On this past Martin Luther King Jr Day, I attended The Memorial Tribute Service at Overcoming Believers Church. This event happens every year, but this was the first time I’ve ever attended. Wow, let’s first say this event gave me chills.
Mayor Madeline Rogero, Mayor Tim Burchett, Commissioner Evelyn Gill, Commissioner Bob Thomas, and many more elected officials were in attendance. Of course, many candidates were also there including Tom Spangler and Scott Smith to see this great service.
I got lost in the music from Ms. Brittany Robinson from Knoxville Opera whose voice was like an angel. The MLK Celebration Choir filled the room with there strong words of praise and worship that gave me a glimpse of Heaven.
Some of the awards given at this fantastic event were The Grand Marshall Award, The Community Service Award, and The Distinguished Service Award. The Grand Marshall Award was given to the one and only Chris Blue. He gave a speech about his faith and how the first will be last and the last will be first. His heartfelt speech was perfect in every way.
The Community Service Award was given to Mr. Stan Johnson for his amazing work with SEEED INC. His speech ended with the words, “Nothing stops a Bully like giving that Bully a job.” His outreach programs to help children and teens is growing rapidly and is taking his community by storm.
Lastly, an award was given to our very own State Representative Rick Staples. Staples received the Distinguished Service Award that left him, for once, speechless. His commitment and leadership in his community and to his goal of making Martin Luther king Jr.’s dream a reality is one of the reason he received this prestigious award. In Staples’ acceptance speech, he says “… as a person, as a human being, and as a Christian, it’s just what you do. You serve.” He went on to talk about the service of the people in that very room, emphasizing that their service changes people’s lives everyday. Staples went on to say that If they get weary or tired, to keep serving. He said that people depend on them and even though he was the one receiving the award, he was getting on their behalf. He was humble and you could tell how truly blessed he felt to be recognized.
This event, community, and everyone’s hard work (both towards the event itself and work they do) really showed the pride and unity making a difference in Knoxville. It definitely was a sight that (I feel) that would make Dr. King proud. I’m not saying all of Dr. King’s dream has been achieved, but I feel like he would have been proud of that day.