January 24, 2014
JONESVILLE — Forced to discontinue celebrations such as Juneteenth and Black Heritage Weekend due to budget cutbacks, Historical Society Event Coordinator Clarence Gray was anxious to organize a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., which will be held Sunday afternoon
Although the Historical Society owns a unique artifact from the history of slavery and discrimination, i.e., the step stone from which slaves were once sold, few in the community have actually visited this historic relic.
“A tribute to Dr. King means a lot to the African-American community in Jonesville. Many communities honor Dr. King on the third Sunday or Monday of January. Some celebrate his life throughout the month of January,” said Gray.
“We selected January 26 as our day of tribute to the man whose life was dedicated to non-violent protest against racial discrimination. Few Americans have made the contributions Dr. King made to our history, heritage and future,” he said.
The King Tribute will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. at Piney Grove Methodist Church on Bethel Road in Jonesville.
“Our church is honored to host the Tribute,” said Gray. “Members of the community will provide special music. Several individuals will share memories of Dr. King and his impact on our heritage.”
Gray and his wife, Betty, are active participants in Jonesville Historical Society events, having worked with the Jubilee, Juneteenth, Black Heritage Week, opening Mineral Springs Park and Veterans Day programs.
“Next year, we hope to have a Sunday afternoon tribute to Dr. King, followed by a community clean-up or service project on Monday as part of the national Day of Service for youth and adults. Our children need to learn about our heritage and to appreciate the role of volunteering in our community.”
For more information, call 835-5585.
General directions: from Jonesville, travel Swan Creek (Cedarbrook) Road to Bethel Road. Piney Grove United Methodist Church is located about one mile west of Bethel Baptist Church.