Martin Luther King Jr. Day events across the metro-east

News-DemocratJanuary 19, 2014 

MLK Day observances are being held throughout the metro-east:


The 17th Street Corridor Neighborhood Association will present the fourth annual MLK Day of Observance and Service Community Conversation Cafe Forum from 9 a.m. to noon Monday in the main auditorium at Lindenwood University-Belleville.

A panel of college and high school students will engage the community on the topic: "If I could change the community." The facilitator will be Professor Ashley Pollock, director of Academic Student Success and Retention & adjunct professor of history.


In honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Collinsville Area Ministerial Association will sponsor the fourth annual ecumenical service, "A Call to Serve," at 6 p.m. Monday at Collinsville First United Methodist Church, 207 W. Church St.

The keynote address will be given by Robert Green, superintendent of schools for Collinsville District 10.

Information: Pastor Mark Horn of UMC at 618-344- 3824 or Pastor Avery Duff at 618-344-2257 or

East St. Louis

A celebration is at noon Monday at New Life Community Church, 1919 State St., East St. Louis.

The theme is "Let Freedom Ring: A Dream Realized." The keynote speaker is the Rev. Kendall Granger, pastor of New Life Community Church.

Inspirational speeches, music and reflections on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy will be shared.

The event is sponsored by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Birthday Program Committee.

East St. Louis

East St. Louis AmeriCorps members and advocates will gather Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day by delivering boxes of food to the homes of the elderly.

Bill Kreeb, executive director of Lessie Bates Neighborhood House, said each member and advocate will display their appreciation and gratitude of King's dream by going door to door to seniors who are listed on Landsdowne's food pantry list in the East St. Louis area.

"Coming together in his observance will impact the lives of others and further illuminate the dream he set forth to accomplish," Kreeb said.


Lt. Col. Otis C. Jones is the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Day program at 10 a.m. Monday at Mount Joy Missionary Baptist Church in Edwardsville.

The program is free and open to the public.

Jones is executive officer to the vice commander of Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base. He grew up in Selma, Ala., and is a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is an accomplished pilot and flying instructor. He was formerly the commander of the 726th Air Mobility Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.

He is a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., the Organization of Black Pilots and the NAACP.

Members of Mount Joy will present music and activities, and the Praise Dancers will perform.

Mount Joy is at 327 Olive St.


An ecumenical community worship service is at 7 p.m. Monday at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 423 W. B St. in Lebanon.

The Rev. Tim Harrison, chaplain of McKendree University, is the speaker. It's sponsored by the Lebanon Area Ministerial Coalition.


The City of O'Fallon, O'Fallon Council of Ministers, United Congregations of the Metro East and the NAACP's O'Fallon branch present the fifth annual Martin Luther King Breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Monday at New Life in Christ Church, 689 Scott Troy Road.

Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley Sr. from the New Life in Christ Church is the featured speaker. Tickets are $10. Attendees are asked to bring two cans of food that will be donated to the O'Fallon Food Panty.

Tickets are available for purchase at Faith Lutheran, First Baptist, First United Methodist, New Life in Christ, O'Fallon Apostolic Assembly, O'Fallon United Church of Christ, St. Clare Catholic and St. Nicholas Catholic. Tickets are also available at O'Fallon City Hall, 255 S. Lincoln, and at the door the day of the event.

Information, contact Grant Litteken at or 618-624-4500, ext. 8760.

Southwestern Illinois College

A special observance event is from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus Main Complex Theatre, 2500 Carlyle Ave.

It's free and open to the public.

The program will feature a performance by the New Life in Christ Drama Ministry, a "Development of a Leader" presentation by SWIC Professor of Sociology Michael Smith and a special reading of "I Have a Dream" by sisters Mahdina, Morrocca and Jochabay McGeebey of East St. Louis.


Senior Services Plus will hold a Martin Luther King Day ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon Monday at 16 Emerald Terrace in Swansea.

Pastor David Goens of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church will read excerpts from the King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and discuss the significance of his words in the 1960s and in today's society.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Senior Services Plus at 618-465-3298, ext. 146.

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