LIMA —Lima set the tone for 2023’s marking of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. with a breakfast featuring multiple speakers on Monday, Jan. 16.
A packed hall gathered in the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center to enjoy a breakfast celebration organized by Sisters in Service Organization in partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Sigma Mu Omega Chapter, also featuring a musical performance by Marlyce Roberson-McCants and a speech from Pastor Stephen L. Terry, Sr. of the New Life Church of God and Grace Gathering Central in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“I think this event was outstanding,” said Terry after it ended. “It was well attended and I think the content and everything was extremely good.”
Terry made particular note that a scholarship was awarded and added that he was impressed by the action.
“It just let me know that the city is buying in and we are participating in our own rescue for our young people.”
The theme of the celebration was “Soaring to Greater Heights” and Terry delivered on that in his address.
“To soar to higher heights, it’s about choosing that option of preparing yourself with a strong vision,” he said, asked what he hoped listeners took away from his words.
For Theresa Schnipke, the superintendent of the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the speech was perfectly appropriate for the day.
“I think it was a great way to honor Dr. King,” she said. “They brought up all of the quotes and history while not forgetting that Dr. King was a pastor and how much his faith meant to the message that he had.”
Pastor Claytonia Logan of Savior’s Grace Ministries said that she found inspiration from Terry’s speech.
“It’s always good seeing people of different backgrounds and diversities come together and celebrate a wonderful day,” she said. “The speaker was phenomenal. He gave me some good preaching points and some points to live by.”
A Lima resident, Jackie Robinson, came away with one big take from the event.
“What I take away is that we need to get off our behinds and, as (Terry) said, we, in this little city of Lima, Ohio, need to come together and get along with one another,” said Robinson. “We need to get along with one another. We’ve got to learn to love one another regardless of whatever race, creed or color.”
Robinson took away another message in reference to the organizing done by the local sorority chapters.
“Being a retired man and being a man of color, we’ve got to raise up our young men,” he said. “Our young men don’t seem like they want to go to school or go to work. These young ladies, they are going to college and getting degrees. We’ve got to get up off of our butts.”
This was the 28th annual edition of the MLK Day Breakfast in Lima.
The civil rights leader, whose work was essential in getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, among others, was born on Jan. 15, 1929, and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.