Annual prayer breakfast honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Local NAACP President Gwendolyn Brundage and Putnam County Magistrate Judge Virginia Linch pose in front of the flag at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast Jan. 13. “I’m here to support Gwen,” said Linch, noting they had been friends for many years.

A chair was draped in black to honor the late Putnam County NAACP President Terrence “Kojack” Waller at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast Jan. 13.

Before having a moment of silence to remember Waller, mistress of ceremony, Evangelist Thedora Sneed, said celebrating the life and legacy of King is about the community standing together as one and pushing each other to do what is right – something Waller strived for in his community.

Event speaker, Dr. James Hall, founder of the National Prostate Awareness Association (NPAA), said, “Dr. King would not have been the man he was without God,” noting that the civil rights leader was not alone in the fight for equal rights but was surrounded by a network of active supporters also dedicated to the cause.

Sponsored by the Putnam County chapter of the NAACP, nearly 100 guests, including local leaders, Putnam County NAACP President Gwendolyn Brundage, Board of Commissioners Chairman Dr. Steve Hersey, Eatonton City Council Member Janie Reid, PCCSS Superintendent Eric Arena, Magistrate Judge Virginia Linch and District Attorney Stephen Bradley, as well as pastors, Rev. Kareem Farley, Rev. Wayne Griffin Sr., Rev. Harriet A. Camp and Sneed, attended the celebration, held at the Putnam County Elementary School.

“Everybody’s talking about what Dr. King did,” said Hall. “You wouldn’t be where you are today if you wouldn’t have got here yourself. Give yourself a hand.”

A nationally renowned epidemiologist and health advocate, Hall, has often been called upon to assist with various health issues related to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

After former President Bill Clinton bestowed the title of U.S. Ambassador of HIV/AIDS, Hall traveled throughout the United States and abroad to discuss the globally affected issues of the disease, where he met with the late South African president Nelson Mandela, and was the first black delegate to meet with the late spiritual leader, Mother Teresa.

Addressing the guests at the prayer breakfast, Hall conveyed the importance of what the community and its leaders choose to talk about and especially what is said about the people in the community.

“When we run our mouth about somebody, we should run our mouths about Jesus, and when we celebrate, we should celebrate everybody,” said Hall before leading the congregation in a hymn embraced by all Christians -- Amazing Grace.

Hall asked the guests to bestow that same grace on their neighbors. “You are growing in Putnam County,” he said. “But, to continue to grow, you must love one another.”

By Shannon Sneed


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