Civil rights activists honor Martin Luther King Jr. at First Baptist Church

Virgil Wood, civil rights leader and friend of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., led a ceremony at Williamsburg's First Baptist Church on April 4 honoring King on the 48th anniversary of his assassination.

Wood, 85, served alongside King for 10 years as a member of the National Executive Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and has spent more than 50 years as a church leader, educator and activist. He was joined by Owen Cardwell, founder and pastor of Richmond's New Canaan International Church, and one of the first two African-American students to attend Lynchburg's E.C. Glass High School.

As part of the ceremony, members of First Baptist Church rang the church's restored bell in honor of a "beloved community" of individuals, compiled by Wood. These were individuals, including King, who worked to make America a better nation.

By Heather Bridges
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