LYNN HAVEN - It's Doctor Martin Luther King's work that helped shape some of Bay County’s strongest community leaders.
His words molded the women in our community.
With songs of prayer and words of hope the Allen Chapel AME Church in Lynn Haven honored some of the most influential African American leaders at the annual Women's Day Celebration Sunday afternoon.
Sharon Sheffield, the first African American woman to be elected into politics in Bay County, was one of the many female speakers at the event.
Sheffield served as a Commissioner, then as Lynn Haven Mayor in 1991.
Four years later, the park on Ohio Avenue was named after her.
She said, "I'm just little Sharon Sheffield. But somebody thought enough of my accomplishments that I have done. With constant prayer and looking at the needs and trying to make a difference it happened."
Several of the women who took to the podium paid tribute to Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.
One of them was Joyce Green.
Green said, "We are celebrating Dr. King's birthday this week and he paved the way on the shoulders of others, but without Jesus there would not have been Martin. We are just grateful for this whole weekend."
His dreams of united communities inspired them to make Bay County better.
"It's just not black people who are trampled on at times its people of all colors. So we have to wrap our arms around them and follow the legacy that was left here for us," Sheffield said.
Tammy Hill told the Sunday gathering change only comes with a desire to keep learning.
Hill said, "I see where God has taken them and the things that god has shared with them and I’m just hoping and praying that he will allow some of those things to fall upon me."
And in observance of MLK they'll pass on Doctor King's life lessons to the younger generations.
"It has to be us as adults to teach them where it started where it went and how they got there," Sheffield said.