Gov. Ralph Northam poses for photos following a celebration service in Capeville in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By Ted Shockley


Gov. Ralph Northam said Sunday afternoon that the construction of two community centers, one in each Eastern Shore county, are among his priorities in office.

“We went to the moon. We can build two community centers on the Eastern Shore,” said Northam, speaking to a large crown at First Baptist Church in Capeville during a celebration service for the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Northam also reiterated his desire for all children in Virginia to have access to pre-kindergarten education.

Northam was the featured speaker at what he calls his home church. The Rev. Kelvin F. Jones of First Baptist has been the governor’s pastor for years and frequently attends events around the state with Northam.

A special guest at the event was Alvy Powell, the Cheriton native who has performed for several U.S. presidents and is internationally known for his opera performances. Powell sang two selections for the crowd.

King, as a seminarian, visited the Eastern Shore and preached at First Baptist in 1950.

Northam quoted King, telling the crowd, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

He added of King’s famous quote, “Maybe we should telegraph that up to Washington.”

Other speakers included Jones, state Sen. Lynwood Lewis, Northampton Revenue Commissioner Charlene Gray, and Sheriff David Doughty.