Clyburn: MLK set him on the path to public service

Rep. Jim Clyburn (File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- One South Carolina politician says the course of his life was set by the influences of the lateDr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Congressman Jim Clyburn is the third ranking Democrat in the US Congress.

The congressman says he recalls how his life was changed as a result of meetings with the late civil rights leader. Mr. Clyburn told us he met Dr. King close to a dozen times before the assassination in 1968.

During one of Dr. King's visits to Charleston in 1967, Mr. Clyburn was on stage that day and says he remembers the tension with many opposed to the civil rights leader coming to town.

Congressman Clyburn will be appearing at numerous MLK events around the Lowcountry this weekend.

He says the theme for his speeches will be on point with Dr. King's message that there is no time like the present to stand for what you believe in.'If you consider yourself a part of the people of good will, are you making good use of your time in furthering, or are you sitting back waiting for time to be the great healer," he said.Congressman Clyburn says he has a book coming out that details his memories with MLK including a late night meeting with him that changed the congressman's life and set him on the path to public service.

We're told the book will be available to the public in April.While Martin Luther King Day isn't until Monday, events to honor the iconic civil rights leader have already begun.

There's a commemorative breakfast Friday at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia.

The keynote speaker will be the university's first African American student body president who graduated in 2001. To see more MLK events going on right here at home, click here to visit our Community Calendar.