Welcome to the historic First Baptist Church of Memphis, serving Memphis & the Mid-South since 1839. You will find exciting ministries, mission opportunities, and vibrant worship.

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200 East Parkway North, Memphis, TN 38112 ⋅ Office: 901.454.1131

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Priming the Pump for MLK50

If you are not aware, next April 4 will be the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. here in our beloved community. It is amazing to think it has been that long ago, and still…that it happened here. The National Civil Rights Museum is both a remembrance of that tragic event and the entire movement, and a call to keep Dr. King’s Dream for justice and equality alive in us, our city, our nation, our world. And next April 4 the eyes of the world will be on Memphis once again to see how we have remembered, how we will observe, what progress we have made, and what commitments we will yet make to be a part of our own healing and that of our world.

Toward that end, we, as a part of our community, will remember and commit ourselves to even greater work along the lines of what Dr. King would call us to do.  We will continue to build our relationships with Greater Lewis Street Missionary Baptist Church and Friends for Life. We will participate in a CBF sponsored Together For Hope Civil Ride, a long-distance bicycle ride from Memphis to New Orleans which will kick off the official ceremonies at the National Civil Rights Museum on April 4. The monies raised will go to support the CBF Together For Hope Poverty Initiative to address the poorest areas of our country. (You will remember that in addition to the sanitation worker’s strike, one of Dr. King’s last initiatives in our area was a Poor People’s Campaign/March which began in Marks, MS, and ended in Washington DC. It went on despite his death in May/June of 1968). On August 9, I will be attending a luncheon which will outline other ways for local congregations to be involved. Stay tuned for more.

But as I think about all of this ceremony, as great as it is, what is far more important is that we are doing the work that Dr. King would be doing, were he still alive. So, are we? Are we standing up for justice and equality in our world? Are we standing up for those who have no voice, or far too little a voice in the world today? Are we listening to them so that they know their voice matters? Are we doing more than just talking? Are we making our thoughts known?  Are we changing our lives based upon our convictions? Do we think of the “least of these?” Do they matter to us?  If so, how are we showing this?  Are we speaking up and challenging abusive speech and actions, or do we just turn the other way?  Hard questions that demand a lot of us, and yet no more than Jesus did, which is sort of the point being as Dr. King was, after all, a Christian and a Baptist minister.

Not all of us can be Dr. King, just as not all of us can be Dr. William Barber, who seems to be carrying on Dr. King’s legacy as closely as any these days.   But all of us can do something, all of us must do something as disciples of Christ to bring God’s kingdom on earth, and for all, as it is in heaven.  I’ve taken a pledge to utilize this year to do better along these lines than I ever have before.  You can too.  http://mlk50.civilrightsmuseum.org/  Let’s do our part to make this year, a year of redemption, for us, for our city, for our world.
Grace, David
 

This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the August edition of Together.
Posted by Bridget Ellis at 9:30 AM
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