For the first time since 2019, Wyandotte County residents are invited to gather for a Citywide King Holiday Celebration. The 43rd Citywide celebration will be held on Mon., Jan. 16 at Memorial Hall, 600 N. 7th St. in downtown Kansas City KS. The doors open at 10am. with the annual program beginning at 11 a.m.  

Individuals who arrive early will be on hand for the announcement of a new violent crime strategy, “Group Violence Intervention, a new effort by Churches of United Justice, a coalition of 14 Wyandotte County Churches. That “press conference” will be held from 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  

The Citywide ecumenical celebration is the largest event of the year co-sponsored by Wyandotte County Unified Government, the Baptist Minister’s Union and the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office. 

The event’s keynote speaker will be Dr. William H. Curtis who serves as Senior Pastor at Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, PA.. He also serves as a seminary professor, provides pastoral instruction and is co-owner  of The Church Online, a successful technology and full-service marketing firm that provides top of the line services to ministries around the world.

Dr. Curtis has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Among the most notable is his 2009 induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College.  He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi, and the author of several books. 

Violence Intervention Program

Churches United for Justice (Churches United), an ecumenical, non-profit organization consisting of 14 churches in Wyandotte County working to surface and address issues of justice in the Kansas City, KS region are sponsors of the 10 a.m. program.  

Despite a decreasing number of homicide deaths over the past three years, Wyandotte County, KS homicide and the rate of violent crimes in Wyandotte County remains higher than members of Churches United finds acceptable. For that reason, clergy, community partners and families of victims will unite at the joint press conference to demonstrate broad, public support for KCK Police Department to start the work of conducting an initial problem analysis but go above and beyond by fully implementing Group Violence Intervention within the county.

Confirmed Speakers at the Violence Intervention rally will be Rev. Tony Carter,Salem Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Ronald King, Mason Memorial United Methodist Church; and Rev. Bruce Draper, retired from Great Plains United Methodist Church.

Mayor Tyrone Garner will be one of the officials who will attend and respond to furthering the crime reduction strategy. 

Scholarship Awards 

A highlight of the program beginning at 11 is the awarding of scholarships to deserving students from the KCK, Turner and Piper school districts that make up Wyandotte County, KS. During the past 42 years over 1 million dollars have been raised and distributed. Again this year, Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree has committed to sponsoring five scholarships.  

Get Involved 

Churches and individual donations are important to reach the organization’s goal of  providing $13,000 in scholarships to area students. Individual donations can be sent to https://gkccf.kimbia.com/king01

Contributions can be mailed to:

MLK Holiday Celebration, C/O Oak Ridge Baptist Church, 9301 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas 66112. 

Choir Members Wanted: If you’re interested in singing in the All Faith MLK Choir, contact Alicia Saunders @ saundersong@aol.com