Gospel Festival Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy

An array of gospel groups will take the floor at Westbrook Auditorium on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Jan. 13, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Performances by some of the area’s leading gospel groups are slated for Jan. 18 at the 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Gospel Festival.  Presented by Illinois Wesleyan University and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal, the festival honors King’s legacy. The 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 as co-founders.

King spoke at Illinois Wesleyan in 1961 and returned to the University to speak in 1966 after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

The annual MLK Teach-In on Jan. 18 also honors King’s legacy.


The Jan. 18 event, which is free and open to the public, will feature performances by The United Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal Mass Choir, Doc Smith of Milwaukee, The Fantastic Jones Family of Springfield, and The Family Choir of Harvey, Ill. Additional performers include Mount Pisgah Adult and Sunbeam Choirs, Union Missionary Baptist Church Adult Choir, BACAI-School of Art Praise Dance, Living Word Ministries Choir and Dance Team, Hallelujah Worship Center Team Club, and Xplicit Mime.

See the festival program.

The festival will run from 4 to 9 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall, 1210 Park Street, Bloomington. To make arrangements for persons with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids, services or special arrangements, contact Carl Teichman, director of government and community relations, at (309) 556-3429. More information about the festival is available from Teichman or Barbara Sims-Malone, executive director of the United Community Gospel Singers, at (309) 706-6638.