Guest speaker Rev. Libya Baaqar said it's because of King that "a great melting pot of people are allowed to sit here today."
Baaqar likened last week's snow storm to conditions across the country. She said the inclement weather turned the streets into an ice rink and had people stuck in conditions.
"There are also some inclement things that have caused us to be stuck in our conditions across the country," Baaqar said.
She said communities are in bad situations and young people have forgotten about values and morals.
"They forgot all about what Dr. King stood for," she said. "They know his name, they talk about him in the schools, but they don't understand what he went through."
Baaqar said some folks are sleeping in bushes and don't know where their next meal is coming from.
"We are so occupied with ourselves that we forgot about our brothers and sisters who need a helping hand," Baaqar said.
Baaqar said like Moses, God is calling his people to the bush.
She said, "God is telling you about that child in the community that didn't get enough food."
"It's time to get off your rump and take some action," Baaqar told the audience.
Baaqar said take action like King. "Suppose Dr. King decided not to enter into the Civil Rights movement, where would we be?" she asked.
She encouraged the audience to get involved and help each other, telling them trouble does not discriminate. "It's not racist and it will stop by your way."
"Dr. King didn't do everything he did for us to sit down," she said.
In addition to Rev. Baaqar's speech the annual Drum Major Award was presented to a surprised Linda Wilkins Everett. Everett was described as a woman with a passion for what the award entails with a commitment to family and community.
Bartow County Clarence Brown said Everett was a good choice. "I'm proud of Linda Everett for receiving the Drum Major Award," he said.
Rev. John Lampley, who briefly addressed the audience, said he's proud of the city. "There's some great things going on in the Cartersville/Bartow area. He said Dr. King was a great man with a great legacy.