MOULTRIE -- Colquitt County residents will have at least three opportunities over the weekend to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 17th annual King Day Celebration.

Isabella Brooks, director of the Colquitt County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said an inspirational service will be held Sunday at Greater Newton Grove Baptist Church. The service will feature music and an address by keynote speaker, the Rev. Jerome Pace from Pelham.

The inspirational service is being presented by the NAACP and the Interdenominational Christian Alliance, Brooks said.

The Women's Federated Club of Moultrie and Southwest Georgia Bank present a second program Monday at 11 a.m. The observance service will be held at Williams Tabernacle CME Church, and its theme is "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, not a Day Off!"

Patricia Merritt, president of the Federated Club, said the service is to "reiterate the importance of Dr. King's work and legacy," and to celebrate his birthday as a national holiday. She hopes to continue his legacy by acting on the teachings and principles King taught of nonviolence and basic human rights.

The Federated Club is also asking everyone to initiate community service projects to honor King, not just use it as a day off of work or school, Merritt said.

Music for the observance service will be provided by the Friendship Baptist Youth Choir, and Merritt said the keynote speaker will be the Rev. Edward James Jones, pastor of Williams Tabernacle CME Church.

The weekend celebration will conclude with a parade to honor King starting at 3 p.m. Monday, Brooks said. The parade will wind its way through downtown Moultrie and the Courthouse Square. There will be between 60 and 70 entries in the parade, including the Colquitt County High School 50th Regiment Band, the Mitchell County marching band, the U.S. Marine Corps marching band and various floats saluting King.

Brooks said Beauford Hicks, superintendent of Mitchell County Schools, will serve as the parade's grand marshal. Hicks was principal at Charlie A. Gray Middle School from 1982 to 1996 and has served as superintendent of schools in Talbot County and Dooly County and as an education consultant for the Middle Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency in Fort Valley.

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