Historical Memphis churches unite for Dr. King - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Historical Memphis churches unite for Dr. King

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(WMC-TV) - Two of the oldest churches in Memphis held a special joint worship service Sunday to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Members from the predominately white First United Methodist Church began Sunday morning worship at the predominately black Collins Chapel CME.

This annual meeting of the two churches began years ago as a way to honor Dr. King on the Sunday before his holiday.

"We're striving to become that beloved community that Dr. King dreamed of, and I think this is a step in the right direction," said the Rev. Willa Ross of Collins Chapel CME.

The two churches have a relationship that goes back to 1841 when First United Methodist Church allowed a group of slaves to meet in their church basement.

Those slaves would later form what is now known as Collins Chapel CME.

Service attendees said their color isn't a factor.

They said both congregations worship from this same bible, and that Dr. King worshiped from this same bible too.

"We're making a stance. We are making an intentional effort to bring communities together in honor of Dr. King's birthday, but as I think he would agree that when the hymns start and we start singing we're just worshipping Jesus," said the Rev. Andy Rambo of First United Methodist Church.

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