Back in the days of segregation, Carolyn and Cyrus King worked to encourage racial equality in Raleigh by protesting to make local parks available to all residents, led the effort to open the first integrated day care in the area and helped start one of the first adult day care facilities in the Triangle.
The Kings could often be found having picnics in parks and dining in restaurants with their many African-American friends to spread their message of equality. And in recent years, the couple helped to encourage acceptance and understanding of LGBT individuals both by the community and within the congregation at Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh, where they have been members for more than 60 years.
Because of the couple’s dedication to equality, their church established the Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award on Carolyn’s recent 90th birthday.
“They are an inspiration for many people in the congregation for their passion for issues of peace and justice, especially in terms of racial justice,” said Steve Halsted, pastor of Community United Church of Christ. “When Cy and Carolyn are no longer with us, we want to be able to remember their accomplishments and keep their stories alive for future generations because they shape us for the future.”
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The church plans to give the annual award to people who make a significant contribution in the areas of peace resolution and social justice causes.
Cy King decided to dedicate his life to promoting peace after serving in the Army in World War II and seeing the effects of war firsthand.
“Being in the war reinforced my beliefs that war is an abomination, and we now work constantly to avoid war and promote peace,” said King, 89.
The couple was very active in a long list of social justice groups, including N.C. Peace Action, the Wake County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and N.C. Stop Torture Now. For the past 30 years, the Kings have shown their commitment to peace by participating in the Fayetteville Street First Wednesday Peace Vigil every week. The Kings have been recognized by many organizations over the years for their commitment to social issues and were inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2009.
When they learned about the church establishing the award in their honor, the Kings were very overwhelmed and thankful.
“We are very humbled by what our congregation has done for us with this our award,” King said. “My wife and I are going to try our best to live up to it.”
Windborne UMC a capella performance
The a capella music group “Pneumena” will sing at Windborne United Method Church’s 8:30 a.m. worship service Sunday, July 22, at the church, 9121 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. Special music will also be performed at the 10:30 a.m. blended worship service. For more information, visit www.windborneumc.org or call 919-386-0212.
Unity Baptist Church gospel concert
4Christ, a Southern and country gospel group from Goldsboro, will perform at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at Unity Baptist Church, 6338 N.C. 96, Youngsville. The concert is free; a love offering will be taken for the performers. For more information, call 919-612-4728.
Tabernacle Baptist Church blood drive
Tabernacle Baptist Church is holding a blood drive for the American Red Cross from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29, at the church, 8304 Leesville Road, Raleigh. To schedule an appointment, call 919-781-4600 or visit www.redcrossblood.org using the sponsor code “tabernacle-ral.”
West Raleigh Presbyterian VBS
Children in preschool through fifth grade are invited to West Raleigh Presbyterian’s vacation Bible school, “Are We There Yet? Journey to Bethlehem,” from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, July 30, to Friday, Aug. 3. Kids will participate in Christmas-related activities such as drama, carols, crafts and games. Cost is $25 per child and $20 per sibling with an optional lunch bunch available until 1 p.m. for an additional $5. For more information, contact Marietta Wynands at 919-828-5468 or Marietta@wrpc.org. Register online at www.wrpc.org/UpcomingEvents.html.
Wakefield UMC service projects
After learning that many food pantries were running short this summer, members of Wakefield United Methodist Church decided to hold a “Thanksgiving in June” food drive for the Salvation Army Food Bank in addition to its monthly food drive. At the end of the month, the church delivered two SUVs full of nonperishable and canned food items to the food bank in Raleigh.
In honor of the Fourth of July holiday, the church also held a special “Stuff for Soldiers” collection. Twice a year, the church collects six to eight boxes of practical items, such as socks and hand warmers, along with goodies such as snacks, magazines and coffee, to soldiers serving overseas. Last week the church collected 17 additional boxes of items to send to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Each box will also included a handwritten note thanking the soldiers for their service to our country.