MLK Event Set at Wheeling Jesuit

WHEELING — Wheeling Jesuit University and its community partners have set the schedule of events for this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King celebration, which will be held Jan. 15-16.

New this year will be a presentation featuring an alumnus from Wheeling Jesuit University. The Rev. Paul Abernathy ’01 of Focus Pittsburgh will give a talk titled “King’s Vision: A Tangible Witness in a Brokenhearted World” at 7 p.m., Monday in WJU’s Troy Theater.

The weekend celebration begins at 1:15 p.m. Sunday with the annual MLK Day Interfaith March for Peace and Freedom. Participants are asked to gather at the top of Wheeling Hill, at the intersection of National Road and Stone Boulevard, where they will walk to the bottom. The march will end by the Fourth Street United Methodist Church – located at 1060 Chapline St., Wheeling.

Participants can park at the bottom of Wheeling Hill, near the YWCA at the corner of 10th and Chapline streets. A shuttle will take people to the top of the hill to begin the walk.

At 2 p.m., Sunday, a Reflection Service will be held at Fourth Street United Methodist Church. Offering reflections will be: Owens Brown, WV NAACP, president; the Rev. Cynthia Byers-Walter, Lawrencefield Parish Church; the Rev. Ted Dodd, C3 Congregation; Rita Gupta, Palace of Gold; the Rev. Danny Mason, Laughlin Chapel; the Rev. Bill Matheny, St. Michael Parish; and Sr. Christine Riley, Sisters of St. Joseph. Those gathered will hear reflections on the rights Dr. King fought for as a civil rights activist.

A special thank you goes out to the Rev. Alan Flaitz of Fourth Street United Methodist Church for providing his church and sharing his musical talents for the service.

After the service at 3 p.m., a community meal will be held at the church, where a $3 donation per person is requested.

Sunday’s activities will conclude at 4 p.m. with a community worship service at the Macedonia Baptist Church, located on 12th Street in Wheeling. The program will be presented by the Upper Ohio Valley Ministerial Alliance.

During the service, the Rosa Parks Award will be presented to Diana Bell of Catholic Charities and John Mattox, curator of the Underground Railroad Museum. The award is given by the committee each year those in Wheeling area who continue the work of Dr. King and civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Owens Brown and Rev. Robert “Bob” Willits will receive the Dr. King Upper Ohio Valley Ministerial Alliance Award as well.

All children’s educational activities Monday, Jan. 18 will take place at Laughlin Memorial Chapel, located at 129 – 18th St., Wheeling. The day begins with a 9 a.m. breakfast for school-age children.

Winners of the annual MLK Day Essay Contest will read their work aloud during the activities at Laughlin Chapel. Hundreds of entries were received again this year for the essay contest.

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