Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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January 18, 2010

MLK speaker: 'World Christians' needed

Says civil-rights leader paved the way for many

ASHLAND--Dr. Acha Goris, a native of the African nation of Cameroon, challenged those attending a Martin Luther King Jr. Day unity service at New Hope Baptist Church Sunday night to follow King’s lead by becoming “world Christians” by being unbiased, unashamed and unyielding.

Goris, who moved to Ashland five months ago to direct the counseling program Lindsey Wilson College offers on the campus of Ashland Community and Technical College, said he was speaking at the seventh annual King service sponsored by the Ashland Area Ministerial Association because of King.

Although he lived in Cameroon and Nigeria until 1999 and did not come to the United States until more than 30 years after King’s death, he was able to further his education in American schools he would not have been able to attend a half century ago and was able to take advantage of opportunities that did not exist for blacks in America until just a few years ago.

“We have come a long way as a society because of the work of Martin Luther King, and I am an example of just how far we have come,” Goris said. “We should not forget that.”

The Apostle Paul was one of the first world Christians, Goris said. A Jew, Paul lived at a time when Jews thought they had special and exclusive access to God and when Greeks thought they were intellectually superior to others, but Paul called himself a “debtor” who owed everything to Jesus. He said that all people were made equal through Jesus Christ, and for that, Paul was persecuted, thrown into jail and rejected by his own people.

“Martin Luther King was not just a preacher for the black person,” Goris said. “He became God’s mouthpiece to the wise and to the foolish, to black and to white, to men and to women.”

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