Plans are shaping up for the annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Lewisburg. This year’s theme revolves around these words of the late civil rights leader: “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

The event on Jan. 20 will begin at 11 a.m. with a march from the Greenbrier County Courthouse on Court Street to the Lewisburg United Methodist Church at the corner of Washington and Lee streets. Everyone is welcome to join this four-block procession.

At the end of the march, a complimentary luncheon will be offered in the church’s Wesley Hall, followed by a program in the sanctuary beginning at 12:30 p.m. Plenty of music is promised, along with the keynote address by Dr. Joseph Evans, dean of the Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta.

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Two days prior to the celebration (Saturday, Jan. 18), Dr. Evans will also give a presentation on his book, “Reconciliation and Reparation: Preaching Economic Justice,” at the Lewis Theatre in downtown Lewisburg. A book signing will follow Evans’ presentation.

Preceding his talk, the 37-minute film “Suppressed: The Fight to Vote” will be screened at the theater.

Hosted by Larry Davis, Saturday’s free event will commence at 3 p.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m.

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Rounding out this special weekend in Lewisburg is a 7:30 p.m. Friday concert at Carnegie Hall by lyricist and composer Crys Matthews. Named grand prize winner in the 2019 NewSong Music Competition, Matthews blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk in her traditional melodies. Her compositions range from thoughtful songs about love and life to tunes that tackle social justice themes.

Concert tickets start at $15, and discounts are available for Carnegie Hall members, students, senior citizens and members of the military. To purchase tickets, call the Carnegie Hall box office at 304-645-7917, visit www.carnegiehallwv.org or stop by 611 Church St., Lewisburg. The box office is open 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

— Email: talvey@register-herald.com

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