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Columbia celebration and march honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 27th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in Columbia began at 11 a.m. on January 20 at the courthouse, followed by the symbolic “We Shall Overcome” march to Van Horne Auditorium.

The program’s theme, Keeping the Dream of Unity, Tolerance and Hope, was carried out by the audience singing “Life Every Voice and Sing.”

Rev. Michael Combs introduced Rev. Wilford Combs, who read Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Former commissioner Larry Hill recognized local elected officials in attendance.

Oliver A. Holley, superintendent of Tyrrell County Schools, spoke and he was followed by Mark Mixon, vice president of Concerned Citizens of Tyrrell County.

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church members presented special music.

Henry A. Hill related “a bit of history.”

Elder Elizabeth Spencer, James Skinner, Sieria Pledger and sons Minister Faria White and Rev. Michael Combs led an “open mic” session.

County commissioner Nina Griswell introduced principal speaker Rev. Joan Batson, pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.

Minister Elizabeth Spencer led a Litany for King after Rev. Batson’s remarks.

The massed choir, under direction of Chris Baum, sang “Victory is Mine,” and the benediction was prayed by Minister Louise Griswell, who also prayed the invocation at the courthouse when the program commenced.

“The Concerned Citizens of Tyrrell County (CCTC) wishes to thank Tyrrell County Schools, all organizations, churches and community residents for today’s participation,” stated Mixon. “Dr. King’s birthday/holiday represents a reminder of our continuing fight for justice and equality for all people.”

Anyone interested in joining or renewing membership in CCTC is invited to see secretary Brenda Mixon, acting secretary Joyce Sykes Fitch or treasurer Victoria Barber.

The committee meets monthly.

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