C.B. Akins to lead College’s MLK Day observances

C.B. Akins to lead College’s MLK Day observances

Dec. 20, 2016 

Dr. C.B. Akins, Sr. will speak to the Maryville College community on Mon., Jan. 16, during the College’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observances.

Akins will speak at 10:30 a.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall. The title of his presentation is “Dr. King Had a Dream, How About You?”

Akins, pastor of First Baptist Bracktown Church in Lexington, Ky., is an in-demand speaker for revivals and conferences across the country and is often called upon to support and to be a voice for disenfranchised cultures. He is the author of the book From Burden to Blessing.

Akins earned a master of divinity degree and a doctor of ministry degree from Lexington Theological Seminary. He also holds degrees from the Defense Language Institute, University of Maryland, Draughon’s Business College, Paducah Community College and University of Kentucky. He served in the United States Air Force from 1969 until 1973 and was honorably discharged as a multilingual interpreter. From 1973 until 1980, he taught foreign languages in the Military Intelligence Division of the U.S. Army Reserves. He has studied eight additional languages, including Czechoslovakian, Russian, Chinese, Mandarin, German, French, Greek, Hebrew and Latin.

Having responded to the call to ministry in 1977, he was licensed to preach and was ordained. In 1983, he accepted the call to pastor First Baptist Bracktown Church and has grown the church exponentially. He has an affiliation with the Progressive National Baptist Convention, General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, and the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

He has served on numerous boards, including Commerce Lexington, Fayette Educational Foundation, One Community One Voice, African-American Education Coalition, University of Kentucky President’s Commission on Diversity, Simmons College of Kentucky, and Midway College. In 2015, he was appointed by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to serve as vice chair of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees.

The MLK Day event, which is sponsored by Maryville College’s Multicultural Center and Black Student Alliance, is free and open to the public. Voices of Praise, Maryville College’s gospel choir, will perform during the event, and Maryville College students will give readings.

Following the program, a “soul food” lunch menu will be served in the Margaret Ware Dining Room of Pearsons Hall. The cost is $8.50 for members of the public, payable at the door.

For more information about the event, please contact Larry Ervin, director of multicultural affairs at Maryville College, at 865.981.8222 or larry.ervin@maryvillecollege.edu

Other MLK celebration events:

Thurs., Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. – Community Forum: What is the Beloved Community? (intended for teens and adults) All are welcome to attend this community forum at the Blount County Public Library to explore Dr. King’s understanding of the Beloved Community. During the event, co-facilitated by Keri Prigmore and Nina Gregg, excerpts from Dr. King's writing and speaking and examples of community-based projects inspired by the idea of the Beloved Community will be used to inspire conversation about our visions of what the Beloved Community could look like in our community. The event is co-sponsored by Blount County Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Blount County United. For more information, email blountcountysurj@gmail.com

Sat., Jan. 14, 2-4 p.m. – MLK Kids & Families Fair at the Blount County Public Library. This family-oriented fair for children of all ages will incorporate a variety of fun activities and educational displays to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Maryville College, Blount County United, and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ Blount County). For more information, email crystal.colter@gmail.com.

Sat., Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. – America 2017 "Moving the Dream Along" at New Providence Presbyterian Church, Westminster Hall (703 West Broadway in Maryville). This youth town hall meeting, organized by the Blount County United Youth Committee with support from each of the three school system superintendents, will consist of a panel of eight youth (two from each high school in Blount County). All youth, come and let your voice be heard and be part of the solution. Parents and all adults, come and support our youth. Let all of us help “Move Dr. King's Dream Along.” For more information, contact Rev. Bill Dickerson at 865.299.1070.

Mon, Jan. 16 – Blount County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration (sponsored by the Blount County MLK Planning Committee):

  • Noon – Parade marchers are asked to assemble at the MLK Community Center (209 East Franklin Street) in Alcoa.
  • 12:30 p.m.– The annual MLK Day March, honoring the peaceful protests that Martin Luther King, Jr. led across the South, will begin at the MLK Center and end at the Clayton Center for the Arts.
  • 2 p.m.– The MLK Celebration Program will begin in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre. The keynote speaker is Renee Kesler, president and CEO of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. The event is free and open to the community. For more information about the march or celebration program, email belinda.kenny@maryvillecollege.edu or admccord@ftb.com.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester is 1,181.