By Michael Daniels
For the 45th year in a row, Toledo’s Kitchen for The Poor celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the adjoining LoSalem Missionary Baptist Church, hosted by the Savage family. This tradition was started by the late Rev. Harvey Savage Sr. and has been kept alive by his children. The service is attended by a devoted church crowd, and people from the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as, influential city leaders.
As always, this year’s program not only lifted up the name of Dr. King but they also praised the name of the Lord Jesus and God.
The service began with a welcome from Harvey Savage Jr. Executive Director of The MLK Kitchen for the Poor. He was followed by Minister Nadine Hadley, who offered the opening prayer and Minister Bryann Rogers, orchestrated the praise and worship portion of the service.
The Conductor of the Service was Minister John F. Savage, who was followed by the LoSalem praise dancer, Aleah Williams, Liyah Benton, and Janiya Fail. Guest speaker for the day was, Minister Kenneth Campbell.
The theme for Minister Campbell speech was, ‘Changing the Generation’ he said “What I mean by Changing the Generation is instead of always looking down on the generation below us, we need to reach out as the older generation and guide them. We expect our young people to do better things than they are doing. We the want fathers to father better and mothers to mother better. Yet in all reality we missing it as the dreamers, we haven’t taught them what they should be.”
He quoted Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” Minister Campbell further stated, “We the older generation are the dreamers and we owe it to the younger generation to reach back and show them the correct way to go in 2020. We must also show them more love because the Bible says ‘love changes all things’.”
After the service, everyone lined up outside the church to participate in a symbolic march around Savage Park to honor the many marches and the works of Dr. Martin Luther King. The march ended and everyone was served a lite lunch enjoying the fellowship of those who attended the service.
When asked why they still do this service every year.
Harvey Savage Jr. said, “We do this to essentially keep Dr. Kings Dream alive. If we look at the teaching of Dr. King it is all about humanity and us coming together, and everybody sharing in the wealth of this nation. We want to be a part of that wealth, but if no one is standing up for it we won’t go anywhere as a people.”
He noted, “In this community, right here, 38% of our children live in poverty and we need to straighten this out. Unfortunately, the mode in this country is pretty polarized and negative. If we want to improve this situation we must come together. This is one of the things that Dr. King taught us and this is what we must do. That’s why we continue to do this service every year so we don’t forget Dr. King and his teachings,” he said.