Myself, along with my co-workers at FCC, had the privilege of attending a conference in Memphis this past Tuesday and Wednesday, commemorating the 50 year memorial of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The conference was co-sponsored by The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC) and The Gospel Coalition. Most of the speakers and workshops were good. Some, not so good. But that is typical of any conference. All in all it was a worthwhile conference.
The highlight for me was spending Wednesday afternoon/evening April 4th (the 50th anniversary) at the Lorraine Hotel and the Civil Rights Museum. There were an estimated 75,000 people standing in front of the balcony were Dr. King was shot! There, I heard short, inspiring speeches from The Rev. Dr. William Barber, Dr. James Lawson, Rev. Dr. Michael Pfleger, and numerous politicians. At 6:01pm, a large tower bell was rung 50 times, marking the time of King’s death. Remarkably, in a crowd of 75,000, we ran into Noel Castellanos, the president of Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). He videoed are encounter. You can watch it here. Then, on Thursday, before returning home, we toured the Civil Rights Museum, always a time of reflection and repentance.
It was a few days of inspiration, encouragement, and conviction. There is still much to do! Dr. King was fighting for living wages, better working conditions, the eradication of poverty, health care for all, equality in education, the end of the death penalty, the end of aggression that leads to war, as well as racial reconciliation. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Let’s recommit ourselves to the continual, life-long fight for social justice.