The celebrations begin today at the Carrie J. Mays Community Center. The Rev. K.B. Martin, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, will speak at the free 11 a.m. event sponsored by the Augusta Recreation, Parks and Facilities Department and gospel radio station WKZK-FM (103.7).
On Friday, theologian Bishop Woodie W. White will deliver the keynote address at a celebration jointly sponsored by Augusta Technical College, Georgia Regents University and Paine College.
Woodie, bishop in residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, writes a letter each year to King on his birthday. Woodie received a bachelor’s degree from Paine College and a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology.
Helene Carter, the associate vice president of institutional advancement at Paine College, said the tri-college event advances positive race relations and tolerance of all people in Augusta.
“It promotes goodwill among the institutions but demonstrates that the community can come together and celebrate a humanitarian who literally gave his life for our humanity,” Carter said.
The free event begins at noon at Paine’s Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel on Druid Park Avenue. A choir with singers from the three colleges will perform.
A parade honoring King will be held Saturday in downtown Augusta. It is sponsored by the Augusta branch of the NAACP.
Beginning at 1 p.m., the parade starts at Dyess Park Community Center, travels south on James Brown Boulevard, west on Wrightsboro Road and north on Augusta Avenue. Then, the parade heads down Laney-Walker Boulevard, where a viewing stand will be set up in front of the Laney High School football stadium.
Also on Saturday, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi will speak at the seventh annual Progressive Religious Coalition’s Interfaith Martin Luther King Jr. service.
Arun Gandhi has shared his experiences from his grandfather in several books, including Lessons from My Grandfather. He also founded the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute in 2008 to fight poverty through community-building. The free event begins at 6:45 p.m. at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Ave.
On Sunday, Augusta mayoral candidate and state Sen. Hardie Davis will speak at North Augusta’s Hammond Grove Word Power Ministry on Five Notch Road. The Augusta Chorale will perform at the free event, which begins at 5 p.m.