CBC Helps Celebrate Legacy of Martin Luther King at Annual Breakfast

Brandi Hancock
Brandi Hancock sings of a “Black Butterfly” at the Martin Luther King Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.

Spirits were high at the 28th Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, on the eve of the inauguration of the first African-American President.   N.C. Governor Bev Perdue said that Martin Luther King was looking down from heaven smiling, saying “I have a dream.”

“I don’t know about you, but I’m doing everything I can to keep my feet on the ground,” said News & Observer President & Publisher Orage Quarles, the presiding officer & emcee for the event.

“Help us become voices of peace and justice.”
-The Rev. Dr. J.R. Manley, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Chapel Hill

The annual breakfast took place at the Sheraton Imperial in Research Triangle Park on Monday, January 19, 2009, the national Martin Luther King holiday.  The program began at 8am after attendees made their way through the breakfast buffet.  Capitol Broadcasting Company has been a major sponsor of the event for 18 years, so that the breakfast is free & open to the public.

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Bev Perdue
New N.C. Governor Bev Perdue (center) gets a standing ovation from the head table & the crowd as she is introduced.

A variety of religious leaders from all faiths shared prayers, as is the tradition of the annual celebration.  N.C. Governor Bev Perdue also shared the podium.

“Martin Luther King said everyone can be great if we give of ourselves,” she said.  “I believe that one person really can make difference,” said Perdue.  She referenced Rosa Parks & the students who started the sit-ins at the Woolworths lunch counter in Greensboro as examples.

Perdue also stressed that having the first female Governor in our state and the first African-American President “doesn’t mean our work is done.”  But she did say it shows that “anything is possible.”

CBC Vice President of Community Relations Paul Pope welcomed the crowd and had them pause to remember former CBC VP Ben Waters.  Waters helped coordinate the breakfast for many years, and passed away in late 2008. 

Paul Pope
“What a glorious day,” beams CBC’s Paul Pope as he welcomes the crowd. He also pauses for a moment to remember former CBC VP Ben Waters who died in 2008. For years Waters helped plan the breakfast.
Martha Waters
Martha Waters is a CBC staple at the MLK Breakfast, as was her husband, Ben

“Ben Waters was a man who was about making things happen,” said Pope.  “Let’s take a moment to give thanks for Ben and all he did.”  The crowd paused for a moment of silence.

Pope also recognized Waters’ wife, Martha, who was in attendance.  She & her husband had been fixtures at the event for many years, and she continued the tradition.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory K. Moss, Sr. served as the keynote speaker.  He is the Pastor of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte as well as President of the General Baptist Convention of NC.

“Teach us that tolerance and love is the highest degree of power.”
-Imam Abdullah Antepli, Chaplain of Duke University Muslim Student Mosque

He opened with a passage from the Book of Matthew, “Love your neighbors.  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Rev. Dr. Gregory Moss
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Moss says, ” We celebrate a man today who built his legacy on a model of non-violence. “
MLK Breakfast
Citizens from all over the Triangle converge on the Sheraton Imperial to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King.

He charged that “If we are not careful, America will become almost uninhabitable.”  Moss warned that the best way to “understand violence is that it is tied to poverty.” 

“Pockets of abject poverty have violence,” he said.  “They go hand in hand.”  And he cited that, “Violence trickles down,” encouraging the crowd that “We celebrate a man today who built his legacy on a model of non-violence.”

References to soon-to-be inaugurated Barack Obama were frequent during the event.  Moss said, “We stand on the eve of one of the most historical moments we will ever see.”

Quarles closed the event calling Moss’ speech “inspirational.”  Then Quarles warned the crowd, “While we’re excited about the inauguration and our new governor, they need our help.  It will take every one of us to pull our nation out of these difficult times.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
-Martin Luther King



28th Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

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