Monday morning’s Martin Luther King Jr. breakfasts were reminders, as they tend to be, of King’s lasting message on the equality of mankind.
A once-a-year shot of that inspiration, however, isn’t enough according to Vernis Wright, the pastor at Merry Grove Baptist Church and keynote speaker for the 10th annual event at Zebulon Baptist Church.
Wright’s speech, along with upbeat musical performances by the Zebulon First Baptist Church Inspirational Choir, stirred up the crowd that assembled at 7 a.m.
Wright turned the “c’mon man” saying into a “c’mon church” challenge, stating that the principals behind MLK events should last 365 days instead of just one, and that a church community should be colorblind.
“Let’s us stop choosing sides,” Wright said. “There ain’t but one side, and that’s on the side of Jesus Christ.”
Wright preached on Paul the Apostle’s example that no matter where you are, if you are a child of God you need to stand up and do more than talk the talk, letting that be the extent of your actions.
He later referenced the most essential verse of the Bible, and addressed how the “whoever” factor to John 3:16 united all men in Christ.
“If we really do think about our churches, it is not a social club,” Wright said. “It is not a business. It does not matter what your color is if you call yourself a child of God.
“There should be no separation between us. I don’t see no color, I don’t see no race. All I see is brothers and sisters.”
In Riley Hill, Durham pastor Dr. Cornelius Battle exhorted a large crowd of listeners to follow the example of Elijah in the Old Testament. Like Elijah, Battle said King trusted in God to speak truth to power and followed God’s direction in his life even as he suffered the consequences of doing so.
The Riley Hill celebration, now in its fifth year, also featured flute performances by local teen Kyrese Washington and closed with the spiritual “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”