Interfaith Breakfast Celebrates King Legacy
“It is now our turn to accomplish things.”-Charles Meeker, Mayor of Raleigh
A crowd of 1,800 gathered at the Sheraton Imperial in RTP on Monday, January 19, 2004, to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. The MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast began at 8:00am with a diverse program of clergy and elected officials offering prayers and words of encouragement reflecting King’s dream.
Dr. Cathy Gilliard delivered the keynote address at the special event.
A large crowd filled the ballroom as well as two overflow areas.
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker gave greetings.
The 23rd Annual event honored the day with the theme “The Dream Is In Our Hands.”
Mayors from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Garner and Knightdale sat at the head table, several making comments from the podium.
“Together it is our job to build a better America,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Ken Foy, “and the best way to do that is to vote-to vote in every election. Each of us marches with Dr. King when we vote.”
Dr. Padmini Hands said “We have a duty to cast a vote.”
Reverend Dumas Harshaw, co-chair of the Raleigh MLK Celebration Committee, welcomed the large crowd.
The Reverend Dr. Cathy S. Gilliard, Minister of Christian Nature at the Christ United Methodist Church in New York City offered the keynote address.
A NC native, Gilliard previously served as the Assistant to the Pastor at White Rock Baptist Church in Durham. She also received two of her many degrees in the Tar Heel state, including a BA from NC A&T State University and a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School.
“Those of us who have, carry also a responsibility to help,” said Dr. Cathy Gilliard.
The Wake Forest Male Chorus from Wake Forest, NC, opened the program with music.
N&O Publisher Orage Quarles III spoke about moving forward.
“You might not be able to do everything, but you can do something,” she said in reference to living the dream of King. “Treat others with dignity and respect and trust that God will step in somehow.
“Don’t stop dreaming that the world can be a better place,” she encouraged. “My worst fear is not that I would fail but that I would get so satisfied that I would stop trying.
“We have come a long way as a nation, but we have not arrived. We are not to get too satisfied too soon.”
Reverend F. Joseph Gossman, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, (left) joined Durham Mayor Bill Bell in prayer at the head table.
The Reconciliation Voices Choir from Durham provided several musical selections.