We give thanks for Reverend Dwight Graves, our Civil Rights leader.
In this season, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We also reflect on the history of the Civil Rights Movement in America. There were many great leaders from all walks of life. We take this time to reflect on our own leader in Cobb County SCLC, Rev Dwight Graves. Through him we shared the dream and in us “The Dream Lives On,” which is the theme of this year's Cobb SCLC King celebration events.
We thank God for sending us a leader like Rev. Graves. He possessed family values, was a good husband and father, had a good work history from the military and U.S. Postal Service; he was a Civil Rights leader on many levels. He led us in the cases which affect us all the most. He was always teaching us to be selective in the cases we fight and always see the whole story, the pros and the cons. He was always teaching us by example to be proactive, setting standards and objectives for longterm effects in reaching SCLC goals.
Rev. Graves, Cobb SCLC president, departed this life seeing Cobb SCLC strong and on the move. As many heard all the talk and news coverage of the SCLC on the national level, it had no effect on Cobb SCLC on the local level. Cobb County SCLC and the Cobb County community are fully prepared for the King holiday celebrations with a host of events.
*Friday, Jan. 13: At noon, in partnership with Omega Phi Fraternity, Cobb SCLC will feed the homeless at MUST Ministries in Marietta.
*Saturday, Jan.14: SCLC will host the Youth Speak Out at 3 p.m. at Emmanuel Tabernacle Christian Church, 1588 Willie Drive, Marietta, GA 30062. Youth will speak on our theme, "The Dream Lives On."
*Sunday, Jan. 15: SCLC will host their annual Commemorative Church Program at Emmanuel Tabernacle Christian Church at 3 p.m. The speaker will be our Georgia state president, Rev. Samuel Mosteller
*Monday, Jan. 16: SCLC will host at 1 p.m. SCLC Annual Parade, which starts at the Lockheed-Georgia Federal Credit Union on Fairground street, turning left on Roswell Street and ending on the Marietta Square where we will have a short program. We ask all to attend.
*Saturday, Feb. 4: At 7 p.m., we will have our 7th Annual Gala at the Double-tree Hotel- Marietta, 2055 South Park Place, Atlanta, GA 30339. The keynote speaker is Rev. Dr. Keith Slaughter. This promises to be a great evening.
We ask that everyone come out in honor of our great SCLC leaders, to celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and to salute the homegoing of Cobb County SCLC President Rev. Dwight Graves as we take this time to honor him for all the things he did in service to Cobb County. All those who knew Rev. Graves and would like to honor his memory, you are welcome to do so at the 12 p.m. service on Sunday Jan. 15.We ask that you all come out and celebrate his homegoing.
We look to the wellbeing of Cobb County citizens. We have some very difficult times ahead. As our economy changes and America changes, we see changes in the hearts of the people.
America is changing, evolving into a new age of civil liberties, as we live out our nation's creed: ”We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal with the inevitable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Rev Graves and I talked of these changes and what we must do to progressively face these changes. He stated, "That as leaders of all races, as Americans, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, we should do everything we can to save our youth and to help each other."
The only way we can make it as a nation in rebuilding the nation’s economy collectively is together. The hearts and minds of America are changing, redefining our beliefs. The political views of the 10 percent outweigh the views of the 90 percent, creating economic hardship on everyone. The only way we can rebuild and redefine American government as it is evolving in political views and new ideas, we must all work together.
Education is the key to building a stronger economy. Creating jobs and empowering the people will build a stronger Cobb County. I thank God that Rev. Graves, Cobb SCLC President’s dream lived on as stated in the SCLC motto “The Dream lives on.”
Cobb SCLC is one of the most active chapters in the state of Georgia. It is free from corruption, in good standing with the community and all public officials. We owe that to the Cobb SCLC members, and we owe that to our leadership Rev Graves SCLC President and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Graves.
From the day I moved to Cobb County, I was not too sure about moving my membership from Fulton SCLC to Cobb SCLC, as I loved Atlanta. My wife and I love Cobb County, even when I tell her of all the old stories of my youth, how we did not like to cross the river, and whenever we did, we would be on the look out for police and the law of any kind. Some people may find that hard to believe, yet if you lived in Atlanta, you knew not to play around in Cobb County. Now Cobb County is growing and transitioning, and we must all rise up to meet these new challenges.
Rev. Graves became a good friend even before we started to work together in Cobb SCLC and later in the church. Like a good fisherman, he kept throwing out his line at me and in the end, he got me caught in the net. Like me, Rev. Graves loves to fish. No wonder we became fishers of men. I know now in my heart it was the will of God that brought us together.
Rev. Graves cared for the people, and you could feel his love for the people. We all feel that love and we show it in service. He took on the role of a mentor and father in my life. Educating me about Cobb County, the do's and the do-not's of keeping a good and healthy relationship with the police, the churches, local organizations, civil leaders and the local business. He always had a heart for government workers and elected officials. He was a leader in the military serving our country for many years. He led me to meet commissioners and public safety officials.
He took me in like a son and a friend, and from there, the rest is history. Rev. Graves was like this with everyone and I thank God for him. Our presidents, both county and state, took our Stop the Violence and Incarceration movement to a new level. We hosted press conferences, outreaches in the community, media and online campaigns reaching and teaching non-violence and non-violence conflict resolutions. Stop the violence!
Rev. Graves was at the forefront of our Stop the Violence campaign. Rev Graves truly walked in the ways of Dr. King in nonviolence, promoting social change. I recall in 2011, he set a meeting with the Chief of Police, the commissioners and public safety officers.
Rev. Graves a true civil rights leader fighting for justice for all Cobb County citizens. We met with the commissioner and police chief for a number of reasons, but our main goal was to talk with them about creating a Civilian Review Board for the protection of the city and county government workers, sworn officers and our local government and its agencies from false charges, law suits and wrongful arrest and prosecution. The Civil Review Board's main goal is to protect Cobb County citizens from wrongful arrest, police-involved shootings, abuse in the line of duty and to investigate actions of sworn officers' involvement with Cobb County citizens.
Rev. Graves, having the gift of foresight and a clear vision of the future, was not moved by every newscast or every story that came out, hot off the press. He was a man after God’s own heart. We remember a freedom fighter.