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Three finalists named in MLK Oratorical contest


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent 

  Three local high school students are vying for a $1,000 scholarship in conjunction with next month’s MLK holiday.

  The Rho Sigma Lambda (South Metro) chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is sponsoring “Moving Beyond The Dream: Commemorating The Legacy of Brother Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” The event is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Student Activities Center at Clayton State University.

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  The winner of the organization’s first MLK Oratorical Award will be announced there. Finalists for the award are Christian Merritt, Amari Roberts and Coby Rose. All are students at Eagle’s Landing High School.

  The winner is expected to give his or her seven-minute speech at the luncheon. The final round of the competition was last weekend at Shiloh Baptist Church in McDonough, with entries based on this theme: “In the 21st century, what is the role of youth in ensuring that Dr. King’s dream becomes a reality?”

  Contestants have participated in public speaking workshops sponsored by Shiloh Baptist Church, Toastmasters and Alpha Phi Alpha, according to fraternity spokesman Lawrence Lyle.

  “There are no losers in this oratorical competition,” said Lyle.

  The keynote speaker for the luncheon is the Rev. Dr. Walter L. Kimbrough, a member of the fraternity who has built a ministry of more than 50 years of evangelism, pastoral care, teaching, preaching, and community service. He has provided leadership at all levels of the United Methodist Church in Illinois and Georgia.

  From 1974 to 2006 he was pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, which grew from fewer than 100 to more than 7,000 members during his tenure. He came out of retirement in 2012 to serve as pastor of Columbia Drive United Methodist Church.

  In addition to a number of UMC leadership roles, he has been a member of several high-profile boards for Atlanta-area organizations. The Atlanta native has received many honors and awards, including three honorary doctorate degrees, and is a published author. He is a husband, father and grandfather.

  Visit rhosigmalambdaalphas .org for information about the luncheon and the fraternity. Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased at the web site using a PayPal link. The fraternity, which Lyle said is “on the move in supporting youth,” is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization.



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