Church Hosts Civil Rights March in Montgomery


By Josh Ninke

Members of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church are in town for a conference this week.

The conference changes locations each year, but they had a special reason to come to Montgomery. 
The church was actually founded in Montgomery. 
Singing songs as they walked, the group's civil rights march kicked off at the Union Station Train Shed. There were people from not only the Southeast, but all over the country. Some even came from the Bahamas and Africa. The church is looking to the future while embracing their history here.
"We're coming together, young and old, coming together from various communities, urban, cities as well as rural communities and we're crafting an agenda for the freedom church as we move into the future," said W. Darrin Moore, President of Board of Bishops.
Some of the speakers lived that history. Uriah J. Fields was the secretary of the Montgomery Improvement Association and worked personally with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  
"It means a lot for me to be facing you like I am right now. But much progress has been made in Montgomery. And it has been made through struggle. People participating and voting. I remember in '54 when I sought to vote here after coming back from the Korean War it was very difficult for me even to vote!" said Fields.
Sandra Gadson came all the way from Chicago to be here. She hopes that everyone can go home with the same energy they brought to the march.
"We said fired up and ready to go. What I'd like to see is that those things that have been said, that we need to continue to strive for, that we continue to do that in the days to come," said Gadson.  
Bishop Moore says the civil rights movement in America has come a long way, but he points to the Trayvon Martin verdict as a sign that their work isn't done.
"It's a synergistic moment if you will that while we came together to worship and to work, we also come together to witness that in spite of the progress we've made, we still have a long way to go," said Moore.

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