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Dr. Martin Luther King interfaith service held in Reno


By Rajan Zed

Professor Benjamin Holden, Church of God in Christ Bishop Luther James DuPree Junior, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, International Community of Christ Bishop Gene Savoy Junior, Trinity Episcopal Church Deacon Patsy Pumphrey and Second Baptist Church Pastor Michael L. Randle. Photo by Robert Roy.
An interfaith community memorial service for civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held in Reno yesterday.

Benjamin Holden, director of the Reynolds National Center for Courts & Media, was the keynote speaker. Other speakers included International Community of Christ Bishop Gene Savoy Junior, Second Baptist Church Pastor Michael L. Randle, Verita Black Prothro, Mary Cooper, Spanish Springs Presbyterian Church Pastor Howard Dotson and Trinity Episcopal Church Deacon Patsy Pumphrey.

Reverend Onie Cooper Humanitarian Awards were presented to Evelyn Mount and Nevada for the Common Good.

The service began with Sanskrit mantras. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the invocation from ancient Hindu scriptures–Rig-Veda, Brahadaranyakopanishad, Bhagavad-Gita, Taittiriya Upanishad–reading in Sanskrit and then translating into English. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that King paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi as one of the important sources of his own values and adapted Gandhi’s idea of civil disobedience to the civil rights movement.

The musical selection “Medley” was performed by Power of Love and directed by Leon W. Smith. The Second Baptist Church choir selection was directed by Jesse Hall. Jim Eaglesmith delivered the African chant “My Whole Self is Well.” The Spirit Singers performed “MLK” and “Join Together.” The Congregational hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” also was part of the service.

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