It's been almost a week since Martin Luther King Day, but many community churches are still celebrating. Spirits were high at New Hope Freewill Baptist Church in Leland on Sunday as the congregation commemorated Dr. King -- one of the most influential Baptist ministers of the twentieth century. "Everywhere he went he made a difference, a positive impact," said Reverend Dr. John Brown. "That's what being christian is all about." Dr. King was one of the greatest public speakers in US history. He was a key force in the civil rights movement and is perhaps best known for his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech where he preached about a world where blacks and whites can coexist. Decades later, his ideas still resonate with people of both races. "My history is a lot different than those of black people but I rejoice just the same in Martin Luther King's message," said Lacey Levin, a student at South Brunswick High who sang in the service. Reverend Ronnie Blue was the service's guest pastor. He said Dr. King's message is both timeless and universal. "He wasn't only talking about the black man in general," said Reverend Blue. "He was trying to want freedom for everybody. For the white people, the black people...for everybody." The South Brunswick High School choir performed two selections Sunday afternoon. Students said participating in the service was an honor. "He's done a lot for society and in general and i think that i am privileged to be able to honor that," said sixteen year-old Torian Parker. "I am honored to celebrate his message and to go through the same thing that they did and just be happy for them and with them," said Lacey Levin. "This is something we need to stress to all kids coming up, no matter what their nationality is that Martin Luther King was a man that stood for justice and stood for what was right," Reverend Brown said. "He would've been proud," said South Brunswick High student Tianna Mccraken, "to see that all of us could come together and honor his dream." As we move into black history month, Reverend Brown also stressed that it's important for young people to understand the struggle that civil rights leaders like Dr. King endured.
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