PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–People across the country will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. day on Monday, but some of the celebrations have already begun over the weekend.

It’s been almost 55 years since Civil Rights leader Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. died in Memphis, Tennessee.
King’s beliefs and legacy still live intensely around the world and in Bay County.

“He was the Moses of our time,” said Rev. Cecil Williams of Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.”What he did set the way for so many, many people, not just African-Americans, but for everyone. It gives everybody a sense of equality and inclusion.”

Saturday morning, the Bay County NAACP organized their annual commemorative Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at the Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Panama City.

“Each year, the Bay County branch NAACP poses to commemorate the life, love, labor, and legacy of the late great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Rufus Wood, Bay County NAACP President.

Bay County NAACP officials said the breakfast symbolizes a strong belief point King always spoke about.

“It was all about unity for Dr. King,” said Wood.” He talked a lot about the beloved community. So we host this breakfast about bringing people together. Dr.King said we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or else we will perish together as fools.”

Many attending the event said the celebrations help carry King’s legacy and ideologies to the next generations.

“We need to make sure that our children know who he was and his great sacrifices,” said Wood.” So many of us were with him during the Civil Rights movement because these evils are still with us again.”

Community members read, sang, and listened to various passages to remember the history of those before us.

Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church will be holding a worship service for King to honor his contribution as a spiritual leader tomorrow at 6 p.m.