MLK Day 2020

A group gets ready to march from First Missionary Baptist Church to downtown Franklin during the 2019 MLK Day celebration service. This year's service will also include the symbolic march.

Historic First Missionary Baptist Church, which has hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. Day event for more than 20 years, will join with its community partners for this year’s event with the theme “Where Do We Go from Here?”

The celebration will be held Monday beginning at 11 a.m. While the usual format of the event is to meet inside the sanctuary of First Missionary Baptist Church with speakers and singing, organizers are taking the safer alternative this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and particularly the Omicron variant. 

2022 MLK Day flyer

Attendees will meet in the parking lot of the church for a gathering and prayer, and then proceed with the symbolic march to the downtown Franklin square. The celebration will be held in front of the recently installed “March to Freedom” statue of the U.S. Colored Troops soldier. 

This year’s theme is taken from the landmark work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., according to a press release from the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition. The event will not only commemorate the Legacy of Dr. King, but it will also tell some unheard stories of his work for Justice in America. Historic First Missionary Baptist Church and its partners are looking for Monday’s celebration to be a unifying opportunity for the city of Franklin and surrounding areas. 

Featured speakers will be from the Partners of the Community. They will include Dr. Chis Williamson of Strong Tower Bible Church, Deacon Anthony Pickett of First Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. Christina Edmondson of Koinonia Church, Pastor Chris Whitney of One Generation Away, Pastor Bryant Herbert of Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition, and Pastor Walter Simmons of Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition. 

The music for the day will be rendered by “Kettle Praise” and Naveysha Stewart. 

“The ‘Unity March’ will start from First Missionary Baptist Church to begin the day of events,” Pastor Simmons said in the release. “The march and the program will honor the life, legacy and leadership of a true American Hero, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Historic First Missionary Baptist Church, which has been in existence for more than 151 years, is located at 113 Natchez St. in Franklin.