Trevecca Nazarene University students and faculty have planned a weekend of activities for commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day that we remember not just a man, but also our history and our future,” said Matt Spraker, Trevecca’s associate dean of students for community life. “Dr. King was not only an amazing leader, but also an amazing man—a person with flaws who was able to be used to implement change in the world, one step at a time. And he never did it alone.”
On Saturday, Jan. 19, prior to the official holiday on Monday, Trevecca students will participate in a city-wide MLK Jr. Day of Service. Officials from Trevecca’s J.V Morsch Center of Social Justice at Trevecca helped to organize the event which will include a number of local universities and colleges and involve service projects around the city.
This is the fifth consecutive year that Trevecca’s student body has participated in the event. Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice sees the weekend event as an important part of fulfilling the University’s mission to serve.
“Trevecca is all about developing students for leadership and service,” he said. “We want to be equipping and shaping our students for service as part of their educational opportunity.”
The event also allows students to work alongside students from other Nashville-area schools and universities, allowing them to experience both diversity and unity.
“It’s neat to see students coming together and serving no matter what university they’re from,” Casler continued. “It’s a day where all students become one unified student body to serve our local community. I think that’s the beauty of this day, remembering Martin Luther King and his life of service to others.”
Students who have participated in the past regard their experience as very positive and rewarding.
“Each year, I am amazed to talk with the other people involved in the service day,” says Lindsey Seller, a senior at Trevecca. “There are people from all over Nashville, with amazing diversity, united in the pursuit of bettering our shared community. Getting to know others with a similar passion and care for the health of our community is encouraging and tends to leave me inspired to continue to seek the ‘shalom’ of this place we live in.”
Additional event designed to commemorate and celebrate King’s life are scheduled at Trevecca throughout the weekend.
“The day of service is only part of a weekend celebration of Dr. King’s life,” Casler said. “We are also encouraging students to attend a multicultural church on Sunday, Jan. 20, and then on Monday, Jan. 21, Dean Spraker and I are hosting a MLK chapel from 6:30 to 7:30p.m.”
While classes are not in session on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the evening chapel will still take place in Boone Convocation Center and include a special guest, Ernest “Rip” Patton Jr.
“We have an awesome chapel that evening with music from the School of Music and Worship Arts, students presenting spoken word poetry, multimedia student reflections and a special word from Dr. Patton who was a freedom rider and an active participant in the civil rights movement,” Spraker said.
Patton, a Nashville native, is a civil rights activist and veteran of the Freedom Riders. Active in the Nashville student movement of the 1960s, Patton participated in sit-ins, stand-ins and boycotts. Patton regularly shares about his experiences with groups around the city and the country.
Chapel is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Boone Convocation Center and will be livestreamed at streaming.trevecca.edu.