Nashville service marks anniversary of March on Washington - WSMV Channel 4

Nashville service marks anniversary of historic March on Washington

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The Rev. Charles Kimbrough The Rev. Charles Kimbrough
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

People across the country are marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech and the March on Washington, and that includes folks in Nashville.

About 100 people gathered Wednesday at a Nashville chapel to listen to the message King delivered.

For them, it was all history, but for the Rev. Charles Kimbrough, his memories came alive, because he was there outside the Lincoln Memorial on that day in 1963.

"We had a mission, and the mission was for jobs and freedom," Kimbrough said.

It was not a pleasure trip or a middle-age adventure when Kimbrough decided to take a bus from southern Illinois to Washington that summer. He was 36 years old and a community leader with a congregation demanding change.

Today, he's proud that some of it has happened.

"We've come along way. But if you look at the conditions even now, we have a long way to go," Kimbrough said.

Inside Benton Chapel at Vanderbilt University, the sermon Wednesday was mostly delivered through the powerful, historic speeches addressed to not only the 300,000 people assembled on the National Mall, but also those around the world.

"When I hear it again, it kind of makes me think, 'What is our responsibility today to continue the dream?' And what can we do, as students or citizens of the world, to progress what Dr. King had as a dream," said Vanderbilt student Alva Powell.

For those still active in the civil rights movement, the question is where to go from here. Now, at 86 years old, Kimbrough says it's time to pass that baton to Powell and her generation.

"We've come along way. I just don't think it's time to sit down yet," Kimbrough said.

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