Illinois Wesleyan University and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington-Normal will present the 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Gospel Festival on Jan. 19. The event, free 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 Rev. Spencer Gibson and the Integrity Singers from Peoria.
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.
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.
Presser Hall is located on the west side of Park Street. To access free parking across the street behind the Minor Myers, jr. Welcome Center, turn east on University Avenue