KING CELEBRATION AT TRINITY: Neal Lewis sings at the beginning of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance at Trinity United Methodist Church on Monday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
KING CELEBRATION AT TRINITY: Neal Lewis sings at the beginning of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance at Trinity United Methodist Church on Monday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
It's been nearly 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the Washington Mall and delivered what would become his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

On Monday, about 100 community members gathered at Trinity United Methodist Church to honor the fallen civil rights leader on his birthday and let it be known that those words continue to resonate.

During the hour-long ceremony, Rev. Ron Norris preached for more outreach from his fellow Christians and discussed prejudices that are sometimes present in the church.

Norris, who is the pastor at St. Stephen Community A.M.E. Church in Hanover, said that many Christians are often guilty of prejudices or putting up walls outside and within their own congregation based on such things as economic status, personalities, appearances and age.

He said that "we all come to God on equal footing and equal access."

"We judge (people) from our own narrow perspective," Norris said. "But Jesus said we don't need to know where someone came from, who their people are or even why they are in the predicament they are in. We just need to know one thing: We just need to know that they love Jesus Christ."

Madison resident Elsie Perry-Payne read the lyrics of the song, "The Dream That Never Ends," and spoke on King's non-violent activism that served as a beacon of hope and model for change.

King lived from 1929 to 1968 and served as a passionate voice in the equal rights and jobs movement for African-Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed as a federal holiday in 1986.