Rotary Club of Houston - Martin Luther King Day
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Celebration of MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Featuring Reverend William A. Lawson
On Martin Luther King Day we recognize and celebrate the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We recognize the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion and dignity that defined Dr. King’s character and work.
Rev. William A Lawson is our own Houston icon possessing these similar values. He is the founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, now retired from that position. Since the church was born and lived its infant years during the civil rights movement, Lawson has been deeply involved in advocacy activities for African Americans, for Hispanics, for women, and for the poor. Rev. Lawson was a central figure in working with Dr. Martin Luther King to turn around the Houston community during those tumultuous years.
The church congregation has grown to over 5,000 members, with many outreach programs, and is much respected in the community. And in 1996 the Houston community honored him with the creation of a non-profit advocacy agency called WALIPP, the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity. That agency has gone before public officials and bodies on behalf of the underclasses, and now has established a middle school for boys, chartered it as a public school with the Houston Independent School District so it would be accessible to low-income families, and this year has risen to the second highest ranking among public secondary schools. WALIPP has also constructed 50 units of apartments for seniors in Houston’s Third Ward. Finally, the agency is pulling together community development groups, churches, civic clubs, and local governments to redevelop the Third Ward so that aggressive real estate development will not expel all who need affordable housing.
He has received honorary doctorates from Howard Payne College in Brownwood, the University of Houston, and Texas Southern University. He is the author of a book of meditations called Lawson’s Leaves of Love.
Join us Thursday, January 14 for a special presentation by Rev. Lawson. Register in advance online!