Pickens hosts annual MLK Day celebration

PICKENS — The Pickens community held its annual celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday.

The celebration, undertaken as a joint venture between the congregations of Pickens Presbyterian Church and Griffin Ebenezer Baptist Church, began with a 9 a.m. breakfast at Pickens Presbyterian, followed by a walk from the church to the steps of the Pickens County Courthouse.

At the courthouse, speakers ranging from Pickens Mayor David Owens and Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark to preachers from a handful of area churches delivered words of inspiration to the crowd on hand. A community mass choir also presented moving musical selections.

Rev. Carl Allmond of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church was the guest speaker for the event, delivering a message of unity and urging residents to join together with one voice to continue to build on Dr. King’s dream.

In addition, Owens presented special “I Fan The Flame” awards to three Pickens city councilmen — Carlton Holley, Fletcher Perry and Isaiah Scipio — during the event.

“We felt it appropriate to recognize these three men, on Martin Luther King Day and during Black History month, for their extraordinary contributions to the growth, success and well-being of our city and its residents,” Owens said in a press release. “We recognize them not only for representing the African-American members of the community at council, but for what they do for all the citizens of Pickens.

“They certainly have earned our respect and trust,” he added.
In addition to serving as councilmen, all three have been and continue to be active throughout the community — in church activities, on special boards and with various civic and government committees.

By recognizing the three individual councilmen, the city will transition to the new “flame” program, which starts in March.
“We Fan The Flame” will recognize the ways various academic, charitable, youth, adult, civic and religious organizations help to “fan the flame” in Pickens. Applications will soon be available online at and at the PRA office.