Two hundred clapping, cheering, yelling, hugging, praying, singing U-M students rocked the Michigan Union Jan. 14 in an exuberant celebration of the deep faith in Jesus Christ that was central to the message of Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King was a Christian and he wasnt ashamed of it, said Ed Gitre, president of Christians in Action, the student group that sponsored Christ and King: A Look at the Relationship between the Gospel and Racial Reconciliation.
Following a performance by the U-M Gospel Chorale, the students listened to a keynote address by the Rev. Keith Butler, pastor of Detroits Word of Faith Ministries and a U-M alumus.
Butler read several selections from the Bible to illustrate his point that discrimination and racism have been around forever, even though both are unacceptable to God.
Martin Luther Kings message and Gods message are all about bringing together all brotherhood in unity, Butler said. If you love the Lord, youre a brother or sister of mine.
Butler said the color of a persons skin is like the color of paint on the outside of a house. The outside of the house doesnt matter, he said. What matters is whats inside. One day, you will leave your house and the true value of the house will be revealed.
Butler challenged the students to worship together and bridge the differences between white and Black Christians. Sunday morning from 10 to 12 is the most segregated time in America, Butler said.
Your generation has a real calling, he added. We need a generation thats bold, ready and unafraid to walk together in unity with believers of all races.