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The Extraordinary Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Video)

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest leaders in world history. Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950s-60s, which began in the African American communities of the segregated south. Its purpose was to achieve legal equality and economic justice for all, the effects of which were felt not only in the United States but also worldwide.

“…‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” -Matthew 22:39-40 (NET ) 

Reverend King’s work has transformed the lives of African Americans, women, the poor, and people of other colors and faiths in America, opening the door to greater, unprecedented opportunities for advancement in all areas of life. The purpose of the Civil Rights Movement was to establish the Constitutional and Biblical principles of equality, liberty, and freedom for all in America. Dr. King’s work with the movement ignited and inspired people of other cultures and faiths worldwide in their own struggle for freedom.

 

A timeline of key events in the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. follows:

 

1929: Born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, GA, Martin Luther King was the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Baptist ministers. Named Michael King at birth, King was renamed “Martin” when he was about 6 years old. His father, Martin Luther King Sr., pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, and his mother, Alberta (Williams) King, a former schoolteacher, shared the Auburn Avenue home where Dr. King spent his early years with his maternal grandparents, the Rev. Adam Daniel Williams and Jeannie Celeste Williams.

1944-48: King attends Morehouse College, majoring in sociology. Although initially reluctant to follow his calling, Dr. Benjamin Mays, President of Morehouse College, showed him that a religious career could be intellectually satisfying as well as the right foundation with which to pursue the ideals of social change. Dr. King, he was ordained during his final semester at Morehouse.

President Eisenhower meets with civil rights leaders on June 23, 1958. From left to right: the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., E. Frederic Morrow, Eisenhower, and A. Philip Randolph, William Rogers, and Roy Wilkins. (The Associated Press)

President Eisenhower meets with civil rights leaders on June 23, 1958. (L-R): the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., E. Frederic Morrow, Eisenhower, A. Philip Randolph, William Rogers, and Roy Wilkins. (AP)during his final semester.

1951: King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University’s School of Theology. It was during his time in the Boston area where he met and courted Coretta Scott, an Alabama-born Antioch College graduate who was then a student at the New England Conservatory of Music. They married two years later.

1955:  received his doctorate from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, PA. He became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL, making his first mark on the civil-rights movement by mobilizing the black community during a 382-day boycott of the city’s bus lines. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately declared bus segregation unconstitutional.

1957: Dr. King laid the groundwork for the organization now known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He was elected as its president, and he soon began helping other communities organize their own protests against discrimination.

1963: In Birmingham, AL, during a non-violent protest for fair hiring practices and the desegregation of department-store facilities, police brutality used against the marchers dramatized the plight of blacks to the nation at large. Dr. King was arrested during the protest. He wrote“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” during his imprisonment. He then became a principal speaker at the historic March on Washington, where he delivered one of the most passionate addresses of his career to a multi-racial, multi-cultural crowd, the largest which had ever assembled there on behalf of a common cause in US history. Time magazine designated him as its Person of the Year for 1963.

Alabama State Troopers swing clubs to break up a voter-demonstration march in Selma, Alabama. March 8, 1965. AP wirephoto (Associated Press / )

Troopers swing clubs to break up a voter-demonstration march in Selma, Alabama. March 8, 1965.  (AP)

1964: At 35 years old, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize  (see Dr. King’s original notes for his renowned Nobel Prize acceptance speech HERE). In Selma, Ala., he led a voter-registration campaign that ended in the Selma-to-Montgomery Freedom March. King next brought his crusade to Chicago, where he launched programs to rehabilitate the slums and provide housing.

Dr. King rallied behind a new cause: the war in Vietnam. Here, King began to also address poverty, which he saw as a fundamental connection to the cause of the war; students, professors, intellectuals, clergymen, and reformers rushed into the movement as well. He called for a guaranteed family income, he threatened national boycotts, and he spoke of disrupting entire cities by non-violent “camp-ins.” With this in mind, he began to plan a massive March of the Poor on Washington, D.C., envisioning a demonstration of such intensity and size that Congress would have to recognize and deal with the huge number of desperate and downtrodden Americans.

1968: On April 4, 1968, at the age of 39, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. He was felled by an assassin’s bullet as he stood with Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy on the balcony of the black-owned Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, TN. The hotel is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.

1983: Legislation for a Holiday honoring Dr. King was first introduced four days after Dr. King’s assassination. It was signed into law in 1983. He is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor and is the only non-president memorialized on the Great Mall in Washington, DC, our nation’s capital.

 


BELOW: Watch a rarely seen video of Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967, where he delivered his speech “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” Many thanks to Beacon Press for posting this video, and to Mr. Rodges Lawton, the student who recorded it back in 1967.

The King Library and Archives in Atlanta is the largest repository of primary source materials on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement in the world. Significant records which document the social, cultural, economic and political impact of the civil rights movement are housed at the King Library and Archives and are available online. See more at http://www.thekingcenter.org/

Images and quotes, courtesy of The King Center.org. and The Seattle Times (accessed January 15, 2016).  http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king.

 

 

If You Haven’t Heard of Dr. Morris Cerullo, then January 14 is Your Night

Join Us for “Your Los Angeles Night of Miracles”, January 14th

Dr. Morris Cerullo is a world-renowned evangelist and the president of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism.  He has been traveling to the developing nations of the world for over 7 decades. He has ministered in 93 nations, in over 400 cities, and on 7 continents.  He has ministered to millions.

Dr. Cerullo recently was diagnosed with a debilitating incurable disease, but he has experienced a miraculous healing.  He will share his incredible journey here at West Angeles at:

YOUR LOS ANGELES NIGHT OF MIRACLES

SUNDAY, JANUARY 14, 2018, AT 7:00PM

WEST ANGELES CHURCH – NORTH CAMPUS

3045 CRENSHAW BOULEVARD | LOS ANGELES, CA 90016

 

Dr. Morris Cerullo was born in Passaic, New Jersey to a Russo-Jewish/Italian family.  After his parents died tragically in an automobile accident, he was sent to various orphanages. At the age of 14 ½, with the guidance of a nurse in the Jewish Orthodox orphanage where he resided, he gave his life to Christ.

The orphanage directors restricted him from practicing certain matters of his new faith. He ran away and by 15 he was preaching three to four times per week in local churches. He received a scholarship then graduated from the New York Metropolitan Bible School in Suffern, New York (he also holds two honorary doctorates from Florida Beacon College and Oral Roberts University).  By the early 1950s, he was ordained in the Assemblies of God. After eight years of ministry, he went on his first overseas missions trip to Greece, and his international ministry was born.

The Vision to Reach the World

Training Nationals to reach their own people became Dr. Cerullo’s key to reaching the world. He accomplished this goal by conducting Schools of Ministry around the world. Nationals with a heart to learn and lead come to be trained so that they can then go on to impact the lives of others through the ministering of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The fruit of Dr. Cerullo’s efforts has circulated the globe.  Here is a brief Timeline of his 70+ years of ministry:

 

  • In 1974, Helpline TV program was developed.
  • In 1976, 80,000 South Africans showed up to witness the miracle-working power of God.
  • In 1977, countless people in India were healed and saved by the all-powerful Word of God.
  • In 1987, an estimated 300,000 French-speaking Africans attended a crusade where more than 50 deaf people were healed.
  • In 1999, over 32 African nations attended a meeting in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • In 2002, Dr. Cerullo established the World Prayer Center in San Diego.
  • In 2014, Dr. Cerullo mobilized 2,000 churches and trained 18,000 Nationals.

 

MCWE provided aid to Ethiopia, medical assistance in East Africa, and helped build multiple orphanages in Mexico.  The Ministry also provides many annual scholarships to up-and-coming Christian students around the world to attend ministry training classes.

Partnering with Tommy and Matthew Barnett, Dr. Cerullo and his wife, Theresa Cerullo built several floors of the Los Angeles Dream Center.  The Center houses 200 women who have come off the streets of Los Angeles and have been freed from drugs, human trafficking, and prostitution.

Dr. Cerullo has received letters of recognition for the work he has done in America and foreign countries, from mayors, presidents, and other governmental leaders. Through his ministry, Dr. Morris Cerullo has seen the Gospel transform nations.

LA Night of Miracles westacogic

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Watch Night: A Historic Time of Reflection and Renewal

Learn about the significance and history of New Year’s Eve – also known as Watch Night – and the traditions designed to bring Christians closer to God.

The significance and historic symbolism of New Year’s Eve have been overshadowed in recent years by revelry and broken resolutions. Some in society have even discouraged the tradition of making resolutions, citing studies which tell us that only 8 percent of us keep them, and that resolutions may even be harmful to us![1]

But did you know that the Christian New Year’s Eve church service – also known as Watch Night Service – was created to bring Christians closer to God, and also has very special significance in the African American community?

"Waiting for the hour": Watchnight, 1862. Courtesy, Library of Congress.

“Waiting for the hour”: Watch Night, 1862. Courtesy, Library of Congress.

 

WATCH NIGHT IN HISTORY
The Watch Night Service tradition can be traced back to the Moravians, a Christian denomination from the Czech Republic during the mid-1700’s.[2]
John Wesley, the British founder of the Methodist Church, adopted the Czech practice of celebrating Watch Night, along with other English Puritan principles, when he instituted the Methodist Covenant Renewal Services[3]. These services were started in August of 1755 as a means of creating for Christians a more formalized and personal connection and covenant with God. British Methodism soon developed the custom of holding these Covenant services near the beginning of the New Year. The service was preceded by a period of preparation through prayer, fasting, reflection and self- examination, which has been credited as the modern source of today’s New Year’s Resolution[4]. The singing, prayers of allegiance and gratitude, testimonials, and scripture readings provided Methodist Christians with a Godly alternative to other secular ways of celebrating the day.

In America, however, another tradition was unfolding. In 1770, the first Watch Services were held in America at the St. George’s Methodist Church. Two slaves, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, were a part of this congregation and they later left the church after being denied the right to pray alongside white worshipers. In 1794, they became the renowned founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.)[5].

The founders of the A.M.E. Church inspired the celebration of a new Watch Night tradition when, on December 31, 1862 – also known as “Freedom’s Eve” – the first Watch Night Services were celebrated in African American communities.
Gatherings  of African American slaves, as well as free blacks, came together in churches and private homes all across the nation awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. At the stroke of midnight on that day, all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy, as many people fell to their knees and thanked God[6].

WATCH NIGHT SERVICE TODAY

Watch Night Services usually begin between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., and often end just past midnight. Today, the services may combine praise and worship, testimonies, and prophecy for the year to come, but many African American churches still honor Watch Night’s connection to the abolition of slavery.

Over 150 years has passed since the first “Freedom’s Eve,” and tradition now brings Christians of all colors together for worship and celebration each year. African American Christians have gathered in churches annually on New Year’s Eve ever since 1862, praising God for safe deliverance through another year: but, most importantly, honoring the ancestors’ prayers for a future of freedom and liberty.

Karen Lascaris is a regular contributor to Westa.org. She is the author of “In Our Own Image: Treasured African American Traditions, Journeys, and Icons”, published in 2001 by Running Press of Philadelphia.

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References:

[1] Forbes.com, “Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Years Resolutions.  Here’s How They Do It.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/.  Accessed 12/26/2015.

[2] “Watch Night”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchnight_service, accessed 12-28-2017.

[3] “The Covenant Service”. http://www.methodist.org.uk/who-we-are/what-is-distinctive-about-methodism/a-covenant-with-god/the-covenant-service.  Accessed 12/27/2017.

[4] “Why We Make New Year’s Resolutions”.  LiveScience.com.  http://m.livescience.com/42255-history-of-new-years-resolutions.html, accessed 12-28-15.

[5] “The Official Site of the AME Church”. www.ame-church.com/our-church/our-history/, accessed 12-28-2017.

[6] “First Watch Night Service Occurs”; The African American Desk Reference,
Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture. http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/first-watch-night-service-occurs, accessed 12-28-2017.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Not all Slaves were freed by the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Only 3.1 million of the 4 million slaves were freed at that time. Freedom’s Eve was a call to action for all Black Americans; a moral imperative to fight for the full realization of freedom for their brothers and sisters who were still enslaved.
  • All enslaved Africans were freed from chattel slavery with the defeat of the Confederacy during the Civil War and the ratification of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery on December 18, 1865.
  • In the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, the tradition of the late night service is called Midnight Mass or Eucharist.  Like the Watch Night service of the Church of Scotland, it is attended on the night of Christmas Eve.

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Praise the New Year in with West Angeles! Please join Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Evangelist Joyce Rodgers, the West Angeles Mass Choir, and other special guests for Watch Night Service on December 31, 2017 at 10:00 PM the West Angeles at the Cathedral, 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90016.

Please join us for the Afterglow Breakfast! We’re having breakfast in the Crystal Room immediately following Watch Night Service, 12:30-2:30 a.m. on January 1, 2018. Cost: $10 per person in advance, $12 at the door. West Angeles North Campus, 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90016. See you then!

January is Consecration Month. Please join West Angeles Church of God In Christ in fasting in prayer for the month of January, 2018.  Complete guidelines and prayer calendar available in the lobby, and on Westa.org.

Family Time: Christmas Holiday Craft Project

Looking for a meaningful way to spend some of your down time  this Christmas season? Devote it to a Christmas craft project! Crafts are a great way to spend time with loved ones and friends, and it’s also a great way to spend meaningful time with the children in your family.

Ornament-making is a great way to start your own Holiday tradition. Whether you’re spending Christmas with the family, or away from your own loved ones, this is a great activity to take time out to share the Christmas Spirit with those in a women’s shelter or home for the elderly.

 

HAND-MADE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT
Here’s a project that’s simple and enjoyable to do – and a great way to recycle those special Christmas cards you receive each year by making your own keepsake ornaments.            

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Six (6) Christmas Cards                             
  • Paper or Craft Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Compass (or Drinking Glass)
  • Ribbon


1. Gather all supplies.                                                

craft1

2. Using the compass or glass and your pencil, draw a circle around the area on each of your cards you want to use for your ornament. Cut out all six circles.

craft2

3. Using your ruler, draw a square inside of each circle (make sure the corners of the square touch the edge of the circle). Score, and fold upwards along the edges of each square to create a flap (see photo below).

craft3
4. Glue the back of each flap, and attach five of the circles until the ornament takes shape.

craft4
5. Punch a small hole in the center of the sixth circle. Make a loop with the ribbon and knot underneath. Glue top to remaining flaps.

craft5

 

craft6

You can also adorn and personalize your ornaments with family photographs, glitter, crystals, shells, or other special items.  

As it says in Exodus 31:3-5 (NIV)  –

3 “and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills; 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts” 

Working with our hands by engaging in crafts with loved ones or those in need of cheer during the Christmas season can be our own way to bless God.

                                       

Events

Christmas at the Cathedral

Please join Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr., First Lady Mae L. Blake and the West Angeles family for exciting Holiday events this season at West Angeles Church of God In Christ!

Join us for Christmas at the Cathedral on Sunday, December 17 at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral