Annual MLK Celebration to be Held at ECC on January 21

Annual MLK Celebration to be Held at ECC on January 21

January 18, 2024 | ,

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, hosted by Neighbors United — Undoing Racism in conjunction with the ECC Film and Lecture Series, will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21, at East Central College in Union. The free event will take place in the John Edson Anglin Performing Arts Center and is open to the public.

This year’s featured speaker is Kenneth W. Wheeler, a retired ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Wheeler is a sought-after preacher, public theologian, and writer. He serves as a guest lecturer on pastoral leadership in the 21st century at Wartburg Theological Seminary, where he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.

Wheeler often delivers sermons for the National observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Most of his writings, sermons, and lectures focus on faith, race, and social justice. He is a respected elder and mentor to young pastors and seminarians.

A native of Jackson, Miss., Wheeler earned a B.A. in Religion from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

The Rev. Eric Moeller of St. Peter’s UCC, Washington, will be performing original music as part of the program.

Neighbors United – Undoing Racism has been an active group in the Franklin County area, well-known for their Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations that bring together church and social groups to celebrate and work toward King’s legacy of equality and community. Church groups and individuals from across the area have joined forces to expand their reach and build relationships in the community. The Civic and Community Engagement Committee at East Central College co-hosts the event.

For more information, contact Aimee Appell (Neighbors United chairperson and pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Washington) at or Leigh Kellmann Kolb, Associate Professor of English, at