Fifty years later we gathered in Memphis to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., because he lost his life fighting for something good and true: the dignity of every man, woman, and child as created in the image of God. We remember him because he spoke this truth boldly, knowing it would lead him to pay the ultimate price. King was not perfect. We don’t all agree with him on everything. But we must engage with what he said and did, because so many of our fathers in the evangelical faith opposed him. And they often opposed him for reasons that would shame us today. It would compound the tragedy of 50 years ago if we failed to learn the lessons for our own blind spots.
It would compound the tragedy of 50 years ago if we failed to learn the lessons for our own blind spots.
That’s why all of us who attended MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop will never forget what we saw and heard. I doubt anyone from among the 4,016 who attended agreed with everything said from the main stage and workshop rooms. But I have no doubt they were challenged to think more deeply about the cost of following Jesus in our troubled times. Our teams at TGC and the ERLC planned and prayed for more than a year ahead of this event, which we knew would provoke many questions. In the aftermath we couldn’t be more thrilled with what God has done to prompt honest, hard conversations and stir his people to justice and mercy, for the sake of the gospel.
All video and audio from the main talks and workshops are now available. We hope you’ll share them widely and listen together with friends, family, and church groups. Already the clips we’ve shared on social media have been viewed more than 743,000 times. Most remarkably, we’ve tallied more than 1 million total views of the livestream, compared to about 55,000 from TGC’s last national conference. We know God is working for his glory in this sensitive subject matter.
We’ve tallied more than 1 million total views of the livestream, compared to about 55,000 from TGC’s last national conference
Please continue to pray for the initiatives that emerged from MLK50. Join us in thanking God for the generosity of Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries, who donated $1.5 million for the Dream Forward Scholarship Initiative, which will train many in the next generation of Christian leaders from Memphis. We also thank God for the partnership in this event of the Memphis Christian Pastors Network, and we’re grateful for MLK50 conference attendees who donated more than $17,000 to their vital work.
And finally, I want to especially thank the ethnic minorities who advised, spoke for, and attended this event. Ethnic minorities composed more than 31 percent of the conference, and a much higher percentage of the speakers. Without their leadership in planning and teaching, we could not have done justice to Dr. King and his ongoing work among us.