As we remember the memory and civil leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 16, one local church leader explains how King's message still resonates today ahead of their own observance Monday.

Concerned Citizens in Action of Lakewood continue to show us how King's message of peace, hope and love for fellow man still resonates today.

On January 16 at 7 pm they'll hold an observance, 'Working Together As One' at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Lakewood at 143 John Street.

"The main choir will be the 'Voices of Macedonia', which is one of our choirs," explains Reverend Edward Harper of the Macedonia Baptist Church. They'll be joined by the choirs of the Greater Bethel Church of God in Christ and St. John AME Zion, all of Lakewood.

Harper add that Trenton and Willingboro Municipal Court Judge Harold George will be the guest speaker at the observance among the many other scheduled events for Monday.

"We're going to have a dance group, called 'Praise in Action'," said Harper. "It's about a dozen of mature ladies and they will really entertain one should miss this."

Harper adds that while the primary focus of the program is focused primarily around Dr. King, there is also a community outreach portion of it as well.

Rev. Edward Harper (Townsquare Media)
Rev. Edward Harper (Townsquare Media)

"We are really concerned about the betterment of the community and mankind," said Harper. "We're trying to help people do a lot of things they can not do for themselves."

That includes such things as unfair housing and taxes, Harper says, as well as helping provide scholarships to high school and college students.

With a racial divide in parts of the country, Harper explains that in today's world King's message still matters today.

"The message that Dr. King left is a Godly message so it will always be relevant," said Harper.

Harper says that racial tensions could be resolved if people learn to embrace King's message of love for one another.

"If we don't love each other, we will destroy each other," said Harper. "From what I'm seeing, more and more we are destroying each other."

He believes that if Dr. King were still with us today, he would have continued to fight for the causes he always did but would have had a heavy heart watching some of the current events.

"I do believe that he would have been quite disappointed at some of the things that are happening now," said Harper. "Especially some of the things that happened last year."

While the nation holds a collective observance in memory of Dr. King on Monday the President-Elect, as is customary, will be sworn into office next Friday the 20th and Harper feels that if King were alive today he may not be keen on a Trump Administration but would find a way to cope.

"It stems from his love for God," said Harper. "But I know he would not approve of it."

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