Rev. Dr. Raymond A. Callies, Sr. began what is today one of the largest MLK Jr. marches in the nation. After the assassination of Dr. King, Rev. Dr. Callies had a vision to do many things that would keep Dr. King's dream alive.
Rev. Dr. Callies was born in El Campo, Texas. He attended Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. He then went on to receive a Master's Degree at Southwest Texas College. Rev. Dr. Callies was employed with the San Antonio Independent School District for more than 30 years where he taught math, history and industrial arts. He was also the pastor of First Gethsemane Baptist Church for more than 30 years.
Rev. Dr. Callies was also instrumental in the growth and development of San Antonio's Eastside. He was the founder and organizer of the Youth Leadership Conference for Community Progress. He and his organization were instrumental in getting traffic lights at busy intersections and improving drainage for the Eastside. He worked tirelessly to have Nebraska Street renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. He also founded J Street Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park and the Freedom Bridge on San Antonio's Eastside.
One of Rev. Dr. Callies' greatest accomplishments was the organization of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza where he and his organization raised money to have a statue of Dr. King and the Monument of Brotherhood erected on the plaza site. His vision took he and his organization to Austin, Texas where he led a march to have Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday recognized as an official state holiday. He was also instrumental in having James Whitcomb Riley Junior High renamed to Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
His tireless efforts and dedication to his community led to his becoming the first recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award.