NEWBERRY — In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), and the accomplishments of King, many will gather at Bethlehem Baptist Church in his memory. Travis Reeder, event organizer, calls this a day on, not a day off.
“We want people to not take that day off because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not, he worked every day to try and bring equality to everyone,” he said.
The event will begin with a march, beginning at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1501 College Street, Newberry, at 9:30 a.m. and will end at Miller Chapel AME Church, 500 Caldwell Street, Newberry. The march will end at around 10 a.m., at which time the program will begin. Reeder said this year they have more churches involved.
“I’ve gotten a spiritual dance group from New Covenant, which is a nondenominational church,” Reeder said.
Every year Reeder tries to get more young people involved, and the dance group is made up of young people. Others participating this year include the Young Adult Choir from Sims Chapel, Jeffrey Lampkin, Francis Marion Choir, New Enoree Mass Choir and the Newberry Mass Choir.
This year’s speaker will be Larry Boyd Sr., colonel, U.S. Army retired. When picking a speaker, Reeder looks to find a Newberry native who has gone on to be successful in their field.
Boyd, a native of Newberry, is the youngest of six sons born to the late Deacon Andrew Boyd Sr. and Deaconess Anna Lee McMorris Boyd. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from South Carolina State University in 1980. While there, he also received his regular army commission as a second lieutenant, being designated as ROTC distinguished military graduate.
Boyd is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He also holds a Master of Science degree in General Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College. He retired in 2010 with over 30 years of service in the Army and Army Reserve.
His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, three Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization Device, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.
Boyd currently works as the senior Army instructor for the Army JROTC Program at Darlington High School in Darlington.
Larry Graham has known Boyd for 45 years, they roomed together at South Carolina State University and pledged the same fraternity. Graham says Boyd is a good Christian person, who loves the Lord.
“He is from Newberry and he’s traveled all over the world, he can give those who attend great experiences. He’s just a simple, great person. They can be influenced by his accomplishments,” he said. He’s a committed person, once he starts something he always finishes it.”
Graham added that Boyd is proud to call Newberry his hometown.
During the march, there will be volunteers from Newberry College that will be on the side to assist anyone who may fall back during the march. After the program, Miller Chapel will transport people back to Bethlehem to their vehicles.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.