July 13, 2024

Pastor, King Scholar Delivers MLK Keynote

Rev. Aaron Dobynes of Fredericksburg’s Shiloh (Old Site) Baptist Church, an expert on Martin Luther King Jr., presented UMW’s MLK Celebration keynote address on Tuesday.

Rev. Aaron Dobynes of Fredericksburg’s Shiloh (Old Site) Baptist Church, an expert on Martin Luther King Jr., presented UMW’s MLK Celebration keynote address on Tuesday.

Aaron Dobynes was 5 when word from a Memphis motel made it to his grandfather’s farm in Alabama. A family friend stopped by to relay the news of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, and as the young Dobynes looked on, the two men began to cry.

“I don’t know exactly how I was processing it, but it never left me,” he said.

Now a King scholar with double doctoral degrees, Dobynes delivered UMW’s Martin Luther King Jr. keynote address, presented by the James Farmer Multicultural Center, on Tuesday live via Zoom. A fourth-generation preacher who presides over Fredericksburg’s Shiloh (Old Site) Baptist Church, he wove his own personal civil rights story with words from the famous King speeches he’s studied for decades.

“King was shot and killed, but his spirit lay in all of us. We are the bearers of his dream,” Dobynes said. “We have to regularly and consistently, especially in this age in which we find ourselves, recognize what King said 40-some years ago. The work is never completed.” Read more.