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Concert to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Cover Story

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday will be celebrated Jan. 15 with a live concert at Abundant Life Seventh-Day Adventist Church, located at 1720 N. J St., in Las Vegas’ historic Westside community.

“We are very excited to have renowned gospel singer Whitney Phipps perform at our concert,” said Abundant Life Christian Academy Principal Johnny Holliday. “He has performed for such dignitaries as former President Bill Clinton and others from around the world. Our students will also commemorate Dr. King’s birthday with live oracle performances of his famous speeches.”

A Macon, Ga., transplant who arrived in Las Vegas with his family six months ago, Holliday says that the educational methods at his school are unique. “All of our teachers, from kindergarten to eighth grade, are certified,” he noted. “One teacher taught in the public school system for 15 years. We currently have 33 students enrolled, and academic excellence is what the students grasp. Their understanding is that the word of God says, ‘In all your learning get understanding,’ and our teachers’ sincerity in the teaching of the word of God, and Christian character, makes our school competitive.”
Proceeds from the live concert will benefit both the school’s expansion and student scholarships. Studying King’s contributions to the world, it seems, has inspired the children.
“I teach the Bible classes, and we have conducted open discussions about Dr. King’s civil rights movement and his belief in nonviolence,” said Holliday. “Exposing the students to great leaders such as Dr. King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, just to mention a few, contribute to their understanding of global history.”

With pupils beginning their school days at 7:30 a.m., literacy is a key component of the daily schedule at Abundant Life. “The students are asked to come to school early for reading,” said Holliday. “They begin the day with a book in their hands, and research has shown that academic achievement is accomplished through reading.”
The majority of the students reside on the Westside, and Holliday wouldn’t change a thing. “God’s mission is about being in the trenches and serving those who are in need,” he insisted. “We pride ourselves in operating our school on J St. … and parents can hold us accountable for their child’s academic achievements. Because, ultimately, we are accountable to God.”
For more information, call Abundant Life Christian Academy at (702) 647-2777 or go online to

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