Reverend Glenn Shelton, a member of the planning committee for
the breakfast, gave the invocation praying all would use their
energy to serve others and asking God to "have your way in this
The keynote speaker on this special day was Dr. Arthur Sutton, who
has worked in the social services and education fields for more than
25 years. He has worked for the Illinois Board of Higher Education
in Springfield since 2005, and served on various task forces and
Dr. Sutton received both an undergraduate degree in Communication
and a graduate degree in Education from ISU, and his Doctor of
Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
He began a community basketball program for at-risk youth in
Bloomington, as well as a computer literacy program in the early
Dr. Sutton and his wife Gwenda live in Lincoln.
Dr. Sutton said education is so important and dreams are a bridge
for education. All of us can better our circumstances, especially
through education. We need to develop tasks to prepare for future
skills. We have to prepare ourselves for better technology.
Sutton quoted King as he said, “We commit ourselves to thinking.”
Dr. Sutton also said, "Think, behave, and then accomplish."
Dr. Sutton worked years ago as a counselor in Maryland and said we
should be inspired by King to help one another. You have to learn
how to unlearn some behaviors. Police, fire departments, hospitals,
and our colleges should be willing to help our communities be
better. We should move forward. We should have a responsibility,
expectation, and hope, desire to be better and go beyond
Dr. Sutton said he grew up in the inner city, but was encouraged to
work hard in school. There was a world of possibilities through
education. Sutton said he went to Illinois State University and his
mom wanted him to be an engineer, but he went into education
Dr. Sutton said while working on his doctorate at Duquesne
University in Pittsburgh, he had a chance to visit Oxford University
in England. In high school he had written an essay about
Shakespeare's Globe Theater, so he was especially excited to visit
the Theater while in London. Dr. Sutton got to experience something
he had written about and said, "having a dream allows you to say,
one day, I want to get there." Education takes you places bigger
than you can imagine.
Dr. Sutton said all is possible if we make a commitment to be
better, just as Dr. King made a commitment to be better, work with
his community, and encourage one another. Sutton worked on his
doctorate to be better. He encouraged all in attendance to be
encouraged, be inspired, improve, go beyond, be better, and make a
commitment to improve.
Dr. Sutton said people should have a dream, work on it, and better
themselves to move forward. Having a dream helps you to get there
and takes you to places higher than you can imagine. He said, "You
need to have a purpose, stay committed, and be focused. If you
really focus, you can do well."
Dr. Sutton said Dr. King had to work hard to achieve his dream and
laid his life down for his dream. He said King's "I Have A Dream"
speech was one of the most inspirational speeches in history.
He closed by saying, "Let us be encouraged to be better citizens,
family members, and individuals" so that we fulfill the dream of Dr.
Tom McLaughlin, Lincoln Heritage Museum Director, and the morning's
Master of Ceremonies introduced Lincoln College President David
President Gerlach welcomed everyone to the breakfast, and shared the
goal of transforming Lincoln College back into a four year school
with a full range of baccalaureate degrees.
Dr. Gerlach said Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln are
linked as men who were assassinated while addressing racism in the
United States. He said both were known as great orators and both
were assassinated in the month of April right before Easter.
Gerlach said the breakfast was started by Joyce Kinzie and Reverend
Glenn Shelton in 2009, and during the first three years relied on
ticket sales to fund a $1,000 annual scholarship at Lincoln College.
[to top of second column]
After Joyce Kinzie died in 2010, the breakfast was moved from
the Maple Club to the Lincoln College campus and sponsorship
opportunities were added in addition to a $10,000 grant from the
Woods Foundation. The scholarship was fully funded in 2014.
Starting as a breakfast with 100 attendees that raised $2,400,
it has grown to over 200 attendees, and now raises just under
$8,000 annually. In eight years, donors have given $40,000.
The 2015-2016 Martin Luther King Minority Scholarship went to
recipient Shakia Dawson, a 2013 graduate of Lincoln Community High
School who plans a career in broadcasting.
Dawson said she is very honored, lucky, and blessed to receive this
award that has helped her afford college and encourages her to be
successful. She thanked teachers and donors for support and helping
As the Second Baptist Youth Choir prepared to take up a collection
for the Scholarship fund, Reverend Shelton spoke of serving through
giving and reminded everyone of the contributions of Joyce Kinzie.
The Lincoln College Chorale sang "We Shall Overcome" as the
collection was taken.
During the morning's program, the Second Baptist Youth Choir also
sang "Chasing After You" and "My God is Awesome," Lincoln College
Chorale performed "Down to the River to Pray," and Lincoln College
Student Jaedyn Krebs-Carr sang "Tell My Father."
Reverend Shelton closed the morning's events with a benediction
reminding all to go out and serve, and praying that the love of God
would comfort the nation and abide in each and every heart.
Attendees were served a large buffet style breakfast prior to the
program of inspiration words and song.
The scholarship committee consists of the Reverend Glenn Shelton,
Les Plotner, Tom McLaughlin and Cynthia Kelley.