Ridgewood and Glen Rock Host 36th Annual Martin Luther King Day Observance

Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Rev. Dr. Calvin G. Sampson will deliver remarks addressing the theme “The Fierce Urgency of Now!” as The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee of Ridgewood and Glen Rock hosts its 36th annual celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy.

The community is invited to attend this free event, which will take place on Monday, January 15, 2018 at the Ridgewood United Methodist Church, 100 Dayton St., in Ridgewood, New Jersey, starting at 10 a.m.

Rev. Sampson, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in New York, will be the guest speaker during an interfaith worship service, which will be followed by a march through downtown Ridgewood and a light lunch. The program also will feature Ridgewood and Glen Rock student speakers and musical performances by the Indian Hills Chamber Choir, Men of Umoja chorus and The Young Voices of Mt. Bethel Baptist Church.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Rev. Sampson has served as President of the Westchester County chapter of Operation PUSH, which was founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1971 to improve the economic status of African Americans. Rev. Sampson also was chairman of the Westchester Church Community Campaign of the United Negro College Fund, and has been the host of the “Westchester Church News” radio broadcast on WVOX. He holds a Bachelors degree of Divinity and a Master of Divinity degree in Pastoral Counseling from New York Theological Seminary, and received the LLD (Doctor of Laws for pastoral work in the ministry) from Lynchburg College.

“During the past year, there has been a growing sense of urgency around our country’s continued struggle for racial and social justice,” said Alice Newton, committee co-chair. “In Dr. King’s words, ‘This is no time for apathy or complacency,’ and we welcome Rev. Sampson’s insights and inspiration at a time when deliberate and thoughtful action is needed to achieve progress.”

The annual Ridgewood/Glen Rock Martin Luther King Jr. celebration began in 1983 in an effort to unite area residents, regardless of faith or ethnic background, in worship and action as they work towards peace and justice for all. More than 20 religious groups, local government and civic organizations participate in and support the event each year. For more information contact Alice Newton at 201-951-9903; email MLKgrrwd@gmail.com; or follow Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Glen Rock/Ridgewood, N.J. on Facebook.

The committee also is co-sponsoring “Going Deeper: Exploring African-American Experiences, Challenges and Contributions in Ridgewood and Vicinity,” which will be held on Tuesday, January 16 at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Ridgewood. The community is invited to join this important open dialogue led by Rev. Mack Brandon, Metropolitan AME Zion Church, and Rev. Lemuel Brown, Mt. Bethel Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Ken Gill of Emmanuel Baptist Church will moderate the discussion, which will be preceded by a Community Pasta Dinner at 6 p.m. To reserve a seat at the dinner, please call 201-444-7300.