Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is never far from the mind of South Carolina’s newest U.S. Senator, Tim Scott.
“Every Sunday, my 92-year-old grandfather and I get together,” Scott said. “My, has America changed. Never could he have imagined a President Barack Obama, or a Senator Tim Scott.
“The path is always paved in advance … and that path was paved with blood and tears.”
Scott’s words came during an area tribute to Dr. King on Jan. 13 at Goose Creek United Methodist Church. The service was one of several taking place throughout the Lowcountry in a celebration sponsored by the YWCA of Greater Charleston.
The national holiday for Dr. King was Monday.
Scott, a Republican, told attendees that he often speaks with Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights legend John Lewis, a Democrat, in Washington.
“Our politics are a little different, but our goal is the same,” Scott said. “What John has taught me is the exact same thing that my grandfather taught me … ‘without the miracle of God, the journey is not possible.’”
As he looked at the audience, Scott said he was “excited to see a community coming together” to honor Dr. King. “The greatest days of our country are still before us,” he said to applause.
Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler was the event’s keynote speaker.
Dr. King’s contribution to the country cannot be overstated, Heitzler said. “Many young folks don’t understand how far Dr. King has carried us, and the gifts he has left,” he said.
The slain leader rooted his movement for Civil Rights in both the teachings of Jesus Christ and Gandhi, Heitzler reminded Sunday’s rapt audience. “King found success in non-violence by rooting his movements in the fundamental tenets of Christianity,” the mayor said, “and he was murdered for it.
“Dr. King said that everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You only need to be full of grace and have a soul generated by love.”
Before his address, Heitzler presented the Andrea Glover Matthews Award to Minister Kenny Johnson, the president of Goose Creek Concerned Citizens. Heitzler credited Johnson “for keeping the dream alive in our community.”
The award is named for the late Andrea Glover Matthews, who was the first president of the Goose Creek NAACP.
Berkeley County School Superintendent Rodney Thompson was the master of ceremonies. While America has made great progress, Thompson said, “I understand that more needs to be done.”