.

Shenandoah University

The Center for Public Service and Scholarship at Shenandoah University and Alpha Kappa Psi will do a food collection for C-CAP.

The project, “That’s a Ton of Food,” will challenge everybody on campus — faculty, staff, and students — as well as community members to bring nonperishable food to campus to be donated to the local nonprofit, said AmeriCorps Vista member Mike Madden, who helped to coordinate the effort.

All of the food brought in will be weighed by volunteers, he said. “They are trying to get 2,000 pounds of food knowing that after the holidays, C-CAP is absolutely empty.”

There will be collection sites from Thursday to Jan. 20 in the Brandt Student Center, Halpin-Harrison Hall, and the Smith Library for nonperishable foods. Fraternity members will also collect food from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at Walmart, 2350 S. Pleasant Valley Road.

For more information, contact the Vista Project at the Center for Public Service and Scholarship at 540-665-4882.

SU will also have a Martin Luther King Jr. Service of Remembrance at 3 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Goodson Chapel Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The Harambee Gospel Choir will present a musical tribute to King with spoken word taken from his 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

For more information, contact

United Way

The United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley will commemorate the day for a 13th time with a youth service project, said Joe Shtulman, the organization’s president.

Starting at noon, local students from Handley High School’s Interact Club, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Shenandoah Valley, and other groups will gather Jan. 20 at the United Way’s offices at 329 N. Cameron St. They will pick up 500 bags packed with information and useful items and distribute them to families in Winchester’s North End, he said.

The bags will hold a United Way community services directory, FamilyWize Prescription discount cards, and items donated by Rubbermaid Commercial Products, including micro fiber cloths, trash bags, and cleaning brushes. The Handley club will pack the bags Jan. 16.

“I think it is very important that young people in particular understand the importance of giving back to help others. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified that spirit,” said Shtulman of Frederick County.

For more information, contact the United Way at 540-536-1610 or

Created Equal Film Screening

Long Branch Plantation will honor King with a screening of the film “Freedom Riders” at 1 p.m. Jan. 20 as part of a new film series it is holding. The event is free and open to the public.

The venue at 830 Long Branch Lane, Millwood, will show the film as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities program, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle.” The series provides films about the long journey of the civil rights movement.

Long Branch will also show films at 1 p.m. Feb. 1 and 22 from the series in recognition of Black History Month.

For more information, contact 540-837-1856 or go to

Additions to the list

To add a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event to the list, contact F.C. Lowe at or Laura McFarland at