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MLK Jr. friend and fellow civil rights leader to speak at Milligan

Campus to spend afternoon serving the local community 

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (January 18, 2007) Reverend Harold Middlebrook, a f riend and fellow civil rights activist of the late Martin Luther King Jr., will speak at Milligan College next week as part of the college’s annual service day to honor the life and legacy of King as the “Picture of a Servant Leader.”

In lieu of classes on Tuesday, Jan. 22, the campus will attend an 11 a.m. convocation and reflection service in Seeger Chapel with Middlebrook and the E.T.S.U. Gospel Choir and then spend the afternoon in service to the local community.

“This day of service is part of Milligan’s ongoing dedication to serving others. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and dreams reflect Milligan’s mission of servant leadership and it is appropriate for us to dedicate ourselves to serving those around us,” said Beth Anderson, director of Milligan College ‘s Institute for Servant Leadership.

Middlebrook first became involved with the civil rights movement during his student years at Morehouse College ( Ga. ) in the early 1960s. It was at Morehouse that he met King, then president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Middlebrook’s association with the King family continued as he served as the youth minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where both King and his father held pastorates.

In 1968, Middlebrook served on the strategy committee of the Community on the Move for Equality (COME) and was instrumental in securing the appearance of King in support of the Memphis strikes. On April 4, King met with friends, including Middlebrook, at the Lorraine Motel just prior to his assassination.

Middlebrook continued to pastor churches and serve the Baptist Conventions after King’s death and remained politically active throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1986, he founded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Commission of Greater Knoxville, which he chaired until 2000. Middlebrook has appeared in several films on the civil rights movement, including the 1998 Oliver Stone documentary “Assassinated: The Last Days of King and Kennedy.”  He is currently the pastor at Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Knoxville , Tenn.

“ It is an honor and special privilege to have someone share at our MLK service who marched alongside of Dr. King, ” said Nathaniel Moultrie, director of diversity services at Milligan. “ Specifically, Rev. Middlebrook can give insight, perspective and literally a piece of history into Dr. King’s legacy as we commemorate the 40 th year since his assassination.”

Middlebrook’s lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Beth Anderson, Milligan College director of the Institute for Servant Leadership at 423.461.8316, orBAnderson@milligan.edu.

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MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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