Well-Known Baltimore Pastor & Former Classmate Recalls Dr. King’s Early Years
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Thousands gather in the nation’s capital to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Vic Carter was there to witness the commemoration.
If you were to ask anyone, most people would have some story about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Few would have the story a man in Baltimore has to tell because he was there with Dr. King in Pennsylvania as they both were in seminary.
His hair has grayed and his speech has slowed, but his memories of his years in school with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are as clear as ever.
“Martin was, of course, nine years younger than I was at that time. And playful as a college student can be,” said Marcus Garvey Wood.
Wood, well-known pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Baltimore, is living history. He remembers the late 1940s when he and other black future preachers integrated Crozier Theological Seminary in Upland, Pa.
Martin Luther King was already a good preacher who showed leadership skills even then.
“We could tell by the aggressiveness of his wanting to lead… because we made him president of the student body,” Wood said.
Reverend Wood and other friends of Martin became concerned when he decided to return to the south, where he was destined to change things. Racial tensions were high and Wood feared for Martin’s safety.
“I’m going south where I am wanted and needed. And so he went to Alabama. And so happened God brought him and Rosa Parks together in a clash over whether she should have gotten up and gave this white man a seat,” he said.
Even then, there were predictions of what could become of such an aggressive leader in the south, where lives had already been lost.
“We felt that he was going to win somewhere down the line, or else be murdered,” said Wood.
We all know the story what happened in the years after Reverend Wood and Dr. King entered the ministry and together fought for civil rights, but it was that incredible speech delivered 50 years ago that we remember most. And today, so does the rest of the nation.
In his speech Wednesday, President Obama said despite the threat of violence and harm, people continue to march. And he encouraged people to keep marching for justice and for peace.