While most events include a few speeches, a welcome and maybe the pledge of allegiance, this year’s 38th annual Martin Luther King Jr. banquet added something that would be noted unusual to other events, prayer.
Hundreds of people bowed their heads together as Pastor Marcus Mills of Albright-Bethune United Methodist Church led everyone in a prayer before eating and continuing with the evening’s events.
“It was an honor to pray at the banquet,” said Pastor Mills, “for me the banquet was about fellowship.”
This year’s sold out event at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel celebrated the theme of the evening, “Let Justice Lead and Freedom Roar.”
To Pastor Mills the Christian concept of fellowship was an important part of King’s success, vision and dream.
“Fellowship is about barriers being knocked down,” said Pastor Mills, “That’s what King stood for –he wanted everyone to be included.”
Pastor Mills believes that Christian fellowship is about five things –working together, coming together, sharing concerns, celebrating others, and loving others.
“Sharing concerns is an important part of fellowship that allows the body of Christ to pray for all people,” said Pastor Mills, “it could be as small as a personal concern, or as big as the Connecticut tragedy –all things that need attention and prayer.”
Aside from preaching, Pastor Mills enjoys helping others and plans to be a part of the Martin Luther King service day events.
Pastor Mills is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and has been preaching in the State College area for about one year. He lives in State College with his wife Janel and two children. In his spare time Pastor Mills and his wife volunteer at the Pregnancy Resource Clinic of State College. His family believes that service to others is what joins people together.
“Everyone has a part to play in this life,” said Pastor Mills “we may not all have the same talents, but we all have something to add into the mixture.”