Former Gov. Henry to be honored next month at MLK event in Tulsa

Tina Bridenstine
The Shawnee News-Star

Brad Henry, former governor of Oklahoma and Shawnee native, will be among those honored at the “A Night to Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” event next month.

Rev. W.R. Casey Jr., president and CEO of the Christian Ministers' Alliance, said they will be commemorating the death of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was born Jan. 15, 1929, and died April 4, 1968.

Several will be honored at the event, including Rev. Marlin Coleman, who is the first African American mayor in Muskogee's history; Michael Baker, who is the fire chief with the city of Tulsa; and Rev. Bob Green, who pastored Arrow Heights Baptist Church and was past president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry is also among those to be honored.

“When he was campaigning for governor, I worked on his campaign,” Casey said. “He didn't see color, and he helped the African American community all across the state.”

In total, Casey said there would be around 17 people honored.

Rev. LeRon West, host pastor for the event, will be the keynote speaker for the evening.

Rev. LeRon West, host pastor for the event, will be the keynote speaker for the evening.

“I am honored to speak and be part of the ongoing legacy of Dr. King and to serve alongside my fellow pastors and we seek the Lord's favor in our relationships and communities,” West said.

There will also be two choirs performing, New Heights Christian Center and All Tribes Choir, as well as a soloist, Marlene West, first lady of Gilcrease Hills Baptist Church.

Todd Fisher, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, said it it “an important event in the important efforts for racial reconciliation. I thank the Lord for Bro. LeRon, who is a godly example and is leading churches to do even more toward reconciliation.”

The event will be at 6 p.m., Sunday, April 11, at Gilcrease Hills Baptist Church in Tulsa, located at 2001 W. Newton.

Casey said the event is free and open to the public, but they are looking for corporate sponsors for the event.

The Christian Ministers' Alliance, he explained, wants to build a youth center and a childcare center in north Tulsa, where they hope to help fight violence, crime, and drugs, as well as helping those in the community with their GEDs, teen pregnancy, programs for single mothers, children who have dropped out of school, and more. The two facilities will cost a total of $7.5 million.

Those who are interested in helping by becoming corporate sponsors can contact Casey at 918-951-7407 or 918-902-1374. Sponsorships are available from anywhere form $250 to $35,000.