Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Image via Pexels.)

By Guest Columnist DEPRIEST WADDY, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia.

Four years ago, artist Kathy Fincher was asked to create a monument of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I researched every monument in the world and found that few portrayed his faith.” said Fincher. 

The subject of the commission was his final address, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” These were his final public words — very prophetic — before being murdered the following morning: “I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land.” 

DePriest Waddy is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. Waddy Previously he served as CEO of Families First.

In the design, Dr. King’s hand and face are raised to the heavens, seeking God’s guidance. He is holding his leather-worn Bible opened to the last chapter of Deuteronomy where Moses sees the promised land… and dies. 

Dr. King was frequently called the “Black Moses” because of his mission to “let my people go.” For Fincher, a bible study student for most of her adult life, the similarities are clear.

“I realized immediately the parallels between Moses and Dr. King,” Fincher said. “Both men were given the vision of their people entering the Promised Land, and afterward, God brought them home. “Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the Lord” were Dr. King’s parting words.”

Fast forward to April 1, 2023, when the monument’s mountaintop design will be unveiled, using Stone Mountain granite for its base sponsored by the Minard Wong Foundation. A swirling wind blows the doctoral robe and stole of Dr. King to represent the spirit. The intricate details of the upper part of his robe soften into a “Moses” type garment.  

Kathy’s sculpting partner, Stan Mullins, was entrusted by Alveda King with the use of her grandfather’s robe, (Dr. King’s father, “Daddy” King) and her father’s Bible (A.D. King Martin’s brother) for details. Both the Bible and robe are currently in the permanent collection of the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlanta. Rodney Cook Jr. of Millennium Gate is a host organization along with Metro Waterproofing, Minard Wong and the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia.

When Clyde Strickland, founder of Metro Waterproofing sponsored the monument, he had a vision to make the unveiling a revival. He and his wife Sandra are great philanthropists and he, as a visionary, was led to ignite a billion prayers and acts of kindness around the world. He expanded his vision and created the World Peace Revival. 

I was honored to accept Clyde’s invitation to be the inaugural chair of the movement, having only been a few days in my role as President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia (CFNEG). Later I’d partner with Jason Chandler, President of the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation and Rand Redner, former CFNEG President to serve as co-chairs. It was fresh and innovative, aligning with our vision to expand our brand worldwide.  

We are known to connect people who care with causes that matter. In response, the Peace and Unity Fund was launched to invite like-minded individuals to join in supporting this project and similar projects forging peace and unity worldwide. To date, we’ve raised over $700,000.

On New Years Eve 2022, more than a million people plugged into the movement. Days before the placement of the statue, we’re over two million, today… 3 million.

To my knowledge, there has never been a World Revival, but there is now. What better way to bring the world together than through Dr. Martin Luther King’s faith?  Click here to learn more. The World Peace Revival prays you will attend and offer prayers to help the goal of one Billion prayers. Learn more here.

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