Minnesota man marched with MLK in Selma

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Jim Kloster's school in Chicago before he asked fellow religious leaders to travel to Alabama for what became a date with history.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Jim Kloster's school in Chicago before he asked fellow religious leaders to travel to Alabama for what became a date with history.

Kloster says meeting Dr. King changed his life and affected his ministry for years afterwards. The movie "Selma" recreates that march that became a turning point for the modern civil rights movement, but a retired minister from Minnesota lived that historic moment first-hand.

"Each Dr. Martin Luther King day I'm reminded of the experience we had together," he told Fox 9 over FaceTime.

Kloster was in training to become a minister in Chicago when Dr. King called on clergy to head south after African Americans clashed with police while trying to march to Birmingham to protest the racist system blocking them from registering to vote.

The documentary "Eyes on the Prize" caught a glimpse of Kloster as he and a dozen of his classmates got off the bus.

"We were very apprehensive because we didn't know what was going to happen," he said.

This newsreel shows hundreds of people preparing to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge that day where they were met by state troopers, but this time, the demonstrators prayed and turned around.

"Our immediate reaction was we were disappointed, because we felt we were capitulating. Our feelings were we should go ahead and do it, but we didn't understand the larger picture," he said.

Kloster was back in Chicago by the time a third march finally made it to the Capitol two weeks later, but he never forgot meeting and marching with Dr. King.

"He was very down to earth," Kloster said. "Very friendly and welcoming appreciative of our support. It felt good to be participating with him."

Kloster said his experience in Selma taught him to care for all people equally for the rest of his life.

"I feel humbly grateful that I was able to be in a position to be part of that experience."

Kloster gave talks about Selma for a few years after, but over time, he talked about it less and less.

In fact, his son, a high school history teacher, didn't know anything about it until he mentioned Selma was in a lesson plan and his dad asked if he'd ever told him about the time he met Dr. King.


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