I have a bit of a tradition with youth groups. Somewhere around MLK Day, I get the youth group to watch or listen to a speech / sermon by King himself. This year was no exception and seeing as this is my first MLK day at my church, we watched King’s I Have a Dream speech. It never ceases to amaze me how well his rhetoric can caputre people–even forty years after the fact. (If you have never watched the full thing, please take the time to watch it)
This year was particularly meaningful for me because I serve at a predominantly “anglo” (translation: white) church in the suburbs. Our senior pastor, however, is an African-American. While this should not be exceptional, it is. Our congregation is one of the three largest in our Annual Conference and 20 largest UMCs in the world. When he was appointed, some folks left in protest, but the congregation has remained strong and grown since that time. I am proud to serve with him. It is because of brave men like him and because of congregations like ours that it is possible for our country to elect an African-American president.
I think that King would be proud.