Ben Hill UMC Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr Day with Special Service and Virtual March


Ben Hill UMC in Atlanta sponsored an inspiring and empowering virtual MLK Day Service.
Rev. Dr. David Hooker, associate professor of the practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame, was the guest speaker. He is a core faculty member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, a part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame. He spoke on the subject, “Agape Love,” the key to building a beloved community. 
The service featured Community Awards. The recipients were:

  • Vickie Calloway for her work with the Ben Hill Food Bank
  • Janet Gordon for her work with Health and Wellness
  • Kimberli Smith for Outreach
  • Kendall Clark received the Outstanding Youth Award
  • Special Recognition was given to Tanja Goode for the “Get Out to Vote” campaign and Yolanda Robinson who worked with Voter Registration.
Leading up to the special service, Ben Hill held a Virtual March in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. Various members across generations shared their social concerns and lifted up church ministries to bring awareness to issues impacting the community and church.

The virtual march featured an update on the Ben Hill Food Bank. There are many reasons people seek assistance through Ben Hill UMC's food bank. In 2020, the COVID-19 amplified those needs and added the challenge of serving the community in a safe and healthy manner. The church responded by creating a drive-through food pantry staffed by a team of 60 volunteers. The majority of those served by the food pantry are families with children--approximately 800 families a week. This adds up to 9,000 pounds of food distributed each month. (Watch at

Another stop on the virtual march featured the church’s COVID-19 testing initiative. Working with community partners, Ben Hill UMC offered COVID-19 testing to the community. 900 children and adults were tested at Ben Hill UMC between August and  December. (watch at

Other issues lifted up in the virtual march included education, private prisons, and more.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'  Ben Hill Church began 2021 with purpose-driven service to move our church closer to our mission of connecting people to God and one another, wherever they are and across generations.
You may view the MLK Jr. Day Service online at