BROOKSVILLE — This year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, as in years past, will begin in church.
"We know that Dr. King was first a minister and a pastor," said organizer Brenda Mobley. "It would be so wonderful if we could have that church packed."
On Sunday, Grace World Outreach Church will host the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Service at 3:30 p.m.
The theme for Sunday's church service: "We May All Come in Different Ships, But We're in the Same Boat Now." The Rev. Lee A. Inmon, associate pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Brooksville, will serve as the keynote speaker.
With matters of the spirit attended to, the celebration will continue with a full slate of events on Monday. The religious affairs committee of the Hernando County branch of the NAACP and Shiloh Problem Solvers are sponsoring this year's events.
"We're bringing our community together," said Pastor Clarence Clark of Shiloh Problem Solvers. "This is going to be unique because it's going to have representation of everyone in our community, not just the African-American community."
On Monday, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March and Celebration will begin at 10 a.m. in Brooksville. The parade will start at Hale Avenue, march east on Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard and end at the South Brooksville Community Center.
More than 50 entries will be in the parade, including floats, bands, and church and youth groups, said organizer Ann Langley.
When the parade ends, participants and those attending will walk the short distance to Kennedy Park, where the ceremonies and celebration will continue.
Wayman Boggs, president of the Hernando County chapter of the NAACP, will serve as host and master of ceremonies. There will be brief speeches by Timothy Beard, vice president of student development and enrollment at Pasco-Hernando Community College, and Joel Blount, president of the Student Government Association at PHCC's North Campus.
The event will also include youth step and dance performances, as well as a variety of booths and refreshments.
Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.