WVU Parkersburg NEWS
Dec. 18, 2009
Eyewitness to history to be featured at celebration of life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
CONTACT: Debbie Richards, special assistant to the president for policy and social justice, 304-424-8201.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
An eyewitness to history will be the featured speaker Wednesday, Jan. 13, at a community celebration of the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The free 6:30 p.m. program will be held at West Virginia University at Parkersburg in the college's multi-purpose room. It is open to the public and co-sponsored by DuPont Washington Works and WVU Parkersburg's Social Justice Committee.
Featured will bethe Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a distinguished national speaker, pastor and civil rights leader. He is the only person still living who was with Dr. King in his final hour. Rev. Kyles will share his own personal experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, including his eyewitness account of the assassination of Dr. King.
Theme of the celebration is "The Power of a Dream." The program will also feature the Voices of Triumph Gospel Community Choir, a group of more than 20 singers from churches in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Rev. Kyles has served as pastor of Monumental Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, since 1959. Having participated in many of the civil rights struggles throughout the South, he is recognized as a resource on the Civil Rights Movement. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Tennessee Living Legend Award in 1992, and has appeared on the television documentaries, "Who Shot Martin Luther King?", "At the River I Stand," and "The Trial of James Earl Ray." He was appointed by the Clinton administration to serve on the Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad and has served as a panelist at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes. Rev. Kyles was also appointed by Lieutenant Governor Wilder to serve on the Tennessee Judicial Selection Committee.
Rev. Kyles was with Dr. King when he was assassinated and is the only person still living to have spent the last hour with Dr. King. Rev. Kyles has inspired audiences all over the country with his powerful message about hopes and dreams, in which he shares stories about his own personal experiences.cd12/18/09A reception will follow in the multi-purpose room.
The program is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusion or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Also providing financial assistance are the WV Higher Education Policy Commission, Council for Community and Technical College Education, The Oakland Foundation, The Bernard McDonough Foundation and Peoples Bank.
For additional information, contact:
(304-424-8203 - Office)