MLK 50: Churches asked to ring bells on April 4

MLK 50: Churches asked to ring bells on April 4

Church Street United Methodist in Knoxville will join other churches in ringing the bells at 7:01 p.m. Wednesday, April 4 -- exactly 50 years after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A group of United Methodists in Knoxville, based at Church Street United Methodist Church, are planning two events in early April to promote race relations and commemorate the death of Martin Luther King Jr.

On Wednesday, April 4 at 7:01 p.m. (EDT), Church Street will join The King Center and other churches around the globe to ring bells in remembrance of the time King was assassinated 50 years ago in 1968. The bells will chime 39 times to mark the years of King's life.

"The King Center's theme for the observance is ‘50 Forward,’” said the Rev. Barbara Clark. “Church Street UMC will ring our church bells and chimes, and we encourage your churches and schools to do the same … We hope all churches across Holston and beyond will ring their bells as a sign of freedom.”

Also on April 4, the "Conversations on Race" team will hold a prayer vigil from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Church Street’s prayer room. The public is invited to participate. A prayer guide will be provided.

"Conversations on Race: Building Authentic Relationships" is a group that has presented several workshops and leaders explore racism and race relations.

On Sunday, April 8 at 4 p.m., the next “Conversation on Race” will be held at Church Street in downtown Knoxville, featuring a viewing of the recording of King’s last speech, “I Have Been to the Mountaintop.”

"Don’t miss the viewing of this powerful speech and the opportunity to be part of the conversation about how we can be agents of justice in 2018," said Jean Gaylon, a member of the Conversations on Race team. 

For more information, contact Clark at



See also:

Find out more about MLK 50 Forward. 

United Methodists to join in April 4 rally in D.C. (UMC, 3/13/18)

Knoxville community gathers to discuss race (KNS, 11/13/16)