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Wednesdays with the Saints Evening Prayer
April 3 @ 5:15 PM - 5:45 PM
Wednesdays with the Saints
Evening Prayer Service
Daily prayers are said on a regular schedule at Saint James. On Wednesday evenings, we invite you to explore and celebrate the inspiring lives of the saints at our Evening Prayer service.
This week we give thanks for Martin Luther King, Jr., born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta. As the son and grandson of Baptist preachers, he was steeped in the black church tradition. To this heritage he added a thorough academic preparation, earning the degrees of B.A., B.D., and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston University.
In 1954, King became pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama.
There, black indignation at inhumane treatment on segregated buses
culminated in December, 1955, in the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. King was catapulted into national prominence as the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott. He became increasingly the articulate prophet, who could not only rally the black masses, but could also move the consciences of whites.
King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to spearhead non-violent mass demonstrations against racism. Many confrontations followed, most notably in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama and in Chicago. King’s campaigns were instrumental to
the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968. King then turned his attention to economic empowerment of the poor and opposition to the Vietnam War, contending that racism, poverty and militarism were interrelated.
King lived in constant danger: his home was dynamited, he was almost fatally stabbed, and he was harassed by death threats. He was even jailed 30 times; but through it all he was sustained by his deep faith. In 1957, he received, late at night, a vicious telephone threat. Alone in his kitchen he wept and prayed. He relates that he heard the Lord speaking to him and saying, “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness, stand up for justice,” and promising never to leave him alone—“No, never alone.” King refers to his vision as his “Mountaintop Experience.”
After preaching at Washington Cathedral on March 31, 1968, King went to Memphis in support of sanitation workers in their struggle for better wages. There, he proclaimed that he had been “to the mountaintop” and had seen “the Promised Land,” and that he knew that one day he and his people would be “free at last.” On the following day, April 4, he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet.[Excerpted from Holy Men Holy Women: Celebrating the Saints, published by Church Publishing Co.]