Elder Myles Bryant served as the Chairman of the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration Commission which provided Pensacola and Escambia County with one of the most memorable celebrations that will not easily be forgotten. From the Musical celebration at Englewood Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday, the 16th of January, to the Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, January 18th, to the Sunday Service at Mt. Olive Baptist Church to the Parade and the Post Parade Program on Monday January 20th, the City of Pensacola and Escambia County honored the legacy of Dr. King with the theme, “Live The Dream and Work The Vision!”
At the Prayer Breakfast on Saturday morning in the Wright Place auditorium, Rev. H.K. Matthews, a seasoned civil rights leader in his own right, delivered one of the strongest testimonies to the struggle for civil rights when he brought the message for the MLK Celebration from the Book of Genesis in Chapter 37:18-20, where the brothers of Joseph plotted his death because of his dreams he shared with them. Rev. Matthews emphasized their plot when he read from verses 19 and 20: “Behold the dreamer cometh. Come now therefore and let us slay him….and we shall see what happens to his dream.” He connected the plot of Joseph’s brothers to the assassination of Dr. King as a plot to kill the general of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s to kill his dream. Rev. Matthews moved quickly to an eloquent reminder when he stated, “You can kill the dreamer, but you cannot kill the dream!”
Sunday’s service brought a fiery presentation from Reverend Dr. Alphonso Jackson Sr., the Pastor at the Second Baptist Church in Miami Florida and the Second Vice-President of the Florida General Baptist Convention, Inc. His theme for his speech was “A Call to Greatness” delivered from Joshua 17: 14-18. Rev. Jackson took from the text where Joshua is urging his complaining people of the House of Joseph to develop the land given to them and to stop asking for more land. Rev. Jackson said to the Mt. Olive audience, “You are a great people! Get up and do something! There is work to be done, so do more with what you have! You do not need more land!”
The finale of the weekend was of course the MLK Birthday Celebration Parade in Downtown Pensacola! There were beautiful and colorful floats that lit up the streets and the television screens through collaboration between Blab, WBQP, and many local commercial sponsors. Churches, businesses, non-profit organizations, and schools all took part in the parade with the traditional Mardi gras candy, bead and moon pie throws. However, there was also the non-traditional book give away by volunteers organized by Robin Reshard of Robin Robino Productions!