MLK friend to speak in Dayton

An Ohio pastor with ties to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will visit the Dayton-area next month as a part of a celebration honoring the ministry of the slain civil rights leader.

Rev. Otis Moss Jr., a civic leader and theologian based in Cleveland, will be speak at the United Theological Seminary’s Vision to Victory Celebration.

Moss’s first speaking engagement will be 7 p.m. April 8 at Grace United Methodist Church, 1001 Harvard Blvd. in Dayton. He will also preach at 12:30 p.m. April 9 at the United Theological Seminary, 4501 Denlinger Road. All events are free and open to the public.

Vision to Victory is a worship celebration in partnership with several local churches. Wendy J. Deichmann, UTS president, described the event as “an expression of United’s longstanding commitment to the African American church and our respect and admiration for Dr. King.”

“The program is designed to keep in memory that Dr. Martin Luther King had for the world before he was assassinated,” said Harold Hudson, associate dean of the doctoral program and vice president of enrollment at UTS. “We always try to invite in a prominent person who was a partner with Dr. Martin Luther King in many of his marches and the civil rights movement. Dr. Otis Moss was a companion of his on many occasions.”

Moss, who earned a doctor of divinity degree from UTS in the 1990s, also co-pastored Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. with King’s father Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., according to Hudson.

Hudson said Moss speaks in such a way that makes his seated audiences want to stand on their feet.

“He is a great, great academically prepared preacher,” Hudson said. “He travels all over the world preaching.”

Moss is pastor emeritus at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to serve on the 25-member White House Advisory Council on Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, where he is on the board of trustees, and earned a master’s of divinity degree from the Morehouse School of Religion/Interdenominational Theological Center. Moss has also been a pastor to numerous churches in Ohio and Georgia.

For more information, call (937) 529-2201.

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