HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 21, 2013 – High Point University honored the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with not only its annual service to commemorate his life and work, but also by holding service projects throughout the day.
“As we celebrate the inauguration of our president, and as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, open up your hearts and your minds,” said Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, during the opening of the event. “Think about what we can do to make our world a better place.”
The service featured the Rev. Dr. Clifford A. Jones, senior minister of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., who has led the church since 1983. He presented a powerful sermon, titled “The Scroll of the 21st Century” that included a scripture reading from Luke 4:16-20.
Jones’ message focused around the topic of human rights and posed a compelling question.
“How long shall we overcome? When is ‘someday?’ Though we celebrate in Washington today the inauguration of President Barack Obama, has the day arrived when we have overcome?…The fact of the matter is that even as we sit here we still have our own challenges. We can’t just put our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is fine. We need to work on human rights.”
Jones went onto to emphasize that people need to “live with hope,” and that their hope should not lie within people, but within God.
While classes were canceled for students, they recognized the day as “a day on, not a day off” and began making more than 350 sandwiches for local homeless shelters such as Open Door Ministries. They also kicked off a winter clothing drive that will run through Jan. 25.
“When I talked to the area shelters, the one thing they realized that they really needed was pre-made food that they could serve quickly,” says Taylor Bradley, student leader of the HPU Volunteer Center. “The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was about service and giving back to the community, so that’s what we’re doing today.”
“We see this holiday as a ‘day on, not a day off,’” says Dr. Don Scarborough, vice president for Community Relations. “Students dedicated their time, assembling hundreds of sandwiches for local homeless shelters at the university’s philanthropy tables in the University Center. They also kicked off a winter clothing drive that will last throughout the entire week. Dr. King provided messages of hope, inspiration and peace, and students here give back on this day to help carry on his message.”