By Ricky Richardson | Contributing Writer

        (Watts, CA)- Clouds gave way for another beautiful, sunny day in the greater Los Angeles region. An enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr., Shopping Center, 103rd Street and Compton Avenue. The Watts Area Ministers presented the annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration, Saturday, January 7, 2023. 

The celebration in Watts was the first of many events honoring and celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the upcoming days throughout Los Angeles and across the nation.

        The program was held near the monument dedicated to Dr. King, erected by artist Charles Dickson. This year’s theme “Holding Up The Holiness of The Dream” Judges 7:15.

        Several leaders in the faith community and the political arena participated in the program. Rev. Dennis More- True Everfaithful MBC served as Master of Ceremony. Invocation by Pastor Marvis Davis, New Saint Rest BC.

        Min. Tyree LaRue on keyboards led the crowd in performing Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Pastor W. Charles Harris., Village BC welcome the crowd to the commemorative celebration.

        Entertainment was provided by Pastor Robert Arline, thrilling the crowd with an original tune “Lord, You Have Been Good to Me,” and “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine” later in the program.

        Pastor Robert Taylor, President, Watts Area Ministers acknowledged and recognized civic officials in attendance, Tim McOsker, Los Angeles City Councilmember, 15th Councilmanic District, and Assemblyman Mike Gipson, 64th Assembly District.

        A moment of Silence and Commemoration was held to honor the life and labor of founders of Watts Area Ministers, Rev. Dr. Reginald A. Pope and others.

        Pastor Taylor introduced the Keynote Speaker, Assemblyman Mike Gipson, 64th Assembly District, who delivered a powerful and uplifting speech. Pastor Archie Arline, Greater Antioch BC gave the Closing Prayer.

        This wonderful Martin Luther King Jr., Celebration, presented by Watts Area Ministers concluded with a reception of light refreshments.

        Watts Area Ministers is a group of ministers who serve in the Watts area. Our motto is “Committed to Christ and to the concerns of the community. We are a non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) status.