Martin Luther King, Jr. service held at St. John’s Congregational Church

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became a national holiday in 1986

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Today is Martin Luther King Jr.s birthday. At St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield, Sunday’s service was all about celebrating, honoring and remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Rebecca Willoughby told 22News, “The national celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday means a lot to me.”

Hundreds came out to sing, worship, dance, and to make sure that the work and dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. are carried on for generations to come.

Diona Brodie, a member at the church, said, “This church has a lot of history in the back of it so it feels good that every year we are able to do this Martin Luther King program.”

Jean Carter told 22News Martin Luther King Jr’s contributions to the civil rights movement paved the way for the opportunities and rights that all citizens have today.

Jean Carter, another member at the Church, said “I was in Mississippi when you had to sit in the back of the bus, they had black and white drinking fountains and everything, and King crossed that line and broke that barrier for us.”

Martin Luther king Jr’s. message of peace instead of violence, resonated with people all over the country in the 60’s, and his message continues to inspire people today.

Willoughby continued to say, “He was an American that really invested in American values and brought it to the attention of the American public that we are all Americans and we all need to invest in those same common core values.”

Aarif Bradley went on to say, “Martin Luther King’s goal was to see an equal America, to see people kind of become one, and not be divided by the point of color.”

Martin Luther King Day became a national holiday in 1986, and has been observed every year since, on the anniversary of his birthday.