Rev. Days receives annual Martin Luther King Award

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The Rev. Collins A. Days Sr., pastor at Second Baptist Church in Atlantic City, received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award during the Atlantic County 27th annual Rev. Dr. Matin Luther King Jr Commemorative Birthday Celebration./R.J. Liberatore Jr. The Rev. Collins A. Days Sr., pastor at Second Baptist Church in Atlantic City, received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award during the Atlantic County 27th annual Rev. Dr. Matin Luther King Jr Commemorative Birthday Celebration./R.J. Liberatore Jr. ATLANTIC CITY - The Rev. Collins A. Days Sr. received the 2014 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award presented Friday, Jan. 30 in the Atlantic County Office Building auditorium.

“Atlantic City is only going to survive if we produce 100 more Rev. Days,” said Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said during an hour-long ceremony to honor Days, 53, who is the pastor at Second Baptist Church in Atlantic City.

“He finds the people who fall through the cracks and he helps them,” Guardian said.

Days received a plaque of appreciation from Howard Kyle, chief of staff for County Executive Dennis Levinson, who was unable to attend because of illness.

“I hope we all do our part to make sure every ship has sailed,” Days said, referring to how many inner-city youths never reach their potential because of life’s unforeseen circumstances. “When we all set sail, what a great flotilla that will be on the horizon.”

Rev. Days was called to the ministry while still a student at South Carolina State University, where he had hoped to pursue a degree in political science. However, he became the youngest full-time pastor in the state at age 20 when he accepted the call to lead Round-O-Baptist Church in Darlington, S.C.

After 13 years of service there, Days and his wife, Constance, and their four children moved to Atlantic City to serve the congregation at Second Baptist Church.

Days serves as president of Vision 2000 which has developed home ownership programs, constructed senior citizen apartments, and helped minorities establish area businesses.

Days had established the Minister’s Home Detention Program, the Pastor’s Posse, Christians in Recover, Spiritual Leadership Training classes and the African-American Male Conference.

Days has served as president of the Fellowship of Churches of Atlantic City vicinity.

Days received his award during the Atlantic County 27th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Birthday Celebration that was to have been held on Friday, Jan. 17.

The event was postponed because of a death in the Days’ family.

The Rev. Jevon Caldwell-Gross, senior pastor of the Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church, Atlantic City, delivered the keynote speech and honored King’s ability to see potential in everyone.

When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. looked at a person – black or white – he saw potential, like a ship in the harbor, ready to set sail, Caldwell-Gross said.

Caldwell-Gross quoted from 1st Kings 22:48 in which Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, built trading ships to help his country’s dire economic times.

“But those ships never sailed,” Caldwell-Gross said. “They were left in the harbor due to unforeseen circumstances.”

The lives of too many teens are like those ships in the harbor, Caldwell-Gross said.

“We ought to be moving ahead, but too many are being left behind,” he said. “Our prisons are filled with black and brown ships, yet we are funding war overseas.”

Americans must revisit and recommit themselves to King’s values, Caldwell-Gross said.

“He was determined to see that every person had a right to sail and a reason to sail,” Caldwell-Gross said. “There was not a single ship built for the purpose of staying in the harbor.”

And a wrecked life – one spent in jail, in poverty, homelessness – hurts everyone.

“As long as one ship is left wrecked in a harbor, it has the possibility of wrecking the entire fleet,” he said.

Click on The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award past winners to see the award’s previous recipients.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian praises the Rev. Collins A. Days Sr. during the Atlantic County 27th annual Rev. Dr. Matin Luther King Jr Commemorative Birthday Celebration. “He finds the people who fall through the cracks and he helps them,” Guardian said./R.J. Liberatore Jr. Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian praises the Rev. Collins A. Days Sr. during the Atlantic County 27th annual Rev. Dr. Matin Luther King Jr Commemorative Birthday Celebration. “He finds the people who fall through the cracks and he helps them,” Guardian said./R.J. Liberatore Jr. The Rev. Jevon Caldwell-Gross, senior pastor at the Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlantic City, delivered the keynote address on Friday, Jan. 31 during the Atlantic County 27th annual Rev. Dr. Matin Luther King Jr Commemorative Birthday Celebration./R.J. Liberatore Jr. The Rev. Jevon Caldwell-Gross, senior pastor at the Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlantic City, delivered the keynote address on Friday, Jan. 31 during the Atlantic County 27th annual Rev. Dr. Matin Luther King Jr Commemorative Birthday Celebration./R.J. Liberatore Jr.


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