By John West
On Monday, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated’s Lambda Zeta Omega Chapter in Lanett held its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day of Prayer service. This year’s event was once again a virtual service, streamed on Facebook, Youtube, and on Bee T.V.
This year’s theme was “Prayer gives hope and light in a world of darkness.” Norma Williams, of Lambda Zeta Omega acted as Mistress of Ceremony for the event. She opened with a classic MLK quote saying “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, but only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
Reverend Dr. Jesse Walker, II, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Lanett read scripture from Psalm 39 and lifted up prayers. “Because of Jesus, we have everything we need,” Walker prayed. “Help us to be certain that Jesus will deliver us as we live in this dark world of uncertainty. It’s on Christ the solid rock we stand.”
Bessie Jackson, president of Lambda Zeta Omega, spoke as well. Jackson called Martin Luther King a “drum major for justice” and “a fighter for civic rights for mankind.” Jackson went on to speak about King’s thoughts on service as a form of greatness. “We may not be famous, but we can do great things by participating in community service programs,” Jackson said. “Not just for today, but for 365 days to show grace and love to those in need.” She also thanked those who have led the community through the pandemic over the past few years, and all those who seek to honor Martin Luther King on this holiday. “Honor this MLK day of service through actions, and let’s build Dr. King’s beloved community,” she said.
LaShandra Banks-Knox acted as musical director for the event and opened the live stream with an organ solo. She later played a melody of Dr. King’s favorite hymns. Myron Fears and Ensemble also performed throughout the event.
Phyllis Zachery-Stiggers took the time to give special recognition to four area educators. She honored Mrs. Catherine Pitts-Crook, Ms. Essie Mae Harris, Mrs. Pearlie Gibson, and Mrs. Jo Francis Fannings-Jackson. Zachery-Stiggers called each of these women “Pioneers in the field of education.”
Additionaly, Bessie Jackson presented a check for $300 to the Bowen East District Youth Department. Nicole Williams excepted the check on their behalf. The Bowen East District Youth Department will be one of Lambda Zeta Omega’s service projects for 2022.
Multiple pastors from around the Southeast lifted up prayers during the event. Pastors included Rev Dr. Fredrick James of Pilgrim Baptist in Lanett; Dr. Tandy Canion, pastor of Assembly of Truth Ministries in Atlanta GA; Pastor Amy Messer of Revenant Worship Center in Valley; Rev Richard Carter of Nichols Chapel AME in Phenix City; Rev Fredrick Davis, pastor of Calvary
Baptist in Durham NC; Bishop Bertha Hodge, Pastor of O.H. Misitries in Lanett; Rev Gerald W. Ledbetter, Pastor of West Point Presbyterian Church in West Point GA; and Rev Dr. Wendell Jones, Pastor of St. Paul AME in Troy, AL. Additionally, Lanett Mayor Jamie Heard spoke. Rev Eric Dowdell, Pastor of St John Community Baptist Church in Lanett gave the benediction.