A Visit From a Member of the King Family
One hundred years from the founding of Park Hill United Methodist Church we will gather this year to celebrate our centennial. It is our intent to celebrate and honor our past as we look forward to our next 100 years. In 1964, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Park Hill. The Reverend Dr. Derek Barber King, Sr., the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will visit with us on the 19th and 20th of March to speak at our church as well as at a Prayer Brunch for the broader Denver community.
Dr. Derek Barber King Sr. is the son of the Reverend A.D. King, the only brother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King is presently a full time professor of Religious Studies at Martin University in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a motivator, Dr. King is a certified conflict reconciliation trainer. Continuing the ministry of his late uncle, he conducts seminars and workshops related to the subject of social change using nonviolent strategies and tactics. As an activist, Dr. King is committed to the continual struggle to eliminate discrimination, racism, oppression and violence. Dr. King believes as his uncle believed in the interrelatedness of all things and the “inescapable network of mutuality” that binds all people in “a single garment of destiny.”
Currently we are in the midst of the celebration of the season of Lent. As a diverse congregation, we at Park Hill United Methodist Church feel we are here to answer the call of Jesus. Jesus said is Matthew 25:42-43; “For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.” God forbid that we should fail in our mission as United Methodists.
The history of Park Hill United Methodist Church is a reminder of greatness. We have done well in Park Hill, but our witness is broader than our immediate community. As United Methodists we embrace the words of John Wesley; “The World is my parish”. We are proud and thankful that we have a wonderful church of diverse and inclusive people. Our reach is global. As United Methodists, we are one of the largest denominations in the world. We are a connectional church that is strategically located around the world to accomplish our mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ”. Wherever the church is present around the world, Park Hill is there.
As a local church, Park Hill is one of thousands of local congregations focused on the same mission. Whenever you read, or hear of United Methodists feeding people or building a university in Africa, responding to the 911 crisis in New York, the Tsunami in Asia, the earthquake in Indonesia, the floods in Louisiana, the drought in Sahara Africa or the fires in the west, Park Hill is there. We are connected to hundreds and thousands of local congregations within our conference and throughout the world. We are connected through the United Methodist Church to offer Christ to a hurting world.
In this season of Lent, come and hear Dr. King talk about what it means to suffer for the cause of Christ. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. effectively combined the teachings and tactics of Mahatma Gandhi, with the philosophy of Henry David Thoreau and the style of and humility of Jesus Christ to become the “Prince of Peace” for an age that was at war on many fronts. He fought and won a war with the weapons of peaceful non-violent resistance.
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.” I would venture to add that within the last 42 years, we have managed to lengthen the shadow and influence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Even within the most inaccessible corners of the earth, places where roads do not go and planes cannot land; in the thickest jungles, in the driest deserts, in the most remote villages, in the mountains and in the valleys there are people living who have heard of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Every international visitor to the State of Georgia asks to visit the grave of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This month we are very proud to have a member of the King family visit with us here at Park Hill.
On Saturday, March 19, the Centennial Committee sponsored a Prayer Brunch with special guest Dr. Derek King, nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Click here to view photos of this wonderful event!