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Rev. Brother Ronald W. English (Fall 1963) Advanced The Gift Of Compromise To Finally Name A Street

(FYI: The Rev. Ronald W. English, of Charleston, West Virginia, was a Ministerial Assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and offered the prayer at his funeral in 1968. Charleston, WV is probably the last city in the nation to name a street to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The story behind the compromise reached concerning the name change revealed the power of collaboration to achieve a desired result.)


A resolution to name a street honoring Dr. King was passed unanimously by the City Council of Charleston, West Virginia on Monday, January 6, 2020. The initial proposal called for renaming Court Street, which had served as the epicenter of Justice and Governance since the city was founded, to be renamed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way sparked a controversy that proved to be an asset rather than a liability.

The compromise was approved in a collaborative meeting comprised of representatives from both sides of the controversy. While Charleston is the last among over 900 cities in the USA to honor Dr. King in this way, the process that produced it demonstrated the Gift of Compromise. The resolution passed in the first meeting of the City Council in 2020 also represents how 2020 vision from 2020 collaboration can produce significant results.

Commentary By The Rev. Ron English from Dec 28, 2019:

The word “compromise” often refers to a reluctant resolution to a difficult situation. In this sense, compromise is allied with concession as an agreement between conflicting parties which is closely monitored but shortly lived. However, a compromise created through collaborative conversations can serve as a teaching moment with a longer tenure.