Triangle Citizens Unite at Breakfast To Remember King’s Legacy
The 22nd Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast started off the day of the Martin Luther King Jr. National holiday on a note echoing the Reverend’s message of unity. The standing room only crowd heard messages from a variety of faiths and races and for the first time the event aired live on WRAL’s Newschannel.
The program began at 8:00am on Monday, January 20, 2003, at the Sheraton Imperial Conference Center in RTP. Tenth grade honor student Carly Jones served as mistress of ceremonies and was proof positive that youth will become the capable leaders of tomorrow.
Scores of local dignitaries and politicians attended and mayors of Durham, Raleigh, Cary & Chapel Hill spoke from the podium. U.S. Senator and potential Presidential candidate John Edwards also spoke, saying, “When we work to lift others up we do God’s work, and that is the work of America.”
Pastors, priests and a rabbi from different faiths offered prayers, and the United Voice of Praise from Chapel Hill & Durham and the Wray Sisters from Raleigh each provided musical offerings.
CBC Vice President of Community Relations Paul Pope spoke on the program saying, “CBC has a strong commitment to the community and sponsors events like this to bring our communities together.”
Pope received special recognition from event founder and co-chairperson of the MLK Celebration Committee Bruce Lightner. Lightner presented Pope with a plaque thanking him for his dedication to the MLK holiday events in the Triangle.
The Rev. Dr. Lance Watson, pastor of Saint Paul’s Baptist Church in Richmond, gave the keynote address.
Progress Energy presented a $25,000 check to the committee to be used for the MLK Resource Center.
“With God only one race matters, the human race,” he said. Watson challenged the audience to work as a team, not to simply wait for one person to do it all. He asked the crowd to be leaders rather than waiting for another King to lead. “We have gathered to inspire our souls. We have a mandate, not from the government, but from God to form a team.”
Both Capitol Broadcasting Company and WRAL-TV sponsored the breakfast for the twelfth straight year. Pope, WRAL-TV Medical Reporter Allen Mask, AJ Fletcher Foundation Executive Director Tom McGuire and retired CBC VP Ben Waters served on the celebration committee.