Reverend Bertrain Bailey Recites Famous MLK Speech in Chapel

Bertrain Bailey reciting I have a dream speech by MLK at chapel in Dallas

Every January, Dallas Baptist University hosts the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Walk on Martin Luther King Day. This event is a beautiful celebration of Dr. King's work for our country and an excellent way for DBU students to come together and celebrate. DBU alumnus Reverend Bertrain Bailey visits University Hill yearly to recite Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. However, the 2024 MLK Unity Walk was postponed due to wintery weather in the DFW area.

In place of the Unity Walk, DBU invited Reverend Bailey to speak during a chapel service to share his story and recite the famous speech. After an introduction from Dr. Jay Harley, Reverend Bailey opened his message with a story from his time as a student at DBU. As a student, Reverend Bailey used to recite the "I Have a Dream" speech in chapel, and one day, Dr. Gary Cook, former President of DBU, approached Bertrain and asked him for some of his information. At the time, Bertrain did not realize Dr. Cook was the university's President but provided his information anyway. Later, Dr. Cook explained that he asked this to find a scholarship for Bertrain. This awkward introduction sparked a long-time friendship between Dr. Cook and Bertrain. As Bertrain was a student, they would go on runs together and share meals while Dr. Cook taught Bertrain everything he knew about business. Dr. Cook even sent Bertrain to various places to recite MLK's speech on behalf of DBU because his delivery was so powerful every time. Dr. Bailey said, "Dr. Cook helped me in ways I cannot begin to express."

Reverend Bailey explained that he was blessed to grow up in the era he did. His father was born during the Jim Crow Laws, attended a segregated school, and experienced racism daily. Reverend Bailey shared that he experienced racism for the first time in 2022 when he was pulled over by a cop and accused of being under the influence. Reverend Bailey explained that he had never been under the influence of anything. Still, the police officer took him to the police station, and Reverend Bailey had to hire an attorney to remedy this wrongdoing. This terrible experience reminded Reverend Bailey that although we have made huge improvements since his father's childhood, much work still needs to be done. He challenged the student body, "It is up to you to be better than the generations before you. You are the future leaders of this country, and you have an opportunity to celebrate diversity."

Reverend Bailey then recited the famous "I Have a Dream Speech," originally delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 during the March on Washington. His powerful recitation moved the student body. Reverend Bailey closed the chapel service in prayer, thanked the Lord for everything He had done, and asked Him to continue to work in our country.

This special chapel service featured DBU alumnus Tamerick Brazzell as a guest worship leader. Tamerick is a gifted singer and worship leader, and as a DBU student, he was featured in the first-ever DBU Chapel Worship live recording.

About Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University is a comprehensive Christ-centered university dedicated to producing servant leaders through the integration of faith and learning. With an enrollment of over 4,200 students, DBU's main campus is located in the foothills of southwest Dallas. DBU offers 77 undergraduate programs and 39 graduate degree programs in various fields, online college degree programs, and two doctoral programs. Get more information about Dallas Baptist University ( by browsing our website, emailing, or by calling (214) 333-5172.

Written by Cameron Billings

Cameron Billings is the Assistant Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.