Annual Gospel Festival Continues Virtually
Jan. 14, 2021
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The 31st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Gospel
Festival will take place, virtually, on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.
The festival will be streamed live via Illinois Wesleyan University’s YouTube channel
(www.iwu.edu/gospelfest) from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 18. Due to the ongoing pandemic, videos of
performances and speakers were submitted and edited together into the two-hour presentation,
which will also be made available to watch on-demand.
Presented by Illinois Wesleyan University and the United Community Gospel Singers
of Bloomington-Normal, the festival honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
who spoke at Illinois Wesleyan in 1961 and returned to the University to speak in
1966 after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. 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.
The 2021 Gospel Festival will feature performances by BCAI – School of Art Praise
Team, Doc Smith & The Disciples of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Fantastic Jones Family
of Springfield, Illinois, the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir, the Mount
Pisgah Baptist Church Sunbeam Choir and Holy Hands Puppet Ministry, the United Gospel
Singers of Bloomington-Normal Mass Choir, and Voices of Power. The festival will also
feature a presentation by Deneane Richburg, Artistic Director and Founder of St. Paul,
More information about the Gospel Festival is available by contacting Illinois Wesleyan
Director of Government and Community Relations Carl Teichman ’80, at (309) 556-3429
or Barbara Sims-Malone, Executive Director of the United Community Gospel Singers,
at (309) 706-6638.
By John Twork