Religions and Spirituality

Piscataway Township Celebrates the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Honorable Dr. Chanelle McCullum, Piscataway Township Councilwoman delivers the keynote address  Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Saunders, Sr., Pastor North Stelton A.M.E. Church Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Shirley A. Saunders Youth Liturgical Dance Ministry, North Stelton A.M.E. Church Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and Honorable Mildred Scott, Middlesex County Sheriff Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Honorable Shanel Robinson, Franklin Township Councilwoman Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Honorable Camille Fernicola, Piscataway Councilwoman at Large Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Rev. Marlon Wilson, Pastor Travelers Fellowship Community Church Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Rev. Linwood Rouse, Pastor Macedonia Freewill Baptist Church Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Dr. Hubert Hartzler, Superintendent Timothy Christian School Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Honorable Mildred Scott, Middlesex County Sheriff introduced the keynote speaker Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Honorable Mildred Scott and Dr. Chanelle McCullum embrace Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Amy Bauman, Director of the Piscataway Senior Center and Dr. Chanelle McCullum, Councilwoman at Large and Keynote Speaker Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Religious Leaders in Piscataway Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Mayor Brian Wahler, Ward 2 Councilman Jim Bullard, Business Administrator Joe Criscuolo, and Freeholder Kenneth Armwood Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Dr. and Mrs. Hubert Hartzler, Timothy Christian School, and Renee Walker, North Stelton A.M.E. Church Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Mayor Brian Wahler, Ralph Johnson-Piscataway School Board, Councilwoman Gabrielle Cahill, Councilman Jim Bullard Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
David Joubert provided musical accompaniments on piano Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway

PISCATAWAY, NJ – “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Piscataway’s Civil Rights Advisory Commission and North Stelton A.M.E. Church Women’s Ministry presented their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Breakfast at the Piscataway Senior Center, 700 Buena Vista Avenue on Saturday, January 16, 2016.

The theme for this year’s breakfast was “The Dream” and the Honorable Shanel Robinson, Franklin Township Councilwoman and member of North Stelton A.M.E. Church served as the program’s Mistress of Ceremonies.  

Sign Up for E-News

“This is a day of celebration and a day of honor,” greeted Robinson.  “We have good representation of our community at large which shows that we are enthusiastic about the life and vision of Dr. King.”

Renee Walker, also from North Stelton A.M.E. Church, led the opening hymn, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and later sang an inspirational rendition of Yolanda Adams’ song, “Never Give Up.”

Sister Brenda Smith of the Civil Rights Advisory Commission welcomed and thanked guests for attending the breakfast event.

The program’s religious observance opened with a prayer and blessing from Rev. Marlon Wilson, the pastor of Travelers Fellowship Community Church.  Rev. Linwood Rouse, the pastor of Macedonia Freewill Baptist Church read a passage from the Old Testament, and Dr. Hubert Hartzler, Superintendant of Timothy Christian School shared scripture from the New Testament.

The program also included a tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech with a Litany led by Piscataway Councilwoman Camille Fernicola, and Councilwoman Robinson. A moving dance selection was performed by the Shirley A. Saunders Youth Liturgical Dance Ministry of North Stelton A.M.E. Church.

While guests enjoyed a full breakfast served by members of the Women’s Ministry at North Stelton A.M.E. Church, Amy Bauman, director of the Senior Center highlighted community events being hosted at the center next month by the Piscataway African American Senior Club.

The program’s keynote speaker was Piscataway Councilwoman Dr. Chanelle McCullum. She was introduced by her proud mother and Middlesex County Sheriff, the Honorable Mildred Scott.

“If Dr. King were alive today, I believe he would say to her that you are the right leader for this time,” Scott noted in her introduction of her daughter. “You inspire others as a leader who will carry on Dr. King’s work today.”

The message of McCullum’s address embraced “The Drum Major Instinct", one of Dr. King’s final sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4, 1968, two months before his assassination on April 4, 1968.

“I am honored to speak here today and I would not be here as an elected township official if it had not been for the work of Dr. King,” said McCullum.

McCullum, a Piscataway resident for 33 years, shared several personal stories about how she, with the love and support of her parents, siblings, other family members, friends, and the community at large was able to live her life as a drum major.

Several members of the audience were moved to tears by the messages in her heartfelt and powerful keynote speech. 

“A drum major leads with purpose and is part of something great,” said McCullum. “We should all have that ‘drum major instinct’, that desire to be important and to be recognized.”

McCullum also explained that Dr. King’s dream was not a selfish dream, and after reading a few lines of his famous “I Have a Dream Speech”, spoke of today’s grave reality.

“We have yet to fulfill this dream,” she said. “Social justice issues and civil rights violations are just as prevalent now as they were back then. We must take collective action and treat each other as we would want to be treated.”

McCullum also issued a call to action.

“We have to give back and support one another and surround ourselves with other drum majors,” she said in conclusion. These are “people who believe in and support you even when you don’t necessarily believe in yourself. What are you going to do now?”

Echoing the sentiments McCullum expressed, Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Saunders Sr., pastor of North Stelton A.M.E. Church stated that we still have a “long road ahead and we must pick up the torch where Dr. King left off.” 

Piscataway’s Mayor, the Honorable Brian C. Wahler, concurred with Pastor Saunders and expressed his gratitude to the residents and elected officials who attended including Congressman Frank Pallone.

“We can do better,” Pallone remarked, referencing a sentiment from President Barack Obama’s recent State of the Union address. “People believe in positive values.”

He told the audience that “we have to stay positive and move forward”, and closed with a quote from Dr. King. “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


South Plainfield Students Planning to Walkout in Support of Safer Schools

February 23, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – In the wake of last week’s tragic school shooting in Florida, students from across the country – including right here in South Plainfield – are joining together for change.

On Feb. 16, the non-profit organization Women’s March launched a Youth EMPOWER movement calling for a national school walkout and publicizing the event on social ...


Christina C. Sweet (Diaz) 79 years, died Monday January 1, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson University ...
Read more
- Nov 15, 2017
Phillip A. Petracca, also widely known as Filippo Neri in the Italian-American Radio and ...
Read more

New Brunswick and the Civil War:  The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion

February 23, 2018

February 25

(Snow date 3/11)

New Brunswick and the Civil War:  The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion

with local author Joanne H. Rajoppi

2:00PM – 4:00PM

TKTS: members $10, in advance $12, door $15

Limited seating - adv. registration sug.

Light refreshments included

Dutch Door Gift Shop ...

Early Cat in the Hat Visit to Piscataway Regional Day School

NJEA’s Cat In The Hat Visits PRDS

Students at the Piscataway Regional Day School (PRDS) were treated to an early visit from the New Jersey Education Association’s seven foot 'Cat in the Hat', in advance of Read Across America, the annual nationwide celebration of reading.

Wearing the traditional red and white stovepipe hat, the Cat in the Hat, (retired teacher, Marie ...

Trees Have Sex? Rutgers Researchers Have All the Answers

New Brunswick, NJ - A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia. 

“They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ‘No ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Metlar-Bodine House Museum, Piscataway

New Brunswick and the Civil War:  The Brunswick ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Edison High School Auditorium, Edison

Free community viewing of "BAG IT" - Award ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

American Legion, South Plainfield

Boy Scout Troop 207 Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government


Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

“Olmsted By Design!” Free First-Person, Dramatic ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

Height during childhood associated with increased stroke risk in adulthood

Researchers in Denmark studied the health records of more than 300,000 people born between 1930 and 1989 and found that those who were shorter than average height between ages 7 and 13 had a greater risk of stroke as adults. The results of this study were published in the February 15, 2018 issue of the journal Stroke.


Journal ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...