SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ in Springfield brought their voices together, as they do every Sunday to give glory to God and joy to your neighbor. But Sunday’s service also gave thanks to the work Dr. King did, and for the mission he left for us to take.

“We’re celebrating him, his legacy, his life, and everything that he has contributed, and the fact that he was connected to the church just adds to it. Right? Because it is good to know that he knew God,” said one parishioner.

January 15th marks Dr. King’s 94th birthday and the 55th since he was murdered. Monday’s federal holiday will be the 33rd since it was first recognized in 1986. The passing time is a sober reminder that Dr. King’s iconic dream has still not been realized.

“He would be disappointed in the level of racial polarization. He would be disappointed to see we are still judged by the color of our skin and not by the content of our character,” Bishop Talbert Swan.

One overwhelming sentiment from both worshipers and leaders of Sunday’s service included the work of Dr. King being celebrated, but not just on Sundays, and not just on holiday weekends.

“The thrust of our ministry really is based on a liberation theology. Basically what King preached his entire life. So, the tenants that he lived by. The things that were important to him. We kind of highlight those all year long,” Bishop Swan continued.

The call to action as the rest of the country prepares to remember the civil rights hero… continuing the fight.

“They honor his legacy by continuing his work. By living according to the principles he set, and by understanding that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. By doing that they can honor his life and his legacy,” said Swan.