Events celebrate civil rights leader

The area’s faith community will hold special events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Interfaith Social Justice Collaborative will present a community reading of a King speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave., Clovis.

King gave the speech at Riverside Church in New York on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated. Details: (559) 322-6146.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Committee of Fresno will present many events Friday through Feb. 11. Among them:

* The All Faith Service and Musical Tribute to King, featuring 10 choirs and musical groups, will be at 4 p.m. next Saturday at Saints Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 1550 E. Rev. Chester Riggins Ave.

The Rev. Amos C. Brown, senior pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of San Francisco’s chapter of the NAACP, will speak. He worked with King in the civil rights movement.

* A candlelight vigil will be at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at First Congregational Church of Fresno, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd.

* A Mountain of Food collection will be 9:15-10:45 a.m. Jan. 17 at St. John’s Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa St. The collection is part of the King march, beginning at St. John’s and ending at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium.

Details: call (559) 227-9819 or 435-2212.

Church celebrates centennial

A special service celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fresno First Church of the Nazarene will be presented at 10 a.m. Sunday at the church, 6758 E. Butler Ave.

The congregation began with 20 members as Fresno First Pentecostal Church in January of 1910.

The Rev. Steve Scott, superintendent of the Sacramento District Church of the Nazarene, will speak. He is the son of the Rev. Robert H. Scott, pastor of Fresno First Church of the Nazarene, 1958-1962.

After the service ends, a dinner will be held in the church’s fellowship hall.

Details: (559) 255-9468.

Fresno Pacific to show film

The film “Adopt a Jesus” will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday at Fresno Pacific University’s Ashley Auditorium, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave.

The documentary is about the ministry of Brandt Russo and raises questions about the place of the homeless and poor and about Christian leaders’ response to their plight.


Swaziland ministry leader to speak

Arnau Van Wyngaard, recipient of the World Vision/Willow Creek Association’s Courageous Leadership Award in 2008 for his ministry work in southeast Africa’s Swaziland, will speak at several Fresno churches.

He will speak at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Northwest Church, at 5415 N. West Ave., at 9:30 and 11 a.m. services Jan. 17 at Central Community Church, at 4710 N. Polk Ave., and at 6:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at University Vineyard, at 4910 N. Woodrow Ave.

Wyngaard also will be guest speaker at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Fresno Rotary Club lunch meeting at the Cornerstone Conference Center in downtown Fresno.

Woodward Park Baptist hires new pastor

The Rev. David Carothers is the new senior pastor of Woodward Park Baptist Church. He replaces the Rev. Ed Huffman, who resigned after 20 years to work in the funeral business.

Carothers was executive pastor of Twin Cities Church in Grass Valley for the past 13 years. His first Sunday at Woodward Park Baptist Church was Jan. 3.

Mariposa pastor authors new book

The Rev. Henry Falany, co-pastor of Mariposa Revival Center with his wife Grace, is the author of a new book, “God, Gold & Glory!” (Outskirts Press, $26.95).

The book focuses on God’s hand in early California history and is available at local bookstores and at

Details: (209) 966-5090.

Ron Orozco covers religion for The Bee. He can be reached at or (559) 441-6304.