Gospel Festival to Honor King's Legacy

Jan. 4, 2018

Gospel Festival

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Performances by some of the area’s leading gospel groups are slated for Monday, Jan. 15 at the 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Gospel Festival.

Presented by Illinois Wesleyan and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal, the festival – which honors King’s legacy – is free and open to the public. It will run from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall, 1210 Park Street, Bloomington.

The Jan. 15 Gospel Festival will feature performances by The United Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal Mass Choir, The Fantastic Jones Family of Springfield, and The Family Choir of Harvey, Illinois. Additional performers include: BACAI-School of Art Praise Dance, Living Word Ministries Choir, Mt Pisgah Sunbeam Choir, and Mt. Pisgah Puppet Ministry.

King spoke at Illinois Wesleyan in 1961 and returned to the University to speak in 1966 after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. These were King’s only two visits to the Bloomington-Normal community. The annual MLK Teach-In on Jan. 15 also honors King. 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 as co-founders.

To make arrangements for persons with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids, services or special arrangements, contact Carl Teichman, Illinois Wesleyan’s 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.

By John Twork