Church to celebrate MLK Jr. Day

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time when churches can honor the civil rights leader and celebrate his accomplishments, Pastor Bob Woods said.

Woods, who runs First Con-gregational United Church of Christ, will dedicate the entire worship service Sunday to King.

What: First Congregational United Church of Christ Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration

When: 10 a.m. Sunday

Where: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 630 Green St.

"I think that it's really important for churches to be a prophetic voice," Woods said. "It's an important holiday."

Sunday's service starts at 10 a.m. at the church, 630 Green St.

It is open to the public and will be an interfaith worship, Woods said.

The service will focus on who King was and how he changed America, Woods said.

King, a Baptist minister, was a leading civil rights activist in the 1950s and 1960s. He was shot and killed in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968.

"Martin Luther King was a very important person," Woods said.

Woods said he hopes churchgoers Sunday walk away from the service with a deeper understanding of what King stood for and who he was.

Woods has been at First Congregational since March.

At his previous churches, he always celebrated the holiday with a worship service dedicated to the civil rights leader.

Those services always were very well attended, he said.

Woods said he thinks Sunday's service will be the first of its kind at First Congregational in Craig.

The official Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday is Monday, but First Congregational will celebrate the holiday Sunday on King's birthday. King would turn 77 on Sunday.

President Ronald Reagan signed a bill in 1983 establishing the third Monday of January as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The day was first observed as a federal holiday on Jan. 20 1986.

Since 1999, every state has observed the third Monday of January as an official state holiday.

Today, more than 100 nations observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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