A civil rights icon spent part of his birthday in Perry County Thursday-- inspiring some of the next generation of leaders to pursue a path of racial reconciliation and healing.
United States Representative John Lewis spoke at Judson College in Marion on his 73rd birthday. He also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the college.
The Pike County, Alabama native is now a Georgia congressman.
Lewis stood on the frontline of the modern Civil Rights Movement of the sixties.
"I was deeply inspired and moved by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., the action of Rosa Parks and I was acting according to my faith," said Lewis.
"My faith taught me to believe, to be hopeful, be optimistic and that I could make a contribution to make our world a better place."
Lewis represents the 5th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives, a district that includes almost all of Atlanta.