J’can pastor receives Martin Luther King Jr Proclamation Award

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A Jamaican pastor, Rev Dr Fedlyn A Beason, a resident of the United States, recently received the Martin Luther King Jr Proclamation Award from the City of Davie, Florida in recognition of his “corporate citizenry and achievements”.

In making the presentation, Mayor Paul lauded Bishop Beason for his “work for humanity” as evidenced by the food bank run by his church, the free counselling services offered by him for the city’s youth and his plans now under way for the development of a multi-purpose facility offering more services to the community.

The counselling provided, said the mayor, is “positively impacting the city’s youth”.

The MLK Jr Proclamation Award honours individuals across the United States for community service. It is based on an act by Dr King in August of 1963, “when he took to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and shared his vision of an America lifted from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood”. The Presidential Proclamation for 2019 signed by President Donald Trump hailed Dr King’s message as an “extraordinary message that stirred to action Americans of every race and creed, and it continues to reverberate in the hearts and minds of patriotic citizens across our great land.”

In his thank you address, Bishop Beason introduced a related incident which took place 45 years ago. He recalled how one Sunday morning during his pastorate in Port Antonio, one of the town’s leading citizens, the late Evon Blake, award-winning journalist and publisher, attended the service.

“To my surprise Mr Blake came to me at the end of the service to say, “While you were preaching, I saw a vision of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr standing beside you and this is testifying to the fact that one day you are going to be called upon to represent him.”

He added: “I thought nothing further of his ‘prophecy’ until I learnt of the offer of the MLK Jr Proclamation Award.”

Bishop Beason said that while never having had the privilege or the honour of personally meeting the late distinguished and formidable American freedom fighter, he has long been a significant role model and an icon of reference in his own life and ministry.

He expressed gratitude to Mayor Judy Paul and to all those responsible for his selection.

Dr Beason served the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean for almost six decades. Areas of involvement included pastor, radio programme presenter and district and island overseer. He currently serves the parent body Church of God diocese in Davie.

Also in attendance at the function were Esmine Beason, wife of Dr Beason, other family members and members of the Davie Community church fellowship.

The function was held on the lawns of Davie City Hall in Davie.

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