HAMPTON, Va. (January 22, 2019) – Hampton University held its annual Martin Luther King Jr. march and program on Monday, January 21, 2019 to remember his life and celebrate his birthday.
The student-led march began at the historic Emancipation Oak and ended at the Memorial Church on campus where the program was held. Various student organizations and campus leadership groups participated in the memorial march in honor of Dr. King and his legacy.
The University program was filled with praise and worship as Rev. Dr. Jerome A. Barber, Pastor at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Temple, began the ceremony with opening prayer. A graceful musical selection was prepared by The Voices of Greer, followed by Hampton University Senior Class President, Mr. Michael Adams, conversantly educating the audience on the purpose of the march.
“During the time when African Americans were the primary minority, we had to march in order to fight for basic human rights. Martin Luther King, Jr. had the ability to break down complicated issues. He used his skills to lead a nation of oppressed people to a better reality,” said Adams. “The march on Washington was a crucial part of our reality. Take today to think and show your appreciation for those who have come before you. Acknowledge the change that has and will continue to come.”
The program’s keynote speaker was Bishop Derek T. Triplett, founding pastor of Hope Fellowship Church in Daytona Beach, Florida. As a powerful and profound speaker, Triplett has spent over twenty years in pastoral ministry and over twenty-five years preaching the Gospel. He also provides spiritual leadership to several churches and ministries across the country. As a gifted preacher, teacher, and speaker, Triplett’s moving speech during the ceremony educated the audience on the history of Dr. King.
“Dr. King was needed for the time in which he served. I would like to say to you, you are needed. He was not trying to be a hero. His name was never meant to be what he ultimately became, but life thrust him into circumstance. He was called into service and that service ultimately consumed his life, defined his life, took his life, but also, immortalized his life,” Triplett said.
Also, during his motivational speech, titled, “We Need Your King,” Triplett encouraged the audience to find their true passion in life.
“I believe that God has sent us all here to make an impact and to change the world. Be a blessing to others. We need the King in you. As you prepare to serve people, we need you to determine your passion. Your passion is for that which you are willing to suffer. What is it that you are willing to suffer for in order to make a difference?” Triplett asked. “Once you determine what your passion is, then the rest of us will know what we can depend on you for. In the future, when people are in a room trying to get something significant done, will they call your name? It’s a great thing to have followers on social media, but it’s an important thing that your name comes up when someone needs to get something important done.”
The program concluded with harmonies from The Voices of Greer singing the Black National Anthem.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s., “I Have A Dream” Speech was delivered on August 28, 1963 at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
His mother, Alberta Williams King, attended Hampton and was in the class of 1924.