The annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Unity Banquet, sponsored by Mary’s Chapel AME Church, will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at 5 p.m. at the Charles Gleghorn Community Center.

Take-outs are available as doors open at 4 p.m. Tickets are available for a $10 donation and can be obtained from any church member or at the door on the day of the event.

The speaker for is the Rev. Dr. Sandra K. Avent, pastor of Mt. Zion Haley Missionary Baptist Church of Normandy. Music will be provided by Gladys Askins and her daughter, Keisha Askins. Pastor of Mary’s Chapel AME Church is the Rev. Ruby Mason-Crum.

Avent received her doctorate of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. She is a graduate of Shelbyville Central High School, holds a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University, a master of divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse School of Religion, Atlanta, and a master of theology degree, cum laude, from Emory University, Candler School of Theology, Atlanta.

In addition, local activities honoring the civil rights leader will include the 18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day March, which will be held here in Fayetteville on Monday, Jan. 21.

The year 2019 marks the 51st anniversary of the death of Dr. King, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis. The civil rights leader, a Baptist preacher and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), was only 39 years old at the time of his death.

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