Mansfield News

Bethlehem celebrates MLK

Youngsters perform the Pledge of Allegiance at a past Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.
Youngsters perform the Pledge of Allegiance at a past Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. File photo

Character counts - that’s the message of the 11th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.

“People remember you by what you have done, what you have done for others and how you have conducted yourself,” said Victoria Dodd, who has organized Bethlehem Baptist Church’s King celebration since it began. “When it’s all said and done, your character will define you.”

Almost a half century after the assassination of the civil rights leader, King’s message and character are important to remember, Dodd said.

“We need to keep that spirit alive so we can deal with the issues of our time,” she said. “We need to continue to deal with them in a peaceful and respectful way. That’s what Dr. King was all about.”

State Rep. Nicole Collier (District 95) will be the keynote speaker for the event, while mistress of ceremonies will be Natasha Stewart, associate principal at Lake Ridge High School.

The Joyful Ringers handbell choir from First United Methodist Church, the Mansfield High School gospel choir and Bethlehem Baptist Mime Ministry will perform. Bagpiper Stephen Pruitt will open the ceremony, and the Mansfield High School JROTC will present the colors. Wesley Mission Center executive director Carmin Mac Millan will present the welcome.

Keeping the celebration interesting and fresh is a year-round project, Dodd said.

“There’s nothing new under the sun,” she said. “Throughout the year I see and hear things and make mental notes. I try to pull from those experiences and incorporate them into the program.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17

Bethlehem Baptist Church

1188 W. Broad St.

Free

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