Roanokers gather to honor and remember Martin Luther King

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ROANOKE, Va (WDBJ7) Dr. Perneller Chubb-Wilson remembers exactly what it was like to meet Martin Luther King.

"I was 23. And I told him how in the world you gonna do anything? You too short and little," she said.

It was Danville, 1963. Chubb-Wilson was a young activist at the time. And she's never forgotten the lesson he taught her

"Through God all things are accomplished. Don't care what size you are, how tall you are," she said.

It's a lesson Chubb-Wilson has tried to live, and pass on to the next generation. At a service in St Paul's Memorial Methodist Church today, a service full of music and prayer, that message went out to dozens of young Roanokers.

"Just everybody celebrating, it makes me really joyful," said 5th grader Carrington Mcneil. "That really got me thinking."

Services and celebrations for Dr. King popped up across the valley today. Roanoke College kicked off a week of MLK-themed events with a special speaker.

"There's serious work to do tonight," said Dr. Brad Braxton, a Salem native and curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

At St Paul's Memorial Methodist, Dr. Chubb Jones doesn't know how much longer she'll be able to share her story

"I been out here 64 years, and it's time to step down," she said.

Chubb-Wilson just wants to be sure there will be someone else in line to carry the torch first.

"But I do hope our young people will keep up on what's going on in America," she said.