Pastor Melvin Terry, president of the Black Heritage Foundation


We celebrate this historic Martin Luther King Jr. weekend here in Billings, as a community, schools, faiths, nonprofits, businesses and all our citizens. We are especially inspired to work with and support the various youth groups in our community who will be part of our MLK Jr. Day.

Our theme this year is, "Now Is the Time," emphasizing that the future is today. Now is the time that we all stand together.

This MLK Jr. week is a great chance to meet and get to know the rich culture of our community. This holiday is a good chance to learn about others' heritage and to learn the rich history of MLK Jr. and his legacy.

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration has been observed in Billings since 1994. Since 1998, the Black Heritage Foundation has led many of the celebrations, inviting the community to join in the spirit of Dr. King in seeking expression of justice and equal opportunity for all.

King met opportunities and challenges by quiet, yet firm confrontation rather than reacting in violence. He stressed love for enemies and those opposing his action for peace.

The Black Heritage Foundation will host a dinner at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Walla Walla University, 2520 Fifth Ave. S. We are providing, with your $20 donation, a one-year membership to the Black Heritage Foundation, a wonderful meal/refreshment at the banquet plus some inspiring entertainment.

The Black Heritage Foundation will host this year's MLK Jr. Day main event at 7 p.m. Monday, also at the Walla Walla University located at 2520 Fifth Ave. S. This wonderful program will include music from the Billings Central Catholic Band and Choir and many other local performers. Plus we will have city officials and guest speakers offering words of encouragement on this historical day.

Before the main celebration, we will have our annual 10-15 minute walk from the South Park gazebo to Wall Walla University. The walk starts at 6:15 p.m. Monday.

We also invite you to participate in these free community events during the MLK Jr. Day Weekend:

  • A day of service at the Friendship House from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
  • An ecumenical service at First Congregational Church at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Bell ringing at 9 a.m. Monday in the Montana State University Billings Student Union.

Because we have expenses for our programs, we welcome financial contribution this year. Sponsorship donations may be mailed to Black Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 31001, Billings, MT 59107. Your generosity will cover expenses as printing, insurance needs, food and refreshments and other supplies. None of this will be used for administration.

If you need further information, please e-mail me at allnationschurch@gmail.com. Thank you for sharing in the spirit of Dr. King.




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Pastor Melvin Terry, of Billings, is president of the Black Heritage Foundation.