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A call for courage at MLK Jr. Breakfast
photo-054 - sbc pastor eric lee gesturing
One of the keynote speakers, Springfield Baptist Church Pastor Eric Lee - photo by Photo by Michelle Kim

Speakers called on the leaders and participants at this morning’s eighth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast to have “spiritual courage” in bringing about change in the community.

More than two hundred people attended the annual breakfast, organized by the Rockdale County NAACP and Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and held at the Longhorn’s restaurant in Conyers.

Keynote speakers Pastor Eric Lee of Springfield Baptist Church and Dr. Jeff Meyers of First Baptist of Conyers spoke of the dangerous business of leadership and the courage of King and leaders that call for “adaptive change” that requires people to give up something of value.

“Americans cannot continue to live the way we live,” said Lee. “What we need today is what Dr. King provided and that was spiritual courage to tell people that it’s still required of us to make adaptive changes.”

He pointed out that when the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument is dedicated on the National Mall, “It will not be an African American moment. It will be an American moment.”

Meyers read an excerpt of King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” that highlighted "extemists" such as Paul the Apostle, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Jesus.

“If we become an extremist for what Jesus was an extremist for, our community shall be changed,” said Meyers.

Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mo Talley recalled the effect of King’s words. “It was not so much the eloquence of his words but the sincerity of his actions that changed the world,” Talley said.

Pastor J. Deland Shorter of Double Springs Baptist Church reminded the audience, “The walk does not stop with the generation before us; it continues with our generation and the generations behind us.”

The Rev. Cheryl Collins gave the invocation, the Rev. Layne Fields of Old Pleasant Hill Baptist Church lead the audience in a rendition of “We Shall Overcome,” and Father John Kieran of St. Pius X Catholic Church gave the benediction.

This year’s event also raised about $900 in funds for initiatives for the homeless in Rockdale County and United Way.