On Monday morning, despite temperatures in the teens, dozens of people gathered on the Old Courthouse Lawn to honor the man who had a dream.
“Once again we are, by the grace of God, assembled to honor the legacy and the sacrifices of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” said the Rev. Dr. Vaughan Brayboy, Jr., pastor of Orange Cross Roads Missionary Baptist Church, who opened the message. “Together we are dedicated in our endeavor to keep the dream alive.”
Hosted by the Northern Orange NAACP Commemorative March Committee, residents marched through downtown Hillsborough, headed north on Churton Street. Marchers stopped at Dickerson Chapel African Methodist Episcopal church at the corner of Churton and Queen streets for a short prayer led by the church’s pastor, the Rev. Donald Holman. After, marchers continued north to W. Union Street, turning west to complete the march at Mt. Bright Baptist Church at 211 W. Union St. The church then held a Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Worship Service, with program speaker District Court Judge Larry D. Brown, Jr., from Alamance County.
During the message before the commemorative march, area pastors took turns leading a communal singing of a hymn, reading scripture, and speaking about the importance of the day.
Brayboy welcomed attendees to the ““doorsteps of justice.”
“Although the breath of mother nature is frigid,” he began, “Our hearts still beat and the warm blood of life courses through our veins.”
He took the time to address the crowd, reminding attendees the message from Dr. King in the 1960s remains today.
“We gather here today bringing a fresh and renewed press for justice and equality for all mankind,” he said. “We cannot and will not lose focus of the prize of equality. We cannot and will not accept complacency as the norm and silence to injustice.
“We cannot and will not rest while injustice disenfranchisement plagues the less fortune and voter suppression raises its ugly head,” he continued. “We cannot and will not accept turning a deaf ear to the cries of the oppressed.”
Marchers expressed thanks and applause as Brayboy continued to announce the continued mission of Dr. King.
“We will march, we will profess the gospel, the good news of Jesus the Christ,” he said. “He has sent us to shed light to the blind, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim into the hearing into the oppressive that God is Lord of Lords.”
Following, the crowd sang the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” followed by the reading of scriptures 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 and John 1:1-10.