Keeping the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive is the main goal for the Rev. E.C. Maltbia as he joins the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.
Maltbia was recently appointed by Arkansas Speaker of the House Robbie Wills to a four-year term on the commission. He represents the Second Congressional District on the 13-person panel.
Maltbia said he will work to continue focusing on racial unity and tolerance and "keeping the dream of Dr. King alive."
"It was important to Dr. King and should be important to people today," Maltbia said.
Maltbia was appointed Aug. 7 and has been sworn-in as a commissioner. He has also served as chaplain for the Arkansas House of Representatives. He is the founder and senior pastor of True Holiness Saints Center in Conway. Maltbia graduated from Conway Public Schools and studied business administration at the University of Central Arkansas.
"Now I am eager to roll up my sleeves and work in this capacity," Maltbia said. "I would like to thank Robbie Wills for his trust and confidence to allow me to serve in this position."
The commission was reduced to 13 members this year with DuShun Scarbrough as executive director. Maltbia and three others were appointed by Wills while Senate President Pro Tem Bob Johnson of Bigelow appointed four. Gov. Mike Beebe appoints five members to the commission and selects the chairperson.
Maltbia joins a busy commission. Scarbrough said he has been working in programming, on the Dream Keepers and leadership education. Scarbrough said the MLK Jr. Commission is also promoting a new license plate decal for Arkansas license plates that reads "Live The Dream ... Make Change Happen."
"The new license plate decal will supply funds for programs and scholarships for Arkansans," Scarbrough said.
Scarbrough hopes to use the commission to include all Arkansans and "promote the legacy of Dr. King not only one month, but throughout the year."
He plans to gear activities toward families and "teach the principles espoused by Dr. King. We have a torch to pass to a new generation."
Scarbrough said Maltbia will be an essential part of future endeavors.
"He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table," Scarbrough said. "I foresee great and unseen possibilities with our collaboration."
Maltbia said the commission members must work together for the greater good of all Arkansans and make future generations aware of the sacrifices of King and others during the Civil Rights movement.
Maltbia said he had the opportunity this year to speak during Faulkner County Martin Luther King Jr. events. His speech for the 10th anniversary event was "Yes, we can."
It is this attitude he plans to take to the state commission.
"Yes we can have a better tomorrow. Yes we can have a better place for the next generation. Yes we can have racial harmony," Maltbia said.