GREAT FALLS - In black and white videos of speeches and marches, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is undeniable.
Worship Temple in Great Falls is preparing to celebrate and honor the life and legacy of King.
An event called Night of the Dreamer will be held at the church, located at 3726 Fifth Avenue North, at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16.
Pastor Marcus Collins said this is a multicultural, multi-denominational event that will include a variety of artistic performances such as dancing, singing, and poetry.
He also said the event will continue the legacy of Great Falls civic leader Pastor Phillip Caldwell who hosted the event for many years.
"Pastor Phillip Caldwell ensured that one of the major conversations held was a conversation of unity, a conversation of acceptance, love, and dignity,” Collins said. "This event is going to stretch the mind, the capacity of people to be tolerant."
"I think his legacy, number one, is love. Love and respect for humanity,” said Marcus Collins, pastor at AT Worship Temple in Great Falls. "He was a man that really spoke on behalf of racial issues, social issues, labor issues, generational issues."
Collins said celebrating MLK Day is important for two reasons.
"It gives us an opportunity as 21st-century American citizens to, number one, assess the progress that we've made because we must admit there's some progress that has been made, and then also to find viable solutions to progress even further because there are, yet, challenges even today,” Collins explained.
Challenges that are wide-ranging.
"We must begin to deal with generational issues, the things that we're dealing with our young people. Their drug issues, our single mother issues, issues regarding gender preferences. There are a lot of different issues now that are on the landscape,” said Collins. "I think the first thing is having the courage for open conversation."
Easier said than done, but an effort the church’s MLK Day celebration could help. "This event is going to stretch the mind, the capacity of people to be tolerant, to receive and to give diversity,” Collins said.
The event is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the church and include singing, dancing, and poetry. If you can’t attend in person, you can watch the event on the church’s YouTube channel.