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MLK unity service this Sunday

Will begin with march through Ironton

The Ironton Area Ministerial Association will have a unity service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday.

“This is our third community unity service on Martin Luther King weekend,” Pastor Rob Hale, president of the Ironton Area Ministerial Association, said. “Martin Luther King said that the most segregated hour of the week is Sunday morning. We thought that we needed to change that, I felt that it was time that denominations and ethnicities needed to be put aside and worship together. And it was worked out very, very well.”

He added that the Ministerial Association had never done such an event before three years ago, and the first one was well attended.

“We had a gully washer of a service,” Hale said. “We packed out the church.’

The event will be at 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Fifth and Vernon streets in Ironton, which is pastored by the Rev. Eric Barnes.

“His praise teams will be leading us in music,” Hale said. “And Kristen Martin will be leading us in some other songs. The keynote speaker is Rev. Aaron Fields of the 3C Church.”

Martin is the Ironton Area Ministerial Association’s Community Choir director and the choir director at Mt. Olive Church. Hale said it was a discussion with her that led to adding to the event.

“She remembers that, when she was a little girl, they used to march on Martin Luther King Day and she misses that and has been wanting to do it,” Hale said. “So we got with the mayor and got a permit to march, and we’ll have a police escort.”

They will meet at the Mt. Olive Church at Fourth and Mulberry streets at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The march starts at 4:15 p.m. and ends at First Baptist Church Ends at Fifth and Vernon streets.

“It’s going to be a cold, blustery day,” Hale said. “But I’m going to put on my toboggan and march.”

The events are open to the public and all are invited to attend.