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Public Invited to 8th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Celebration Jan. 21

Public Invited to 8th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Celebration Jan. 21:
Civil Rights Leader Dr. Charles Johnson to Speak/Book Signing that Evening

January 16, 2014

OLATHE, KAN, -- The public is invited to attend MidAmerica Nazarene University’s 8th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., at College Church of the Nazarene at 2020 E. Sheridan in Olathe. The event is free and features civil rights leader and pastor Dr. Charles Johnson.

Johnson is also the recipient of the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Award. Johnson’s 52-year career as a minister and community leader in Meridian, Miss., put him in the path of the famous “Mississippi Burning” trial. As a key African American witness in the case, Johnson played an important role for the Federal Justice Department, offering clarity to the event that lead to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The founder of the Meridian Action Committee, the Opportunities Industrialization Center and pastor of Fitkin’s Memorial Church of the Nazarene in Meridian, Johnson shared a platform with Dr. King, traveled with Dr. King and lead a march through Meridian following King’s assassination in 1968. Johnson later received a presidential appointment to the National Manpower Board by President Jimmy Carter and served on Mississippi Governor Cliff Finch’s Colonel Staff.

Johnson’s civil rights experience is the subject of a new book by Chet Bush, Called to The Fire. Bush’s account of Johnson’s life is a story of love, conviction, adversity and redemption in the pursuit of God’s call and the fight for justice and equality. Author Chet Bush will hold a book signing at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in MNU’s Mabee Library. The public is also invited to this event which includes light refreshments.

Sponsors of the community celebration include the City of Olathe, Enterprise Bank and Trust, the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, Olathe Walmart Supercenter, Precision Printing, Simmons First Bank, General Board of the Church of the Nazarene, Nazarene Publishing House and Schurle Signs, Inc.

For questions about the event please contact Evie Kowalewski at or (913) 971-3391.

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