TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- St. Paul United Methodist Church was bursting at the seams Monday as hundreds of people poured in to sing, praise and reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.
For years, the Modern Beautician Club has sponsored the birthday celebration to continue the dream.
"We started Dr. King's birthday celebration because this was when they decided to make his birthday a holiday. So we said, 'What are we going to do on Monday since we have a holiday? Let's make this big,'" said organizer Toy McKinney.
But this year's celebration was different. The swearing in of the second term of the first black president happened moments before the local event.
"I was watching the inauguration of the president before I got here, and it just inspired me so much," said John Perry, participant.
The service consisted of prayer, uplifting music and an inspiring message from the guest speaker, the Rev. Jeffrey Gladney of Red Oak Grove Baptist Church.
Gladney spoke candidly about the harsh realities of the past and challenges that are ahead. He said the challenges are opportunities we can overcome if we work together.