Photos by Kate Albright
Montclair held a Martin Luther King Jr. Day service at St. Paul Baptist Church bringing the community together in a celebration of King’s work, and as an inspiration for others to work for justice.
This year’s theme was “Hate is Too Great a Burden to Bear.” The keynote speaker was the Rev. Charles Franklin Boyer of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Woodbury.
The Rev. Anita Wright, of Trinity Presbyterian Church said Boyer was chosen due to his background in social justice, civil rights and the Poor People’s Campaign (poorpeoplescampaign.org). Boyer is the founder of Salvation and Social Justice (sandsj.org), and the co-convener of the NJ Black Multi-Faith Alliance (njblackfaith.org), the NJ Prophetic Agenda (njpropheticagenda.org), and the United Black Agenda, according to the Bethel AME Church website.
As people entered the church, a sound clip of one of King’s sermons played. The St. Paul Dance Ministry and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair Chalice Choir also performed during the service. The music was related to the day’s theme of social justice. Songs performed included “We Shall Overcome” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
The service was held Jan. 21, noon to 2 p.m. Each year the annual interfaith service is held at a different location in Montclair. This is the second year at St. Paul.
The service was sponsored by the Montclair African American Clergy Association, the Montclair Interfaith Clergy Association. the NAACP Montclair Branch, Montclair Fourth Ward Councilwoman Renée Baskerville and the Fourth Ward Collaborative.