News & Events

25th Annual MLK Gospel Festival Honors Birth of Civil Rights Leader

Praise Dancers
The Mount Pisgah Praise Dancers performed at the 2013 Gospel Festival.

Dec. 22, 2014

Illinois Wesleyan University and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal, Ill. will present the 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Gospel Festival on Jan. 19. The event, which is free and open to the public, will run from 4 to 9 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall.

The festival honors King’s legacy and will feature performances by The United Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal Mass Choir, The Gayles Memorial Baptist Mass Choir and Praise Dancers of Aurora, The Fantastic Jones Family of Springfield, and The Family Choir of Harvey, Illinois.

Additional performers include Mount Pisgah Sunbeam Choir, Union Missionary Baptist Church Junior Gospel Quartet, Union Missionary Baptist Church Adult Choir, Mount Pisgah Praise Dancers and Mount Pisgah Adult Choir.

See program details

Also celebrating King's legacy is the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Dinner on Jan. 25.

The Gospel Festival was founded in 1991 by the late Corine Sims and her husband, the Rev. James Sims, with Illinois Wesleyan and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal as co-founders. King spoke at Illinois Wesleyan in 1961 and returned to the University in 1966 after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

For additional information about the festival, or to make arrangements for persons with disabilities requiring any auxiliary aids, services, or special arrangements, contact Carl Teichman, director of government and community relations at (309) 556-3429, or Barbara Sims-Malone, president of the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal, at (309) 706-6638.

By Danielle Kamp ’15