King, the Radical

David Dean presents
a sermon written by 
Rev. Mark Ward
Former Lead Minister, UU Congregation of Asheville (NC)
“King, the Radical”
Claudia Marshall, Worship leader
Dr. Gary Smart, Accompanist
John Daugherty, Baritone, Special Music

Cornell West argues that the prophetic message of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been tamed and softened over time, so we tend to overlook the truly radical nature of his ministry. We’ll explore the theme of resistance in Dr. King’s life and work. 

About our Speaker 

David Dean, BBUUC member and an integral part of our Worship Team, is an Emmy-nominated editor who works as Senior Editor/Post-Producer for the PBS series “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love.” David is also a presenter, writer, and storyteller, who volunteers his time as the editor of our worship videos and contributes his other talents in the worship arts to our ministry.

About the Sermon Author 

The Rev. Mark Peters Ward was the lead minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville when he passed from a sudden cardiac event while visiting family in July of 2022 at the age of 68. He was a gifted writer and minister with a deeply generous soul. He conveyed hope for the world, courage to live fully, and open-hearted curiosity for each new day. Rev. Mark had a BA, three master’s degrees and a lifelong love of learning. He was a journalist for 20 years and became a Unitarian Universalist minister, ordained by the UU Congregation of Asheville in 2005. He served as lead minister for 17 years, retiring in June 2021, just over a year before his passing. Rev. Mark’s embrace of life was described by a phrase he often coined: “I find joy in the blooming, buzzing sea of existence in which we make our lives.” He loved music and the performing arts. He was an avid gardener, inspired cook, playful potter, and joyful volunteer. Ever seeing meaningful connection, he found meaning through nature, community, and acts of justice.

About Our Guest Musician

Baritone John Daugherty pursues a busy schedule of opera, song recitals and oratorio, performing repertoire drawn from a wide array of genres and styles. His recent stage roles include Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Joseph de Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, The King in Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette. In the concert hall, John has had appearances with the Albany Symphony, for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and for Michigan Opera Theater.

An avid proponent of new music, John recently sang the role of John Thomas in the world premiere of Jules Pegram’s award winning opera Higher Ground. Previously, John had performed as the baritone vocalist with the Tulsa Camerata in the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s This Land Sings.

When he is not performing John can be found reading the classics, strength training or searching for the next cup of coffee.