A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Calhoun Community College will pay tribute to influential civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the college’s annual celebration program scheduled for Thursday, January 23, 2020. This year’s program, hosted by the college’s Black Students’ Alliance (BSA), will begin at 11 a.m. on Calhoun’s Decatur campus in the Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The program is free and open to the public.
The featured speaker for this year’s program is Reverend Dr. Willie D. McClung, pastor of Holt Street Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL. A native of Pickens County, Alabama, McClung graduated from Summerville Industrial High School in Aliceville, Alabama. He later obtained an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Wayne County Community College, a Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University, a Master of Arts Degree in Urban Affairs, Sociology from the University of Detroit as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Sociology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
His pastoral experience first began in 1959 at Stephen Chapel church in Columbus, Mississippi. In 1962 through 1978, he served as pastor of New Grace Baptist church in Highland Park, Michigan, and later founded the Wayne County Prescriptive Learning Center and Le Cafeteria, LTD in Detroit. McClung went on to serve as an instructor, Chairman of the Division of Business & Computer Science and Business Manager at Mary Holmes College in West Point, MS. In 1985, he accepted a pastoral role at Mt. Hermon Baptist Church in West Point, MS while also serving as a sociology instructor at Ministerial Institute and College in West Point, MS.
In 1992, McClung returned to Alabama and became the 8th pastor to lead Holt Street Memorial Baptist Church. Under his leadership, the church broke ground on “The Village” in 1998. This building consists of a sanctuary that seats over 1,000, an education building that houses the Child Development Center, the Academy, the I. S. Fountain Chapel, the Performing Arts /Theatre, as well as the creation of The W. D. McClung Family Life Center.
Recently celebrating its 110th anniversary, the church reflected back on Monday December 5, 1955 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., newly elected President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, lead 5,000 people who gathered at Holt Street Baptist Church for a mass meeting that was sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat on a bus. This mass meeting which was held in the church launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott. To honor its rich history, “Memorial” was added to the church’s name, becoming Holt Street Memorial Baptist Church as well as the birthplace of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Aside from his pastoral experience, McClung has been recognized for several Leadership Awards presented by the Department of Housing in Birmingham, AL, State of Michigan and City of Highland Park, Michigan. He also received Service Awards from Miles and Mary Holmes College, as well as an Alumnus of the Year Award from Wayne Community College, Who’s Who Among Black Americans and he was listed as a Top Ten Student during his time at Miles College.
Among his educational and pastoral accomplishments, Dr. McClung has authored three books: Who’s Who in The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Black Baptist Pastors, The Black Baptist Church and Social Change: A Survey of Attitudes and Practices from Selected Churches in Detroit, and A Study of the Merger of Community Health Associated with Blue Cross Insurance.
Dr. McClung is married to Mary Jean McClung. They are the proud parents of Dr. Willie David McClung, II, Dr. Rosemary Hodges, Bonita Stewart, SSG RaShon McClung and LaDawn Shepherd. They have 14 grandchildren and 19 great grand children.
For more information about Calhoun’s MLK program, please contact Ms. Carla Larry at 256.306.2540.
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