The pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s home church in Atlanta will speak at an interfaith event Thursday in Augusta.
The Rev. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church will appear alongside Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Unitarian Universalist leaders at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church for an annual program, “Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters.”
The event, which includes music from the Augusta Chorale and the Davidson Chorale, is sponsored by the Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta.
The fifth annual program is held in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is Monday.
King preached from the
pulpit of Heritage Sanctuary at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where his father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., served for more than 40 years.
Warnock has served as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist since 2005.
The community is fortunate to have him as this year’s keynote speaker, said the Rev. Sid Gates, a Presbyterian minister and a founder of the Progressive Religious Coalition.
“This will really be an exceptional event,” he said.
“Rev. Warnock is a fantastic speaker. We expect standing room only.”
The evening before the event, the religious coalition will sponsor a screening of the film The Steering Committee, by Augusta-born filmmaker Hodges Usry.
The documentary, which debuted at the 2011 Westobou Festival, centers on the civil
rights movement in Augusta in 1960.
Mallory Millender of Paine College appears in the film and will help lead a discussion about it, along with Sudha Ratan, a political science professor and the chairwoman of the department at Augusta State University.
“These discussions on race relations in Augusta are very important,” Gates said. “As people of faith, we should be invested in conversations that better our community. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”