A 27th-annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Mount Airy is scheduled Monday, when the keynote speaker will be a local resident who serves as a pastor in Virginia.
It will involve a luncheon meeting presented by the Surry County NAACP branch, to begin at 11 a.m. at J.J. Jones Alumni Auditorium on Jones School Road.
Anywhere from 70 to 120 people typically attend the event, which features special music and other activities to honor the work of Dr. King and the continuation of his vision of equality and opportunity for all.
Surry NAACP President Faye Carter is especially looking forward to the appearance by the Rev. Daryl Beamer as special speaker for the occasion, which coincides with the national observance of MLK Day each year on the third Monday in January.
Beamer is the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Woodlawn, Virginia, where he has served for three years after being associated with churches elsewhere in that state.
He was born in Galax to Bishop William Beamer and Gaye Beamer, but spent most of his time in Mount Airy. That included graduating from Mount Airy High School and later attending Forsyth Technical College in Winston-Salem.
One of the key events of Beamer’s life occurred at age 12, when he was anointed to play the piano by Bishop Eugene Clark. Beamer has played for numerous churches and choirs since.
He joined the ministry in 1997 and was ordained in 2004.
Beamer served as minister of music for First Baptist Church in Pulaski, Virginia, for 11 years, where he also was associate minister.
He was pastor of Taylor’s Chapel Church in Fries, Virginia, for more than eight years.
In addition to his present pastor position with Bethany Baptist Church, Beamer serves as moderator of the New Covenant Baptist Association of Virginia and North Carolina.
Music has remained a big part of Beamer’s ministry, which is assisted by his wife Roxanne.
She is an accomplished singer and will perform during Monday’s King Day observance, according to Carter.
Along with his ministerial duties, Daryl Beamer is employed as office manager of Belk Department Store in New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg, Virginia.
Carter indicated Tuesday that Surry NAACP members were aware of Beamer’s speaking abilities and knowledge and decided to invite him to address the annual MLK luncheon meeting.
“And he accepted,” said the NAACP president. Carter added that Monday’s event represents an opportunity to hear a distinguished local resident speak about Dr. King’s legacy — what has been accomplished and what remains to be done.
The admission price for the King Day luncheon is $10.
Tickets have been selling well, Carter said, and will be available through Friday.
“There will be no tickets sold at the door,” she said.
Ticket purchases can be arranged with Carter at 336-429-0324 or Teressa Spencer at 336-786-4161.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.