St. Thomas to hold Martin Luther King service on Sunday

John Thompson • Jan 14, 2020 at 8:16 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A community celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held Sunday, Jan. 19, beginning at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 815 E. Second St. in the Downtown Historic District.

“It is a fitting and beautiful statement about our city and our faith that in a church built by slave peoples making bricks on site and then laying them to raise this House of God in 1861, that we here today celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of love of Jesus for all of us,” said the Rev. Thomas Holder, priest and pastor of St. Thomas.

A highlight of the event will be music by sisters Loretta Bowers and Minister Teresa Bowers Parker.

Both of the sisters were singers in New York City. Loretta returned to her hometown of Elizabethton years ago and Teresa followed her after retiring from Broadway.

“From Elizabethton, Tennesseen comes these two gifted daughters who sing, preach and live the power of the God of love and justice for all,” Holder said. “This is the message of Dr. King, that God is great in each and every one of his children, here in Elizabethton, Carter County, and around the whole wide world.

The Bowers sisters will lead traditional spirituals known throughout America’s struggle for freedom and justice, including “We Shall Overcome,” “Glory, Glory Hallelujah,” and “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired,” and King’s favorite “If I Can Help Somebody.” Pat Van Zandt will accompany on the piano.