Clyde Strickland of Lawrenceville, Ga. has done a lot of things in his life, but none is more important than the World Peace Revival he’s involved in now.
He took the idea of a church revival to become a World Revival.
Strickland, one of the speakers at the recent Prayer March and revival sponsored by the Outside the Box ministry in Lawrenceville, has planned a major preview of an unfinished work.
Ultimately, the work will be an eight-foot-tall, finished bronze sculpture, with granite boulder from Stone Mountain
As part of the Peace Revival, there will be a sneak preview of an eight-foot-tall clay sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Thursday night, June 30 at the studio of sculptor Stan Mullins, 650 Pulaski St., Athens, Ga.
The preview of the clay sculpture will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.
“We have invited people to see the large clay form before sending it to the foundry,” Strickland said.
The artists, Kathy Fincher, and Mullins said they agree that this opportunity to work together on such a monumental piece of art of one of the world’s most inspirational leaders is an honor.
The work, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” is the design of Ms. Fincher who made three maquettes. “Now that the design has been approved by the National Monument Foundation, Stan and I are working together to make the design even better,” she said.
Rodney Cook, Jr., NMF president and Ms. Fincher took the first small maquette to let Mr. Strickland see it when he was in the hospital. “From that point on, I took each maquette to show him and Sandra,” Ms. Fincher said. “They encouraged me throughout the entire journey and prayed for this artwork, which shares that it was Dr. King’s faith that made him a great man.”
Mr. Strickland had high praise for the two sculptors. “Stan Mullins is a world-renown sculptor who works nearly 24/7 on his projects,” he said, adding that it will cost around $300,000 to $400,000. “Kathy Fincher has designed the figure of Dr. King the way God wants it done,” he added.
“We’re going to have a champagne toast, and the unveiling of the statue,” said Strickland of the sneak preview. “Everyone is invited. We have been working on this for nine years. Stan will welcome everybody, and there will be speeches by Dr. Alveda King and Dr. William L. Sheals, senior pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Norcross, Ga.”
The goal of the World Peace Revival that Clyde and Sandra are spearheading is “to bring the nation back together through the example, words and teaching of Dr. King.”
The completed bronze statue will be unveiled on Dr. King’s birthday, January 16, 2023, at Rodney Cook, Sr. Peace Park. Strickland said he’s been working on this park for about seven years.“
Development of the Peace Park, which will include Peace University, was sidetracked for a bit during the pandemic. “If it wasn’t for the COVID pandemic, the Peace Park and Peace University would be here,” he said. “People will be coming from all over the world to see this beautiful park.”
In the park, there are statues of the late District 5 U.S. Rep. John Lewis (Atlanta) and Ambassador Andrew Young. They will be joined in the next couple of years by other statues of well-known peacemakers from the past 300 years. Dr. King’s statue will be located next to Lewis’ and a 17-foot-tall statue of the Yamacraw Indian Chief Tomochichi that Mullins completed in 2021.
The park, located at 616 Joseph E. Boone Blvd., NW, Vines City, will have urban farming programs and a library of documents from the families of King and C.T. Vivian. The Peace University will one day offer graduate degrees in peace administration. Other amenities at the park will be a splash pad and playground.
The United States, says Strickland, needs a “faith-lift.” “We need to get back to reading the Bible in family life, and we need to start teaching the Bible in schools. It’s a roadmap to life.”
Strickland was born to sharecroppers on a farm in North Carolina. “We were taught the 10 Commandments, and we lived our lives by the 10 Commandments,” he said. “We put God first in our family.”
Strickland began Metro Waterproofing, Inc. of Atlanta, in 1972, building the business from scratch into one of the most successful in the state.