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Civil Rights giants to celebrate Martin Luther King’s life

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic life, passion for justice and his remarkable civil rights journey will be chronicled and memorialized by four of King’s loyal followers. The tributes take place during the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Worship Celebration on Sunday, January 14 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Morgan Park United Methodist Church 11030 S. Longwood Drive in Chicago. The theme of the celebration is: “MLK Dream Keepers…Staying the Course!”

The commemorative to King is free to the public, although offerings are welcome. It is being hosted by the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC) of the United Methodist Church and coordinated by the Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc., (BMCR) of Northern Illinois.

The event combines spiritual worship with reflections by Chicago area civil rights legends who were comrades of Dr. King. The activists who will be featured in the program participated in protests and linked arms with King. They are:

Brenetta Howell Barrett

Dr. Timuel D. Black

Rev. Martin L. Deppe

Rev. Dr. Calvin S. Morris

Each of these living legends shared King’s passion for justice, fought for fairness, put their lives on the line and remain devoted to giving life to Dr. King’s dream. Following their presentations, the speakers will entertain questions.

Musicians who will celebrate Dr. King’s legacy at the event are Wanda Bishop, Minister of Music at Park Manor Christian Church, and 12-year-old phenom Caleb Bunton of St. Mark United Methodist Church.

Primus J. Mootry, former executive director of the Better Boys Foundation in Chicago will emcee the celebration. Mootry currently serves as chairman of the board of the Anderson Impact Center in Anderson, Indiana. The Center provides a program of wraparound services designed to strengthen and beautify the city’s inner-city community. He is also a columnist for the Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana.

The Northern Illinois Conference (NIC) of the United Methodist Church represents 381 churches in six Districts throughout Northern Illinois. Bishop Sally Dyck serves as Episcopal Leader.

Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc., of Northern Illinois equips, enables and serves as advocates for the unique needs of African American Congregations in the United Methodist Church. The Reverend Dennis M. Oglesby, Jr., Senior Pastor of Transformation Community United Metho-dist Church in Harvey, Illinois, is president.

Oglesby says this celebration represents a rare opportunity to meet iconic civil rights heroes who were King’s partners in the Movement and remain drum majors for justice.  “These leaders,” declared Oglesby, “believed in King and sacrificed their lives for the higher goal of achieving equality for all.” He encouraged the public to “come, see, hear and learn from these living legends who are part of the civil rights legacy!”

For more information, call Sylvia Jo Oglesby at 773-710-4263.

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