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The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington was dedicated by President Obama on Oct. 16, 2011. Photo by Maile Bradfield, United Methodist Communications.

Photo by Maile Bradfield, United Methodist Communications

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington was dedicated by President Obama on Oct. 16, 2011.

United Methodists share MLK’s dream

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the face of the African-American civil rights movement throughout the 1960s until his assassination on April 4, 1968.

The United Methodist Church recognizes “the right of individuals to dissent when acting under the constraint of conscience and, after having exhausted all legal recourse, to resist or disobey laws that they deem to be unjust or that are discriminately enforced.” Therefore, many United Methodists joined King in his march toward equality, and in his wake, those United Methodist voices continue to advocate for justice for all, as their faith calls them to.

Though King's death was years or even decades before they were born, his vision has influenced countless young people who reflect and give gratitude for how the struggles of previous generations have benefited them and shaped their lives. People of all ages are grateful for King’s leadership and for those United Methodists who walked with him.

The Rev. Gil Caldwell walks with MLK at a rally in Boston in 1958. Courtesy: the Rev. Gil Caldwell.

The Rev. Gil Caldwell: Sharing MLK’s Dream

'One can never be at rest when one knew Martin King.' Retired pastor stood with civil rights leader then, and continues fight for justice today. View

The Rev. James Lawson speaks about nonviolence at First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., the site of a 1961 confrontation between Freedom Riders and an angry mob. 2009 file photo by Kathy L. Gilbert,  United Methodist News Service.

The Rev. James Lawson: Sharing MLK’s Dream

“Love and truth and compassion still are the only ways.” The Rev. James Lawson recalls what he learned from MLK. View

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery's Ninety Years Birthday Celebration at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, October 9, 2011 included a birthday song by Stevie Wonder.  Next to Rev. Lowery is his wife of 60 years, Evelyn Lowery. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery: Sharing MLK’s Dream

“The fear of death...never affected his commitment.” The Rev. Joseph Lowery describes his time with Martin Luther King Jr. View

Victor Cyrus-Franklin serves as an assistant pastor at Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Photo provided by Victor Cyrus-Franklin.

Victor Cyrus-Franklin: Sharing MLK’s Dream

"We can learn from what happened then to help us learn what...to do now." Young pastor recalls the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. View

Retired United Methodist Bishop Melvin G. Talbert .A UMNS file photo by John C. Goodwin.

Bishop Melvin Talbert: Sharing MLK’s Dream

“I was privileged to be in the same jail cell with him for three days and three nights.” Bishop Melvin Talbert recalls the influence of Martin Luther King Jr. View

Bishop James Thomas: Sharing MLK’s Dream

“Martin was about much more than race.” Bishop James Thomas reflects on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. View

Bishop Felton May at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. May is interim chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose. Photo #GC0088. April 24, 2008. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

Bishop Felton May: Sharing MLK’s Dream

“Thanks be to God for you having the courage to utilize the gifts that God gave you.” Bishop Felton May shares a message to Martin Luther King Jr. View

Dorothy Height, chairwoman of the National Council of Negro Women, received the Church Women United Human Rights Award during a presentation at the United Nations. Height, a longtime member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church in New York and resident of Washington, began her human and civil rights work on the national level in the 1930s. A UMNS 1999 file photo by John C. Goodwin.

Dorothy Height: Sharing MLK’s Dream

"It’s my faith that it is not meant that we should be destroying each other." Hear Dorothy Height speak about values she shared with MLK. View