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Service and events celebrating MLK Jr. weekend
Pastor Billie Cox of Macedonia Baptist Church, keynote speaker for the Chamber-NAACP Dr. MLK Jr. Breakfast at Longhorn on Monday, Jan. 19, 7:45 a.m. - photo by File photo/The News

The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and the Rockdale Branch of the NAACP co-host a breakfast honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 19, 7:45 a.m. Proceeds from the 11th annual event will be donated to United Way in Rockdale to benefit programs in Rockdale County.

The event, celebrating the life and achievements of the influential American Civil Rights leader, will be held at the Longhorn Steakhouse located on Iris Drive near Interstate 20 and West Avenue. The keynote speaker for the event will be the Billy Cox, Pastor Macedonia Church.

"We are excited about this year's celebration and expecting a large turnout," said Fred Boscarino, president of the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce. "This is our eleventh year hosting the event with the Rockdale NAACP, and it has become a community tradition for many of our residents and business owners who want to appropriately observe MLK Day and honor this great American."

The cost to attend the breakfast and program is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 13 and under. Tickets are sold at the door and seating is limited, so first come, first served.

United Way in Rockdale Area Director Claire Cline expressed appreciation to the local NAACP and the Chamber for partnering to organize the event and for supporting local efforts to help the homeless.

"On January 19, we will be honoring a visionary leader who worked to improve the lives of others and to bridge social barriers," said Cline. "Helping the homeless is certainly an appropriate tribute to his legacy.”


Interact Club serves

On Saturday, Jan.17, 11 a.m. - noon, the Interact Club of Conyers Middle School will host a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Conyers Middle, 400 Sigman  Road. In addition, they will present donated food and items to the families of local homeless students. 


Know Your Rights

The NewRock legal society is spearheading an educational “Know Your Rights Forum” for citizens. This forum will educate attendees on several rights and process of the legal system. It will take place on Monday, Jan. 19th from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Church of Covington located at 11975 Georgia High Way 142 Oxford, GA 30054.


Ecumenical Service

The 2015 County Annual Ecumenical Service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015 at Newton High School Auditorium located at1 Ram Way, Covington, GA 30014. The keynote speaker will be Ronny Brannen, pastor, prospect church, Covington, Georgia, and the 2014 recipient of the Newton County, “I have a dream award.”

Hands on service

The 2015 Hands on Newton Community Service Event, which has a theme of “A day on, not a day off,” Hands on Newton is coordinating a service project cleaning up the historic slave cemetery on the Gaither Plantation located in Newton County. Contact Mollie Melvin of Hands on Newton at 770-330-7405 or mail

Also on Saturday, some two dozen volunteers turned out to help clean the historically black section of Liberty Cemetery in Porterdale, where boy scouts labored alongside older generations to rake, prune, and restore the site as best they could and give better access to the section.

Clark Hansen, 12, of the local Boy Scout Troop 93, said pitching in was “the right thing to do” as he filled a wheel barrow with fresh dirt to help fill in sunken graves.

Deborah Bridges, who has family buried in Liberty, drove in from Snellville where she lives when she heard about the cleanup effort.

Like many older cemeteries, Liberty is divided into a historically white section at the front and a smaller, historically black section in the back—a legacy of segregation.

Bridges said the diversity of volunteers was a testament to the progress made since blacks and whites were segregated even in death, but she lamented that the black side of the city cemetery was allowed to deteriorate while the white section was kept up.

Newton County is home to nearly 300 cemeteries, many of which have been abandoned. The Liberty Cemetery cleanup is the first of six organized by the county cemetery committee over the next two months.