ATHENS, Ala. – Praise and worship is how many in the Athens community are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was standing room only at Sweet Home Missionary Church. Many were trying to pay their respects to Dr. King and Councilman Jimmy Gill. Gill passed away last year after a fight with cancer.
Gill's family said this celebration for Dr. King was something near and dear to Gill. "He always every year started out planning, trying to get speakers, the choir. And I think this year I know he`s in heaven smiling down on us because it was a great success," Gill's daughter Christy Gill said.
Gill's family was presented with an award during the celebration; the Dr. C. Eric Lincoln Humanitarian Award; for all the great work Gill did for the community. "There was so many things he did, made sure the needy family received things, and he was always looking out for the children," Gills wife Debora Gill said.
Debora Gill said she can remember watching Dr. King in high school and how he wanted everyone to unite. She said he made such a huge impact in the world and that's why it was important for her husband Jimmy Gill to put together this MLK event each year, but she knows her husband is proud. "I really miss him and I wish he was here today to see all of this celebration that went on," Debora Gill said.