By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — The Honorable Reverend Doctor Harold Middlebrook delivered a thundering sermon reminiscent of the days he marched with the late Martin Luther King. His message: The nation needs a healing.
Reverend Middlebrook, speaking before the congregation and visitors at St Luke’s Episcopal Church reminded the crowd of the need for the people of the United States to rise up and become active again.
He shared a story of the days of the planning of the Montgomery bus boycotts, sharing the little known fact that it was Ralph Abernathy who suggested Martin Luther King lead the non violent protest of not riding the buses. He spoke of how Abernathy would then go on to back Martin Luther King in his endeavors over the years: encouraging him and using his talents and resources to help King in the struggle and how it would be Abernathy who would hold King in his arms as he died from an assassins bullet.
Reverend Middlebrook told the people the story to remind them that everyone has talents. To unify and serve the people, like Abernathy; not everyone has to be the star. The Reverend spoke of the need to be willing to be a good servant. He urged the people to walk together: to rise up and care; to get involved using their own gifts and talents, to vote, and to get committed to fighting the undercurrent of racism and hatred that has been seething in the United States for decades and has manifested since 2016.
“Get up from your safe places, come out of your comfort zones,” thundered Middlebrook as he took his seat.