MLK Gospel Festival
January 4, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The twenty-second annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Gospel
Festival will be held on Monday, Jan. 16 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Free and
open to the public, the event will run from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium
of Presser Hall (1210 Park St., Bloomington).
The celebration in honor of the birth of civil rights activist Martin Luther King,
Jr., will include performances by The United Gospel Singers of Bloomington/Normal
Mass Choir, The Hour of Deliverance Youth Choir, Boys and Girls Club Choir, the Rev.
Frank and Mrs. Bettye McSwain, Elder Homer Calhoun, Gayles Memorial Mass Choir and
Praise Dancers (Aurora, Ill.), The Fantastic Jones Family (Springfield, Ill.), Illinois
Wesleyan Chapel Gospel Choir and the Rev. Spencer Gibson and the Integrity Singers
Also performing will be Mount Pisgah Sunbeam Choir, Union Missionary Baptist Church
Junior Gospel Quartet, Union Missionary Baptist Church Adult Choir, Illinois State
Interdenominational Youth Choir, Loving Missionary Baptist Church, Jam Production
Choir, Mt. Pisgah Praise Dancers and Mt. Pisgah Adult Choir.
Bloomington Mayor Steve Stockton and Illinois Wesleyan President Richard F. Wilson
will provide welcoming remarks to the festival. Former Bloomington Mayor Jesse Smart
and others will offer remembrances of the first festival.
The Gospel Festival was founded in 1991 by the late Corine Sims, as a joint effort
with Illinois Wesleyan and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington/Normal.
King spoke twice at the University, once in 1961 before his famous "March on Washington"
speech, and again in 1966, after he became the youngest man to win a Nobel Peace Prize
for his efforts of non-violence protest in the Civil Rights Movement.
For additional information about the festival, contact Carl Teichman, director of
government and community relations at (309) 556-3429 or President of the United Community
Gospel Singers of Bloomington/Normal, the Rev. James Sims at (309) 828-4602.
Contact: Kristin Fields, ’12, (309) 556-3181, firstname.lastname@example.org