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

Milligan College, TN (Feb. 13, 2009) — Reverend Harold Middlebrook, a friend and fellow civil rights activist of the late Martin Luther King Jr., will speak at Milligan College on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m. in Seeger Memorial Chapel as part of the college’s annual Multicultural Awareness Week.

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.”

Middlebrook’s lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Nathan Flora at 423.461.8748.

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MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university 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 University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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