The annual march and service in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is scheduled for this Sunday.

The march will begin at 2 p.m. in front of the Greenwood Community Center, 709 Ave. I (formerly the St. Francis Center).

The march will head south on Avenue I to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, west to Avenue E, then north on Avenue E, ending at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, where there will be music and guest speakers.

State Sen. David Jordan, one of the organizers of the march and service, said he anticipates full participation from the community across races and age groups.

“It’s important that we all march together and show respect,” Jordan said. If the country honored King with an annual holiday, he said, then “we ought to march to celebrate that holiday.”

At the service at Friendship,  Dr. Kerrick J. Nevels, pastor of Strangers Home Missionary Baptist Church and a former teacher in the former Leflore County School District, will speak.

The first march held in honor of King was in 1973, years before the first Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed in 1986, Jordan said.

People have participated in the march in spite of rain and cold in past years, Jordan said. “We as Mississippians can come together at least on that day and work to get to know each other more and make our state an oasis,” he said. “It’s important that we all march together and show respect.”

King made several visits to Greenwood in the 1960s, when the town was a hotbed for civil rights protests. Jordan said King’s last visit to Greenwood, in 1968, was to speak at Jennings Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, two weeks before he was assassinated in Memphis.

Jordan also will give an update regarding the Legislature, which is now in session.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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