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Local Church Honors MLK Day

New Jerusalem Baptist Church will host a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and service on Jan. 16.

Snellville was the last city in Gwinnett County to adopt the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. That was in 2007.

Since then, the city has had no parades, no ceremonies, no major speeches — like some of its neighbors — to commemorate the day. The Rev. Elijah Collins of New Jerusalem Baptist Church hopes that changes.

On Monday, he and his congregation will take baby steps to making that happen. The church — which has more than 400 members — will gather for a special MLK Day parade, march and service.

"This is the beginning of something," Collins said.

The entire community is invited, and in fact, several other churches have been contacted to join the festivities, as well.

Those who want to attend the parade/march should gather about 11:30 a.m., on Monday at . Collins will lead the march alongside Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz.

The group will leave at noon, in part along Wisteria Drive, and head to New Jerusalem Baptist Church located on Dogwood Road. At 1 p.m., the church will begin a special service.

In the future, Collins and the mayor hope to build on this first event, and possibly have more churches and community organizations involved.

"I think one thing we need to do is build on relationships and the resources of our local churches instead of holding our own event and work together on events like this," the mayor said.

For so long, Collins would get up and head to Lawrenceville for their MLK Day events. Standing out there in the cold, he just got to thinking that Snellville should have something of the same.

"We might not be that big this year, but we got to start somewhere," he said.

is located at 1958 Dogwood Road in Snellville The church can be reached at 770-972-2324. The congregation also has a Facebook page and website.

Chris McClure January 13, 2012 at 02:55 PM
The mayor is right. Churches and other organizations can better our city by collaboration.
David Brown January 14, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I must give credit where credit is due. I commend Mayor Kautz for participating in Monday's Martin Luther King activities.
Eva Farr-Wallace January 14, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I am excited about the MLK Commemoration right here in Snellvile. I am looking forward to being there. Small beginnings can lead to Great Endings.
Dave Emanuel January 15, 2012 at 02:32 AM
I expect you'll also give credit to the other Council members who participate.
David Brown January 17, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I commend Council Members Dave Emanuel, Tom Witts, and Bobby Howard and former Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer for participating in today's march. God, I hope I didn't omit anyone.:)

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