Thursday, August 29, 2013
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Work at the 'dream' continues

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[August 29, 2013]  Wednesday as dusk became night, students gathered in front of the steps of the chapel at Lincoln Christian University. On this warm, humid evening, they would soon be listening to a rebroadcast of the greatest speech to our nation on the issue of civil rights.

It was on Aug. 28, 1963, that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first gave the country his dream of how we are called live together without prejudice.

LCU President Keith Ray reminded, or maybe informed, students that the civil rights movement led by Dr. King began as a Christian movement. To "warm up" their thinking, Dr. Ray said:

What is it that inspired him above all odds to get a bachelor's degree, take three years of theological studies and receive a doctorate degree in Bible?

What led the young Martin to become the co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga.?

What was the ambition behind the pastor and civil rights advocates who placed him to be president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and pledged him to what became the civil rights movement?

What prompted 25 arrests or assaults (on him), five honorary degrees, being named Time magazine's Man of the Year, and eventually being not only the symbolic leader for America's blacks but a world figure as well?

Why was he the youngest man named to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and eventually faced an untimely assassination on the evening of April 4, 1968?

What was it that fueled all of this "greatness?'"

A dream, a dream tool.

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King's speech was then presented on a big screen mounted at the top of the steps. Just as his loud, impassioned voice rang out from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for all America to hear for the generations to come about real liberty for all, those words now waved over the LCU campus.

When the powerful 16-minute speech was over, a silence was observed, for a moment. But then the voices were heard. Those who were there were there to further the work of a Christian man who held a dream for our nation.

Students were asked to consider what has been accomplished, what yet needs to be done and how that might take place, most specifically right there on the campus of LCU.

The concluding question for students to answer was: "Dr. King was a Christian believer who saw this as a Christian issue and saw a Christian solution. How do you think Christ is calling the church to respond to this today? How can we respond to the dream on campus and in our community?"

On Wednesday, maybe you heard the bells at 3 p.m. Around the world, bells at schools, churches and monuments were rung in commemoration of the march and speech that took place 50 years ago -- "Let freedom ring."


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