The ideas of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were honored at Calvary Baptist Church in East Hampton on Monday, with the Rev. Michael Jackson of Triune Baptist Church in Sag Harbor as keynote speaker and that church’s choir joining in the celebration.
“We will praise you for the rest of our days,” sung members of the Calvary Youth Choir. Young speakers including Jacarra Stephens read Scripture with words such as “thinkest no evil.”
“Love never fails,” exclaimed Sharlene Hartwell, a minister who spoke of unity and forgiveness.
“Martin Luther King Jr. was concerned about all mankind, regardless of creed or political affiliation,” Henry Haney, a deacon at Calvary Baptist, said. “We are all in this together . . . this is what East Hampton is about.”
Gloria Moore performed a dramatic and colorful flag ministry to the tune of “Change.”
Among those gathered were church members, politicians, and school officials. Quotes from Dr. King that were part of the service included “We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”
“My door is always open,” said Richard J. Burns, the superintendent of the East Hampton School District. He asked for help in giving each student a promise for the future. He said he seeks a partnership that includes participation by parents with regard to homework and attendance. On his end, he said, “You call me on it” if something is not happening as it should.
Mr. Jackson expressed gratitude for the help his congregation has received. The congregation is “trying to build our own temple . . . there is so much more work to be done.” He then introduced the Triune Baptist Church Choir, which sang about speaking blessings into the atmosphere and seeing the best in people.
Dr. King blessed humanity with a profound purpose, Mr. Jackson said, and “the works must go on. . . . In order to make it, black, white, Jew, and gentile must live as one people . . . we have so much more in common,” he said, “than what is trying to separate us.”