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
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
What led the young
Martin to become the co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in
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
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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."