Retired Chattanooga pastor remembers Dr. King
Reverend Paul McDaniel is a retired Tennessee Valley pastor who was a friend of Dr. King. He recalled being on his way to a church meeting when Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis.
It’s been 50 years since one of the darkest moments in our nation's history; the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.
The civil rights activist died at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, a spot that is now part of the National Civil Rights Museum.
His death was the top story 50 years ago on this day and words Reverend Paul McDaniel will never forget.
"I will always remember April the 4th 1968 and where I was," said Reverend McDaniel.
McDaniel is a retired Tennessee Valley pastor who was a friend of Dr. King. He recalled being on his way to a church meeting when Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis.
Prior to his death, the retired pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church attended school with Dr. King at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Dr. King was a senior and someone McDaniel viewed as a leader.
"But nobody could project the height at which he was projected,” he said.
McDaniel marched, protested and pushed for new legislation along with Dr. King for years, including registering voters.
He joined hundreds of people in Selma and thousands more in the march on Washington for Dr. King’s iconic speech. It would be his final message, just hours before his death.
For many, including those who marched with him, the words are just as important today.
"To bring people together regardless of their racial, religious, or class background and the basic word is to develop love relationships,” McDaniel said.
It's those values that laid the foundation for his 62 years as a pastor and a message still relevant for everyone.
"As Dr. King said, you shouldn't be judged by your character, looks or even beliefs,” he added.