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King — a man who did not flee his assignment

Local residents reflect on civil rights leader

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Members of the Greater Christ Temple Church in Bellefontaine clap as sister Karen Cane leads them in praise during a Sunday afternoon service in which they reflected on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose Jan. 15 birthday is celebrated today as a national holiday. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Unlike Jonah of biblical times, Martin Luther King Jr. did not run from the challenging responsibilities God laid at his feet, a local congregation leader told her flock.

Karen Cane of the Greater Christ Temple Church in Bellefontaine incorporated the civil rights leader — whose Jan. 15, 1929, birthday is celebrated nationwide today — into her sermon Sunday on answering God’s call to service.

“Martin Luther King did not run the other direction from his purpose. He faced his fears and brought peace to this nation and we are still reaping the benefits today,” Ms. Cane said.

She contrasted Dr. King’s courage with the tale of Jonah, who fled in terror and revulsion, leading him eventually into the belly of a great fish, when he was called upon by God to deliver the people of Nineveh from their sins.

“A city, a people needed Jonah; they were depending on Jonah to say yes to his assignment,” Ms. Cane said, before asking: “What if Martin Luther King had chosen to run the other way? We would not be living in peace today. Black and white would not be at peace like they are.”

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