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SPRINGFIELD — The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Committee of Wesley United Methodist Church will host its 42nd annual breakfast on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. at Marriott Springfield Downtown. Scholarships will be awarded to Springfield students who exemplify academic excellence, and the event will feature keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Renita Weems, as well as musical selections by recording artist Bishop L. Spencer Smith. This year’s theme is “It Starts with Me: Reclaiming the Dream.”

Weems is a writer, minister, biblical scholar, public intellectual, and ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She earned a Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1989, making her the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in Old Testament studies. She received her master of divinity degree from Princeton Seminary and her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College. In addition to being a former professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Weems has taught at Spelman College, Howard University Divinity School, and Memphis Theological Seminary.

Smith, an innovator, visionary, and thinker, is a prolific preacher and teacher sharing in churches, conferences, and seminars nationwide. He is the Impact Nation Fellowship Church’s lead pastor in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala. An apostolic trendsetter, his keen insight into culture and theological connectivity has positioned him as a voice of counsel and wisdom to many.

More than 400 community leaders, educators, and students are expected to attend and celebrate and promote educational empowerment among area youth. All are welcome for breakfast, music, and impactful messages. Tickets, sponsorships, and advertisements are available at wesley413.com.