Press Release

‘Pursuing the Dream’

December 9, 2019 – by Cole Hatcher

Delaware’s 2020 MLK Celebration Set for Jan. 19-20; Breakfast Tickets Available Now

DELAWARE, Ohio – The Delaware County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and Ohio Wesleyan University invite the community to join together in “Pursuing the Dream” during the 2020 observance of King’s life and legacy.

Rev. Dr. Ervin Smith

The two-day commemoration will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, with the 35th annual MLK worship service at Delaware City Vineyard, 32 Troy Road, Delaware. The free event will feature remarks from the Rev. Dr. Ervin Smith, emeritus professor of Christian ethics at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Smith also is the author of works including “The Ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” “Black Theology: Toward an Inclusive Church,” and “Christian Ethics and Affirmative Action.”

Delaware’s commemoration will continue at 7:45 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, with the 27th annual MLK Breakfast Celebration in the Benes Rooms of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

Dr. Korie L. Edwards,

Korie L. Edwards, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at The Ohio State University, will serve as featured speaker at the breakfast. Edwards is a leading scholar of race and religion in the United States and past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Her books include “The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches” and “Against All Odds: The Struggle for Racial Integration in Religious Organizations.”

Edwards’ current scholarship focuses on matters related to race and religious leadership. She is developing a book on contemporary African American religious leaders and their engagement in civic and political activity. In addition, Edwards is heading a national study of multiracial church pastors called The Religious Leadership and Diversity Project.

The 2020 MLK Breakfast buffet will open at 7:45 a.m., followed by the program from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Individual tickets are $25, with eight-person table sponsorships available for $175.

Proceeds support MLK Celebration Committee initiatives, including the MLK Scholarship, awarded annually to one or more outstanding high school graduates of Delaware City and County schools. Since 1990, the committee has awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships. This year’s recipients are Isabella Bosco, Cera Linnell, Raul Olvera, and Melita Sanders.

Breakfast tickets may be purchased online at 2020MLKBreakfastDelaware.eventbrite.com or by mail at: Office of the University Chaplain, Attention: Sharon Hayes, OWU/HWCC 308, Delaware, OH 43015.

Reservations and payment are requested before Jan. 10. Checks should be payable to the MLK Celebration Committee. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door, but the event has sold out in year’s past. For more information, contact Hayes at sehayes@owu.edu or (740) 368-3083.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.