The following article ran one year after Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. In it Bishop Smallwood E. Williams, pastor of Washington, D.C.’s Bibleway Church and speaking at Howard University, talks about how he prays King’s dream will not be forgotten.
April 12, 1969
Washington- Bishop Smallwood E. Williams, presiding bishop of Bibleway Church, World Wide, and pastor of the local Bibleway Chruch, prayed that America never permit Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream become “the impossible dream.”
Delivering the invocation at memorial services for the Rev. Dr. King Jr. on the first anniversary of his assassination, at Howard University last week, Bishop Williams urged that “we carry the torch of non-violence which he held so high.”
The full text of the invocation given by Bishop Williams follows:
“Eternal God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would thank Thee that Thou hath honored the purpose of our gathering we thank Thee for sending unto us – to this Nation and the world our great, departed leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., possessor of unique gifts and dignity graces and eloquence of rare beauty.
“He was profoundly inspiring and challenging to his generation. The potency of his personality was marked by social progress, moral and ethical reform.
“Thou sent him to us as thou sent Moses to Egypt to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery and bondage. We sincerely pray that the rich heritage of his philosophy may continue to inspire our Nation and Race to develop a social order of love, equality, brotherhood and compassion for the Black people, poor people and socially disinherited people, dignity and justice for all people.
“May the toruch of non-violence which he held so high continue to burn brightly in spite of the gross darkness that is covering our world today.
“May we never permit his dream to be an impossible dream- may we never surrender to the enemy which he fought so courageously- so bravely and heroically until the end.
“Now in his dwelling place among the immortal, grant that as a perpetual and imperishable memorial to his sainted memory that there is no future postponement – procrastination and delay- of the righteous demands that he made on the American establishment for a regeneration of our Society.”