Religions and Spirituality

Original Drama Highlights Joint Unitarian Church-Pilgrim Baptist Church MLK Day Service in Summit Jan. 16


SUMMIT, NJ - An original drama featuring an imaginary conversation between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King will be a highlight of the annual Martin Luther King Day service on January 16, sponsored jointly by Pilgrim Baptist Church and The Unitarian Church in Summit.

The public is warmly invited to attend the 10 a.m. service, which will be held this year at the Unitarian Church, located at 4 Waldron Avenue (at Springfield Avenue). Refreshments begin at 9 a.m.

From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., non-perishable foods can be brought to the Unitarian church lobby to fill Ed Huberman's Box, an ongoing drive to help combat hunger. The canned goods, pasta and other groceries will be donated to the Helping Hands and Ears Food Pantry in Orange.

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Wanda Fortune, member of Pilgrim Baptist, wrote and arranged the drama, “Have I Died in Vain?” in which the Kings comment on the situation of African Americans today from the vantage point of the 1960s Civil Rights era. Kevin Fortune will play the part of Dr. King, and Victoria Anderson will play Coretta King.

The service will also include a reading of Dr. King’s 1967 sermon, “Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool,” and a sermon by Rev. Robin Tanner, the Unitarian church’s new Minister of Worship and Outreach, who began her Summit ministry on January 1.

Musical numbers will be presented by baritone William Edwards, accompanied by Brian Halpin, and trumpeter Richard Polatchek, son of Melvyn Polatchek, a longtime member of the Unitarian Racial Justice Task Force who died last October 18. The service is being dedicated to him.           

This is the fifth year the two churches have cosponsored a reading of one of Dr. King's speeches as part of a worship service on MLK Day. This year’s service was planned by a joint committee, headed by Rev. Emilie Boggis, Unitarian minister of Congregational Life, and Sharon Allen, of Pilgrim Baptist. Pilgrim Baptist's pastor is Rev. Ronald Allen.

For further information, contact the church office at 908-273-3245 or check the website,

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