Glenwood Lutheran Church’s MLK Celebration

State Sen. Paula Hicks Hudson speaks

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

Glenwood Lutheran Church hosted a celebration to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The celebration was hosted at their church, located on Monroe Avenue in Toledo on Sunday, January 14, 2024.

Pastor Chris Hanley, Mark Hill and Bishop Daniel Beaudoin each delivered warm greetings to the congregation and guests in attendance. “Thank you for joining us this afternoon,” shared Bishop Beaudoin.

Several individuals led scriptural and spoken words during the serving including: Pastor Brenda Penconge, Ruth Whittle and Raiden Browning, and Pastor Rebecca West-Estell.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s String Quartet members: Antonin Dvorak, John Dowland, George Walker, Jennifer Higdon, and Robert Schumann supported several congregational and community hymns that were sung and played throughout the program. This included “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “Talk About a Child that Do Love Jesus,” “Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet,” “We Shall Overcome,” “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” “Climb Every Mountain” and “Shine Jesus Shine.”

In addition to the Quartet, Toledo Interfaith Mass Choir presented several selections. “Thank you for inviting us again for the second year,” began Director Brian Thomas. “When I say ‘praise the Lord,’ I want you say ‘Praise the Lord,’ back to me. The Toledo Interfaith Mass Choir has been around for 35 years and thank you for inviting us.”

Pastor Rebecca West-Estell delivered the introduction of the guest speaker Ohio Senator Paula Hicks-Hudson. “It’s a pleasure to introduce a phenomenal woman,” began Pastor West-Estell. “I found her bio on Wikipedia. When you have Wikipedia page, believe me, you have arrived.”

Hicks-Hudson spoke about the fact that Dr King’s legacy was more than just a dream. “Thank you for inviting me to speak today,” she began. “I must admit, when I first got this title, I had a negative reaction to it. Dr. King wasn’t just a dreamer. We do him a disservice. We do a disservice to the people who marched with him, sang with him, fought with him and died with him. He was more than just a dreamer. Just one of his many contributions. He fought against the war before there was federal protections, before cell phones were used to capture police brutality.”

Hicks-Hudson received a standing ovation from the congregation and guests in attendance.

The 2024 Celebration was organized by Glenwood Lutheran Church, Olivet Lutheran Church, Memorial Lutheran Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Ascension Lutheran Church, First Saint John Lutheran Church, Redeemer Lutheran Church and many other faith and community partners.

The Steering Committee included: Ruth Whittle, Chair, Pastor Chris Hanley and Dorothy Harris of Glenwood; Mike Linehan and Amy Dixon of Olivet; Pastor Brenda Peconge of Grace; Pastor Rebecca West-Estell of Memorial; and Anthony Pattin, DMin, of First Saint John.

The celebration concluded with a reception in the lower level of the church.