Of course, the man who stood to make the famous “I Have a Dream” speech is no longer physically around to touch the lives of others. However, there are those who listened and took this speech to heart. There are still living and breathing black Christian leaders who’ve made a difference in keeping Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream alive.
Learn to do well. Seek justice. Relieve the oppressed… —Isaiah 1:17
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s own niece, Christian minister Alveda King, is a well-known political activist, civil rights leader, pro-life activist and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives.
Though he only started gaining national recognition 2013 after a speech he gave at a National Prayer Breakfast, Benjamin Carson was making a difference in children’s lives long before. At the age of eight, his parents divorced and he was raised by a single mother in an environment where many of his peers found life to be anything but successful. Carson went on to become a pediatric neurosurgeon who successfully led the team at Johns Hopkins to separate a set of twins joined at the back of the head. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and today continues to make a difference as a columnist.
Dr. Tony Evans aims to transform urban communities from “the inside out.” He is a pastor, chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys organization and a radio and television broadcaster. Dr. Evans is part of the driving force behind National Church’s Adopt-A-School Initiative and Miracle of the Million. Both programs hope to start at the family level, spread to churches and transform communities. This changes cities, which reaches states, which blossoms into revolutionizing the country, and eventually the entire world.
Maya Angelou worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Movement. As an author and a poet, she has spoken up for the downtrodden, was the first poet to speak at a presidential inauguration since Robert Frost and received a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Though not associated with one denomination, Angelou helped to organize a benefit for the SCLC, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, in the 1960s.
T. D. Jakes
T.D. Jakes is the pastor of The Potter’s House, speaker, evangelist and author. His biblical approach often focuses on freedom and rising up from adversities, from his popular “Woman Thou Art loosed” conference to several books including similar messages of freedom in such titles as Loose that Man and Let Him Go. He has been featured on Time magazine’s cover with the headline question, “Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?”
With the belief that it only takes one right decision to live your dream, Cindy Trimm is listed alongside President Barack Obama, T. D. Jakes, Will Smith, Michael Jordan, Alicia Keys, and others as one of the Ebony Power 100. Using platforms of senator, author and empowerment specialist conference speaker, Trimm is a leading voice of hope and change worldwide. She brings a message of life transformation and biblical insight that personally revolutionized her life to help others break free from real and presumed limitations holding them back.
The list by no means stops here. Other influential black Christian leaders are working behind the scenes or out in the mainstream to make a difference every day. Some others include Priscilla Shirer, Thelma Wells, Herman Cain, Desmond Tutu, Condoleezza Rice, Reverend Fred K. C. Price, Voddie Baucham, Stacy Washington, Susan L. Taylor and her husband Khephra Burns, and so many more.