Union Parish schedules MLK ceremony for this weekend - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Union Parish schedules MLK ceremony for this weekend

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UNION PARISH, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Memorial set for Saturday in Farmerville.

The Union Parish community will remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the late Nobel Peace Prize-winning civil rights leader with its first memorial celebration Saturday.

Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue will be the keynote speaker. Parish officials declared Jan.19, and each Saturday before the 3rd Monday in January in future years, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Farmerville and in Union Parish.

According to Willie Payne, this event is long overdue.

"It came about after conversation with myself and Reverend Willie Simmons and I told him, ‘Look, let's make this happen,'" Payne, chairman of the Union Parish MLK Planning Committee, said about a chat with Simmons, pastor of Mount Union Baptist in Marion, La.

Each year Payne participates in the Lincoln Parish MLK march and celebration and he would wonder why Union Parish doesn't have its own King celebration. The Farmerville resident said he realized someone had to get it going.

"After the light clicked on last year, we formed a diverse committee and from that day on, we worked extremely hard to bring this special program to people," said Payne, a retired police officer and former mayor of Pontiac, Mich. "Though his death took place over 50 years ago, it remains important for residents and people to learn about (him)."

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