A Celebration of Unity
Moody Global Ministries commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Focusing on the theme of unity, staff and students gathered on Moody’s Chicago campus Jan. 12 to commemorate the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“This is a vital gathering for us to have,” said president of Moody Global Ministries, Dr. Paul Nyquist, who opened the afternoon event in a time of prayer. “Many still do not understand the contribution Dr. King made to this country. The civil rights we enjoy today are not a victory that was easily won,” noting the opposition Dr. King faced, including being arrested nearly 30 times. “The Bible tells us that all are made in the image of God, and that because of the atoning work of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are one. There must be no division among us.”
Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Global Ministries
Those in attendance viewed a video highlighting the life of Dr. King. It focused on his leadership during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the march on Washington, his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and his untimely death on April 4, 1968, in Memphis.
Moody employees and students took time to reflect on the impact Dr. King has had on their lives and on society. “Dr. King was someone who looked out for the least. . . . He did not reserve his rights and comfort for his own passions but for those who were desperately in need,” said Moody Bible Institute student Anton Adkins. “That impact has made a huge imprint on my life. That is something I need to do; that is something we need to do.” He added, “We should go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. That is where Dr. King devoted and dedicated his life, and died for it.”
Moody student, Anton Adkins
Associate professor of educational ministries at Moody, Peter Worrall, said, “Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader and a spokesperson for a movement who had the bravery to stand in the face of contempt and offer non-violent resistance. When ugliness could have been met with ugliness Martin Luther King crafted momentous words of beauty. . . . Fortunately, for all of us, the strength of the moral truth won out. Attitudes and laws were changed and continue to do so; however, I am witness there is still much to do.”
Moody student, Rebecca (Gracie) Ericson, recites a poem
After a song by a Moody student gospel trio, Dr. Winfred Neely, professor of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute, dramatically performed an excerpt from Dr. King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.
Dr. Winfred Neely
“Dr. King was about unity and the fact that whether you’re black, white, Latino, or Asian, you're precious in God’s sight. Moody stands with Dr. King on that precious truth,” said Roy Patterson, special assistant to the president for community relations, who emceed the event. “There are so many tensions throughout our country right now, and if ever the Church needed to be the Church, that time is now. It is our prayer that God’s people strive for the unity that’s provided by the Spirit of God.”
Patterson concluded, “Today is a unity celebration, and Dr. King is a wonderful person to rally around because he empowered people to not retaliate when facing violence or hatred. The goal is to respond with love.”
After the ceremony concluded, students and staff linked arms and sang, “We Shall Overcome,” a key anthem of the Civil Rights movement. A time of fellowship followed.
For photos of Moody’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Chicago campus, please visit Moody’s Facebook page.