Dr. King had profound affect on Toledo bishop


Martin Luther King Day is a time for reflection in northwest Ohio and across our country. If we are Dr. Honor King, let us remember how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo Bishop Robert Culp, who attended at least three times in the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been leading the First Church of God ward in central Toledo for nearly 60 years.

“My dealings with Dr. King have been rare and rare,” he said, adding that he first heard the Reverend speak in the 1950s.

Culp was a college student in Indiana. He said King had a profound impact on his life.

“He’s helped us understand the relationship between Christianity and civil rights,” he said.

From there, Culp got involved on campus. As a young man, he also took part in the March in Washington in the 1960s. During a visit to Toledo, he spent time with the civil rights leader.

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“What impressed me so much was his simplicity, his honesty, his whole demeanor was just a simple humble man,” said Culp.

The king’s demeanor and poetic words continue to inspire the bishop today. He thinks if Dr. King were still here, his guidance would be useful.

“The type of rhetoric used at this time and the division that exists in our country, King would be of great help here because he believed that it is not about overpowering someone, but about standing up which is right, “said Culp.

He also said he believed there was a big shift in 2020.

“There was a time when Black Lives Matter was like insulting a person and now it’s defended by people you never thought would stand up for, both black and white” , he said. “With the help of the Almighty, one day I believe King’s dream will come true, at least free will not be just a beautiful song from yesterday, but a saying that is real to our people.”