The Rev. Patrick David Heery was delivering the closing remarks at the 2017 Citywide Celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he saw it. He saw church.
Of course, he saw a church. Heery was preaching inside Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he became pastor in 2016 and which hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. Day service for the first time last year. A lifetime member of the NAACP and an abolitionist congregation when it was founded, Westminster has King’s message “in its life blood,” Heery said.
What he saw at last year’s service, though, was church: congregants of different races, faiths and economic strata. The sight of them, Heery said, struck him as the way church is supposed to be.