St. James Parish event a study in restraint

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2012

By David Vitrano


LUTCHER – St. James Parish celebrated the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with simple, quiet and dignified ceremonies that fit the somber occasion.

In the morning a small crowd of community members and elected officials gathered at the corner of Fifth Street and King Avenue or a wreath-laying ceremony.

With Sandra Smith leading the event, the Pledge of Allegiance was said and prayers were offered before some of the officials placed a small wreath at the intersection.

Afterwards, the group marched up King Avenue to King David Baptist Church while singing “We Shall Overcome.”

Inside, the Rev. Ferdinand Wallace got the service started, saying, “Martin Luther King Jr. has now been dead longer than he was alive, but what an extraordinary life it was.”

The commemorative service, called “Restoring the Dream Through Faith and Service,” also featured liturgical dances and a talk from guest speaker Rep. Edward Price of District 58.

Meanwhile on the west bank of the parish, the West St. James Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Committee and Highway Baptist Church hosted a program and reception at St. James High School.

The program was called “We Are Better Together,” and featured guest speaker Daphne Octave, a 1981 co-valedictorian at the school.