NEWBERRY — Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory continues to live on as the annual march and celebration moves on in Newberry.
The event honors the late pastor and Civil Rights activist. This is Travis Reeder’s 13th year organizing the morning event.
The march begins at Miller Chapel A.M.E. Church on Caldwell Street at 9:30 a.m. and ends at Bethlehem Baptist Church on College Street which is where the program will start at 10 a.m.
Reeder says the program should last a couple of hours putting the end time at noon.
“I’ve shortened it from last year,” he says, “It was about a few hours (last year).”
Marchers walk in an orderly manner and also sing some songs as they march.
“There will be plenty of singing,” Reeder says with a laugh. He mentions the other entertainment which includes: Newberry Elementary School choir, Sims Chapel adult choir, Newberry Mass Choir, New Enoree choir and Jeffrey Lampkin.
As for Lampkin, Reeder says, “You never know what Jeffrey will do,” as far as what he’ll sing or say. Lampkin is a Newberry College graduate and now has his own television show in Columbia.
Reeder worked with Bethlehem Baptist’s deacon James Hunter to have the guest speaker, Dr. Charles Young, come and talk.
Reeder says that Hunter knows Young who is a former president of Allen University in Columbia.
“(Young) also used to preach at St. Matthews A.M.E. and Pleasant Grove,” Reeder explains, adding that currently Young is pastor of Union Station A.M.E. Church in Sumter.
The pastor is also the founder of Macedonia Empowerment Services, a non-profit organization for students in grades 4-12.
Young also was a seminary professor at Columbia International University in Columbia, probation and parole agent for South Carolina, youth counselor for delinquent and runaway youth and a prison chaplain for S.C. Department of Corrections.
In addition to pastoring at two Newberry churches, Young also pastored at Turner Memorial A.M.E. in West Columbia, Ebenezer A.M.E. in Charleston and Historic Liberty Hill A.M.E. in Summerton.
Reeder says that the program is up to Young and whatever he wants to discuss with the crowd who took time out to remember King.
Reeder wants this to be a community event.
“I want everyone to be involved. It’s not a day off but a day on,” Reeder said.