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Home Features Reverend Dr. Roosevelt Gray Shares Thoughts on MLK’s “I Have a Dream”...

President Friederich introduces Dr. Roosevelt Gray, Jr. before his presentation on Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 23.

Photo by Robin Consier


by Madison Pitsch

55 years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic March on Washington D.C, Dr. Roosevelt Gray, Jr. encouraged the crowd at Concordia University Nebraska to continue choosing love in a society that chooses hate.

As part of the Concordia Student Committee for Diversity and Inclusion’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Gray was invited to speak in honor and as a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 15. Gray currently works “as the director of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod Black Ministry, reaching out to black communities, ministering to African immigrants, and providing guidance to congregations on ministering to minority groups,” according to a press release from Concordia University Nebraska.

Echoing Dr. King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech, Gray reminded the audience that violence only produces violence. It is love that changes the heart. He told the audience that what the Civil Rights Movement of the past desired was true equality; that liberty is the key to equality.

“Freedom is the eternal value, and is the core of the promises that the United States of America made in the Declaration of Independence,” Gray said. “They promised life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to every man. And these are inalienable.”

Gray spoke of growing up in a segregated community of Montgomery, Alabama, where everybody was accustomed to “the system” of segregation.

“It is something embedded in the culture,” Gray said.

Gray said that he had never gone to school with a white person from kindergarten through high school. He told a story of how his own friend’s father didn’t like him because of his skin color. After being bothered by his hatred, Gray’s father told him that it was his own problem, and that Dr. Gray should always love and care for others.

Dr. Gray’s father’s advice has been an integral part of his continuing ministry to black communities, minority groups and African immigrants. He urged the crowd to look at the world through God’s perspective.

“You can’t be afraid of the world. You have to learn how to serve them as they are,” Gray said. “The only choice is to love your neighbor. You have to sit at a lot of Samaritan wells.”


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