A post from a friend of mine:

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Today is probably a lot of people’s birthday — my middle daughter’s, for

example. But I want to recognize two men who have played a significant role

in American history, both of whom were professing Christians: Robert E. Lee

and Martin Luther King, Jr.

On January 19, 1807, Robert E. Lee was born in Westmoreland County,


On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia.

Both men were great Americans who sought to follow the Scriptures as they

understood them, and confessed loyalty to Jesus Christ. Neither one was

perfect — not in life, nor in doctrine. The only hope either one had of

heaven was in the mercy of God in Jesus Christ.

I was indirectly named for General Lee, being named for my maternal

grandfather, Robert Lee Benn, who in turn was named for Robert E. Lee. Dr.

Benn was born in Clarke County, Virginia, in 1866, four years before General

Lee died. This was long before I was born, so, of course, I never attended

General Lee’s funeral, but I did attend the funeral of Dr. King in Atlanta

back in 1968. It was an event that I will always cherish.

I just got back from a prayer breakfast honoring Dr. King, and I plan to

march in our city’s parade a couple of hours from now, just as I have done

for many years. Many times I have been the only white minister to do so,

but, hopefully, I’ll be surprised once again this year by a couple of others

who will join the roughly one hundred African-American Evangelical ministers

who walk in remembrance of the man to whom they look in the same way most

white folks look to George Washington.

The keynote speaker at the prayer breakfast was Dr. Herbert Dickerson, Area

Director of Missions for the Louisiana Baptist Convention (Southern

Baptist). He spoke about the influence of Dr. King on his life. Dr.

Dickerson said that there were three key emphases in the life and preaching

of Dr. King.

I. The Image of God: every person bears the image of God, and therefore we

should respect the dignity of every human being.

II. The Authority and Sovereignty of God: It was confidence in the

absolute sovereignty of God that gave Dr. King his courage. ‘God is the

only one who can say, “I am.” He’s here to stay; he’s not dead; I’m not

afraid.’ “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the


III. The Power of Loving Service: Dr. King preached at the funeral of

those four black children whose only crime was going to Sunday School. He

preached from the Sermon on the Mount and reaffirmed the power of love to

overcome hate. Dr. King was fond of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

The priest and Levite, upon seeing the wounded man along the road to

Jericho, asked: “What will happen to me if I help this man?”

But the Samaritan asked: “What will happen to this man if I don’t help him?”

May God bless you on this day.

Cordially in Christ,


“I believe a kind God has ordered all things for our good” Robert E. Lee,

December 4, 1863

Robert Benn Vincent, Sr.

Grace Presbyterian Church

4900 Jackson Street

Alexandria, Louisiana 71303-2509


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