by Aisling Maki, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’.’s legacy of encouraging inclusion and tolerance, the Mid-South Baptist Association (MSBA) will build on its ongoing commitment to diversity by hosting the Unite Memphis – Martin 50 Concert and Commemoration Rally at Mud Island Amphitheater in Downtown Memphis on Sept. 29.

“There’s a tremendous transformation taking place within the City of Memphis, within our association and within the Body of Christ,” said the Rev. Derrick Joyce, MSBA moderator. “It really shows the power of love, the power of forgiveness, and whether from a spiritual aspect or from a leadership capacity.

“As Dr. King would say, we’re beginning to judge each other by the content of our character versus the color of our skin. We invite everyone to join us as we commit to racial diversity within the faith community and beyond.”

The event will offer fellowship opportunities between congregations, non-profit organizations and citizens from myriad ethnic and cultural backgrounds and walks of life. It will include a celebration concert featuring a variety of musical artists from different genres, as well as food, preaching, dancing , and a pastors’ forum.

In addition to Joyce, the key speakers will include Dr. Charles Fowler, senior pastor at Germantown Baptist Church; Dr. Bartholomew Orr of Brown Baptist Church; Dr. Fred Shackelford of Ellendale Baptist Church; and Dr. Danny Sinquefield from Faith Baptist Bartlett Church. The event will culminate with a call for unity and commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Doors The Unite Memphis – Martin 50 Concert and Commemoration Rally will be held Saturday, September 29 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Doors open at 10 a.m. The event is free and registration is open at  unitememphismartin50.eventbrite.com.