MLK50: Church of God in Christ's place in history

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As we approach the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, WMC Action News 5 looks at the Church of God In Christ and the role it will play leading up to the historic day.

April's celebration will not only be a time to reflect on this moment in history 50 years later and remember Dr. King.

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) said it will also be using it as another call to action for equality.

History fills in the four walls of the Mason Temple.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final public speech inside the crowded room.

He preached about the injustice to the city's sanitation workers who were on strike protesting low pay and poor working conditions.

"When you look at the history of the Civil Rights Movement it was actually lead by the church," COGIC Pastor Linwood Dillard said. "It was led by ministers."

When the Civil Rights Movement came to Memphis, COGIC members joined and worked alongside church leaders from other denominations and engaged in nearly every aspect of the struggle, including the Sanitation Workers Strike.

Today, nearly five decades later, the Church of God in Christ continues to work alongside activists and community leaders to fight for equality and social reform.

"I believe that the nation has made tremendous progress in some areas but yet have work to do--a long way to go," Pastor Dillard said. "There is a whole lot for us to be concerned about. The work is not done."

The work may not be done, but Dr. King's push for equality and human rights for all victims of injustice still resonates.

As part of the church's celebration during MLK50, it will host panel discussions asking the question how we can affect change in the community.

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