The Rev. Dr. Ayanna Shivers was guest speaker at this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration held this past Sunday at the Second Christian Church in Vandalia. Rev. Dr. Shivers currently serves the congregation at Harper Chapel Everybody’s Church in Montgomery City, Mo.
She talked about her unique opportunity working with a diverse group students at the Missouri Military Academy in the role of Director of College Placement and Counseling.
Passionately she discussed Luke 2:11 and how Jesus was the “second Adam.”
Rev. Dr. Shivers then talked about the birth of Michael King Jr. as the late Dr. King was not named Martin when he was born on January 15, 1929. The Civil Rights leader received his new name as a result of his father, who was a pastor, being inspired on a trip to Germany when learning about the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther.
The Rev. Dr. Shivers noted just as how Christ was out being used by God at 12 years old in the temples, the late Dr. King, Jr. was busy at the young age of 15 attending college and became a pastor at about 26.
She noted that both were young and it was all about timing with Dr. King, Jr. starting in his mid-20s and Christ starting His ministry at around age 30.
“See understand they were both young,” she said. “They had things they had to do and they knew it was imperative that they followed a certain order.”
Her speech then noted the injustices that black people suffered dur-ing the same time Dr. King, Jr. was entering the ministry. She noted how folks couldn’t eat in the same restaurants, used back doors, etc. She noted that she was thankful she didn’t have to live through those injustices.
She talked about the late Dr. King, Jr.’s vision and the importance love played in that vision.
She then went on to note his “I Had A Dream” and the importance of its content of character.
“How many of us are instilling character into our children?,” she said. “How many of them are telling them that, you know what, that it is better to stick up and keep your word, that it is better that, you know what, that you be honest. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, it doesn’t matter how many basketballs you can shoot, it doesn’t matter how many touchdowns you may make, but it is if you are a man of character or a woman of character.”
The Rev. Dr. Shivers said what Dr. King, Jr. wanted for his children, he wanted it for all children.
It was noted that every person plays an important role.
“You don’t have to be big, you don’t have to be old, you have to be willing,” she added later in her speech.
At the beginning of her remarks, she said a passionate prayer after talking about her fellowship with local pastors.
Rev. Shivers also shared a song with the congregation.
Second Christian Church Pastor Melvin McCaleb introduced the speaker.
Schedule of Ceremony
Inez McPike was the Master of Ceremony.
The opening song “Lift Every Voice” was followed by scripture and prayer.
The Second Christian Church Men’s Choir performed an A and B selection.
A Welcome was given by Dolly Salmon followed by A and B selections from St. Paul Church Youth and St. Luke Methodist Church Youth.
An offering was taken that was followed by a selection from Lillian Johnson.
Refreshments were served in the Fellowship Hall after the Celebration.