In January 2019, Media Fellowship House held its 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. The event, nearing its third decade, begins our calendar year of activities. But, more importantly, has become a significant keystone for the organization.
Although we have coordinated the celebration, Fellowship House is pleased to collaborate with other groups, including the Media Area Branch NAACP and our local faith communities. The First United Methodist Church of Media has graciously, and almost exclusively, been our home for the event on the Sunday preceding the holiday. The celebration brings together a vast network of people and organizations with the primary goal of honoring this American icon and continuing to spread his message.
In the earliest years of our event, we were fortunate to have keynote speakers with first-hand experience, either knowing Dr. King or working directly with the efforts of his vision and “dream.” Notable among our speakers were Julian Bond, Ruby Dee and Arturo Bagley (Dr. King’s nephew), William Sloan Coffin, and civil rights pioneer, James Meredith.
A fundamental element of our program is music which entertains and inspires. In our event history, our souls have been lifted with a variety of musical groups that have presented a variety of religious traditions. It is with gratitude we continue to have singers and musicians supporting the MLK celebration.
As the years progressed, we transitioned to outstanding individuals who, in a contemporary setting, have studied and carried forward the intent and purpose for which Dr. King worked throughout his life. Among those were Dr. John Alston of the Chester Children’s Chorus; Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Nathanial Nichols; and Dr. Allison Dorsey, Swarthmore College professor and King scholar.
The 21st century presents yet another transition in keeping alive Dr. King’s life and quest for justice. Fellowship House is making a concerted effort to include the next generation. We have been fortunate to collaborate with the Rose Tree Media School District in bringing a diverse group of young musicians who exemplify talent and opportunity for success.
In keeping with the concept of a modern approach to Dr. King’s work, MFH selected Patrick Houston as the 2017 speaker. Mr. Houston, then a senior at Swarthmore College, renewed and expanded his knowledge of Dr. King, and presented a thought-provoking address on the man, the myth and the mission.
Media Fellowship House will continue to strive for relevance, meaning and purpose with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. We continue to invite all members of the community to attend, learn, contribute and advance the fellowship needed today.
30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Event Photos