News & Events

Annual Gospel Festival Celebrates King’s Legacy

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –– Performances by some of the area’s leading gospel groups are slated for Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 at the 30th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Gospel Festival. The festival will run from 5 to 9 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall, 1210 Park Street, Bloomington.

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 Jan. 20 Gospel Festival, which is free and open to the public, will feature performances by The Fantastic Jones Family of Springfield, Ill, 1AKORD from Peoria and Rockford, Ill; Church of the Living God and St. Luke Church from Peoria. Ill.; and The United Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal Mass Choir. Additional performers include Mount Pisgah Baptist Church Sunbeam Choirs, BCAI-School of Art Praise, Union Baptist Church Adult Choir and the Powers Sisters.

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.