MLK Day event set for Monday

Jan. 18, 2019

     The Boyd and Greenup Counites Branch of the NAACP will host a Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Monday, Jan. 21.
     The event, co-sponsored by Ashland Community and Technical College and Pathways Inc., will be at 10 a.m. at the Ashland Transportation Center. There will be singing by Mount Olive Baptist Church in Ironton, New Joy Gospel Singers of Columbus and Susan Taylor of Ironton.
     The Rev. Stanley McDonald, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church and transportation director of the Ashland Independent School District, will be the keynote speaker.
     McDonald is a native of Masontown, Pa. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in March of 1985 and served on active duty until Dec. 31, 2011, when he retired honorably after serving more than 26 years. In hindsight, he said he recognizes his time in the military as the start of his missionary journey. In 1996, he accepted his calling to the ministry while attending Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Goldsboro, N.C., and preached his first sermon in April 1997.
     In August 1999, he received his ordination certification from Canaan Full Gospel Baptist Church, Goldsboro. Rev. McDonald was blessed to be able to preach the gospel throughout God’s missionary field while being stationed throughout the United States and overseas in Okinawa, Japan; Misawa, Japan; Kosovo; and South Korea.
     During his active duty service, he spent 18 years as a logistician specializing in inventory management and eight years as a first sergeant. He finished his military career in South Korea where he was the senior minister at the Osan Air Base Chapel. After retiring from the Air Force he moved to Ashland in March 2012, after getting hired at the Veterans Administration Regional Office in Huntington, W.Va.
     As a staunch believer of higher education, he’s received associate degrees in logistics and human resources, a bachelor’s degree in religion and business and a master’s degree in pastoral counseling. He currently serves as vice president on the Four Winds Christian Ministries Inc. board of directors, San Antonio, Texas; a board member of Shelter of Hope non-profit organization, Ashland; an active member of the Boyd and Greenup Counties NAACP council; and the newly elected president of the Ashland Area Ministerial Association.
     Following the celebration, attendees are invited to participate in a “freedom march” from the transportation center to First Presbyterian Church.