The mistress of ceremonies/Christian Education director spoke those words, highlighting “Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Journey to Freedom.”
A recent Black history play in Palm Coast focused on the life of Dr. King, an obedient servant of God and mankind, a drum major for justice, a champion for peace, who was fully committed to his calling even until death.
The performance soared in eight scenes, focusing on the civil rights leader, who brought before the establishment his people’s grievances of oppression and segregation.
The original play was written and directed by Deaconess Margie Arthur, positioning the audience to pay attention to the civil rights era.
Adrian Worsley made his mark as co-director and music director.
Sunday School involved
The play was a success at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, the Rev. Edwin Coffie’s pastoral ministry.
Gerri Dillon recalled Deaconess Arthur saying, “I would like for the Sunday School to be a part of this.” And, Dillon, the Sunday School Superintendent replied, “Okay. All right.
“(And so), we got a date. And, she (the deaconess) kept saying, “‘Well, I want this person to do that, and that person to do that.’ “And, they kept saying,” ‘I don’t know if I can,’ “and she kept saying,” ‘Put it on the program. They’re going to be here. They’re going to do that.’
“We are so grateful for all of the Sunday School members who were able to take part in this program,” said Dillon.
Guests had arrived at the wedding of Dr. King to the former Coretta Scott, author/advocate for African American equality.
The scene presented Dr. King, portrayed by Floyd Patterson; Coretta Scott depicted by Chenita Johnson; Coretta Scott’s father, Obadiah Scott, portrayed by Guy Thompson; her mother, Bernice McMurray Scott, performed by Madeleine Broughton; minister, the Rev. Fred Pinnock; best man, Deacon Sylvester Kirk; maid of honor, Patricia Gerald; and the wedding guests Patricia Askew, Betty Donaldson, Tawayna Lanfair, Marion Smith, Arlanda Williams, and Michelle Williams.
The plot thickened with a scene reflecting the March on Washington and advocating for jobs and freedom. It featured Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, utilizing a full cast, along with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, portrayed by Gordon Williams; young Andrew Young by Deacon Sylvester Kirk; and the Rev. Jesse Jackson by Guy Thompson.
Along with the six other scenes, the play took in other performers such as Deacon Randolph Arthur with the speech, “Who Was This Man?”; song stylist Melba McCarty, vocalizing Nina Simone’s “Why? (The King of Love is Dead)”; and soloist Linda Murray singing Mahalia Jackson’s “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”; Anne Phillips with her original poem, “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”; and young Erica Cousins, performing the liturgical dance, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
Deaconess Arthur, a former educator, who has enjoyed writing 30 plays, delighted in receiving a bouquet of flowers.
She said, “I thank you for being so patient with me, those that were working with me.
“I don’t think I was too hard on you, but in three weeks, we put this thing together!” she explained.
“I’ve given a few plays here, and this is about the first time I’ve used him (Trustee Alonzo Spearmon) in one of my plays as the narrator,” she said. The thought of Trustee Spearmon captivated a roaring applause from the audience!
Get your copies of the Daytona Times from Toney’s Barber Shop, 218 St. Joe Plaza Drive, Palm Coast; and from the African American Cultural Society, 4422 U.S. 1 North, Palm Coast.
As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.