A walk to remember

Members of the community, including Clovis Mayor David Lansford walk east on Grand Avenue on their way to Lincoln-Jackson Arts Academy for the first stop during the 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. walk on Monday in Clovis. CNJ photo: Eric Kluth.

By Jack King

Saying “righteousness exalts a nation and a city,” speaker Benjamin Love prompted his audience at a service commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday to emulate the civil rights leader and find the purpose in their lives.
Marchers met in Potter Park Monday morning and walked east on Grand Avenue and then north on Main Street to True Victory Church of God In Christ, where about 300 people attended the service.
The walk is held each year to commemorate King and other participants in freedom walks during the struggle for desegregation and voting rights, said members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Clovis.
Love, the associate minister at the First Church of God In Christ, said King had a calling from God to do the righteous thing, not merely the “good” thing.
“It was a good thing that Rosa Parks didn’t have to walk to work. It was the right thing that she didn’t have to walk to the back of the bus,” he explained.
Noting that the average person may not be able to touch a nation as King did, Love said each of us can touch another person, a family or a community.
Mayor David Lansford and Commissioner Robert Sandoval made the walk and attended the service.
Lansford told the audience that relations between the races are like the morning’s walk.
“You know it was pretty cold when we started this morning, but as we walked along it got warmer. As a nation, we started out cold and uncomfortable, but we’re moving toward a destination where we’re warm and comfortable,” he said.
The audience also heard musical selections from the Clovis Community Choir and director Hezekiah Shirley and from Iquisha Butler, who sang “We Shall Overcome.”
At Roy Walker Community Center the walkers watched as students from Lincoln Jackson Arts Academy spelled King’s names with flash cards and recited poems telling what each letter stood for.
The commission gave appreciation plaques on Monday to Love; Selmus Price, chairman of Clovis’ Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Committee and a member of the state Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. It also gave a certificate to True Victory Elder Jonathan Brock, thanking him for the use of the church.
On Saturday, the commission gave plaques to Pastor David Swann of Faith Christian Family Church, who spoke at a lunch, honoring King at Clovis High School; Karen Lord Garcia, director of Teen Court, whose participants helped arrange the lunch; and to George Banister for contributions to the Clovis Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship fund, said commission President Joyce Pollard.