Braving chill winds, dozens of people took part in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. worship service Jan. 21 at St. John 2nd Baptist Church on Mount Joy Road.
Worship leader the Rev. Cynthia Daniels-Williams of Friendship Baptist Church in Lewes said they were brought together on a cold day to celebrate not only Martin Luther King Jr. but the king of kings.
Daniels-Williams, a retired teacher from Christina School District ordained as a minister in 2017, was an active member of John Wesley United Methodist Church in Slaughter Neck before becoming active at Friendship. She has been a member of the Daniels Family Gospel Singers for more than 50 years. She lives in Harbeson with her husband, Deacon Robert Williams.
Among the highlights of the service was the presentation of the MLK Community Service Award to Delores Price of Ellendale. Price, who retired after teaching for more than 32 years in the Milford School District, helped lead the charge to get a central water system in Ellendale. Last year, with assistance from Ellendale Community Civic Association, residents finally overcame two failed referendums to approve a Sussex County plan for a water system.
“This honor is for those who had the faith to see the needs of the people,” she said.
She served as secretary and mayor of Ellendale Town Council before retiring in 2011. She remains active in many groups and on boards, serving as president of the Ellendale Community Civic Improvement Association, New Hope Recreation Center, president of the Eliza Jane Price Women's Ministry Society and Sussex County representative on the board of the Delaware State Education Association for Retired Teachers.
Giving the invocation, the Rev. Deborah McCaffity of St. George AME Church in Lewes said people were gathered another year to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. “Thank you Lord for the doors he has opened for us,” she said.
Bringing the purpose for the service, Aaron Morgan, an 11-year-old member of Friendship U.M. Church in Millsboro and a student at Millsboro Middle School, said, “Now is the time to push his vision forward. Today is a day of love and not hate.”
Although fighting a cold and losing his voice, the Rev. George Edwards of Friendship Baptist Church in Lewes preached for more than an hour. “Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to connect us all together,” he said. “It's been a struggle and we are still on a struggle.”
A founding member of the church in 1957, Edwards served as deacon for 16 years. After his ordination in 1977, he served as associate and assistant minister before being named pastor in 1988, a position he still holds. He has received many awards for community and church service.
He was presented with a plaque for his message by his wife of more than 60 years, Ardeth Edwards, who is an active member of the MLK organization.
The service was accompanied by the C.N. Sample Choir of St. John 2nd Baptist Church, founded by the late Rev. C.N. Sample in October 1970, and church dancers.