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Crump Delivers Stirring Message At MLK Celebration Ecumenical Service
1/18/2017 4:05:32 PM

Morris Street Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Leonard Griffin leads the congregation in worship at the ecumenical service during the YWCA’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration Sunday, January 15 (All photos are courtesy of The YWCA of Greater Charleston, taken by Denva Simpson)

(l-r) Sandy Tecklenburg, YWCA Board Chair Kerri Forrest, City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenberg and Garcia Williams pose for a photo during the ecumenical service Sunday at Morris Street Baptist Church

Attorney Benjamin Crump addressing the congregation

Church service attendess join hands in unity during the ecumenical service at Morris Street Baptist Church in Downtown Charleston

(l-r) Garcia Williams, Christine Jackson(former and YWCA executive director) and Lucille Whipper captured in a moment at the church service held Sunday afternoon

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Ecumenical Service was well attended with over 1,000 attendees filling up the pews at Morris Street Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon. The joyous and spirited occasion saw a diverse crowd from young to old with various ethnic backgrounds coming together to commemorate the life and legacy of the aforementioned civil rights icon. This year marked the 45th annual MLK celebration which is one of the longest running events in Charleston hosted by the YCWA of Greater Charleston.
By Kurt Walker

Noted attorney and civil rights activist Benjamin Crump was in Charleston this past Sunday as the keynote speaker at the Charleston branch of the YWCA as part of their 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. holiday events and activities.

Crump addressed a full house that included others on the program such as Congressman Jim Clyburn and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Charleston Branch President Dot Scott was honored at the program and was the recipient of the Harvey B. Gantt award for her committed work to civil and human rights. As Crump echoed the philosophy of Dr. King and his commitment to brotherhood it was then that his words as it would several times during his address that it connected with the audience, “Brotherhood understands how deeply connected we are…it was the sense of brotherhood and I know I’m preaching to the choir Mr. Mayor but it was the sense of brotherhood that caused a small bible study group at Emanuel A.M.E. church to welcome an outsider in the midst of their worship of the Lord’s word…” stated Crump.

Crump would also address several other events that involved police related shootings that were captured on video; the Walter Scott shooting and trial were among them. Crump addressed his regard for the President-elect Donald Trump. ” It is incumbent upon President-elect Trump to set the tone for America and denounce division, racism and negativism as he becomes President of all America. It is essential that his Attorney General embraces and upholds the high purpose of his office and become the champion of civil rights of all Americans,” stated Crump.

The event was streamed live via Facebook and was viewed by several thousand viewers online. Isiah Reese, President and co-founder of the Ben Crump Social Justice Institute was on hand as well, as the organization made a substantial gift valued at to the YWCA organization. Reese stated, “We are here for the MLK celebration and also to announce the gift to the YWCA, a value at nearly $900k to technology and public service courses…so that they [YWCA served population] can go forward and have sustainable lives. “As stated on the organization’s website, the mission of the BCSJI is to foster opportunities to ensure that the fair and proper administration of laws that safeguard the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender identity, possessions, or socioeconomic status are treated equally and without prejudice not only in the legal system but in life.

BCSJI is slated to be present on college campuses all across the country. For more information on BCSJI, contact Barbara J. Locke Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at or call (866)-98-BCSJI and visit them online at

Hollaback! Get at Kurt Walker on Twitter (@walkerkurt). 

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