The Morristown Task Force on Diversity cordially invites residents of the Lakeway area to a Community Celebration of the continuing influence and legacy of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 18, 2016.

The Breakfast and Celebration will be held at First Presbyterian Church Family Life Center, 600 W Main Street, Morristown, Tennessee. (Directions to the church)

Doors open at 7am with the buffet breakfast catered by Jersey Girl. See Ticket Information below.

The program begins at 7:30 am and includes music, a keynote address and awards honoring members of our community who reflect the ongoing work of Dr. King. There will be two community awards given:

  • The 2016 MLK Award for Advancing Cultural Awareness
  • The 2016 Martin Luther King Jr Award for Service and Advocacy

In addition, Morristown Task Force on Diversity, Hamblen County Schools and the local newspaper, The Citizen-Tribune, are co-sponsoring the annual essay contest.  Winners in four categories will be presented their awards at the breakfast.  Detailed information about the essay contest can be found on the drop-down menu under 2016 Essay Contest.

The program will conclude by 9am in order to allow those who attend and who wish to participate in the Annual March in Dandridge to take part in that event.

TICKET INFORMATION:  Tickets for adults are $15. Student tickets are $10. Tickets for Veterans are $10. One only need to show one’s card at the door.

To Pick Up in Person: Tickets are available at Rose Center, at the office of the Citizen-Tribune or from members of the Task Force.

To Reserve Tickets and Pick Up at the door:  Tickets may also be reserved and picked up at the door by going to the menu tab “Contact Us” and send us a reservation request. The deadline for reservations is January 11, 2016.

To Communicate with Someone in Person: If you have questions and wish to speak with someone from the group, click the tab marked Mailing Address and Phone Numbers just below the Contact Us tab. There you will find several avenues for making personal contact.

Force Master Chief Mitchell receives a key to the city from Mayor Gary Chesney. Photo by Chuck Hale, published by the Citizen Tribune on January 18, 2016

Force Master Chief Mitchell receives a key to the city from Mayor Gary Chesney. Photo by Chuck Hale, published by the Citizen Tribune on January 18, 2016

Master Chief Mitchell’s address can be viewed here: website

This short video also includes the 2016 MLK Essay Winners reading their essays.



The 2014 MLK Community Breakfast and Celebration was held at First Presbyterian Church on Monday, January 20, 2014.

The Keynote Speaker was the Rev. Wayne Purcell.

Rev. Wayne and Andrea Purcell

Rev. Wayne and Andrea Purcell

The Rev. Wayne Purcell is well-known to the Morristown and Asheville, North Carolina communities, where he has served congregations, hospitals and communities as pastor, teacher, counselor and community builder. Since 1987, he has been pastor of Varick Chapel AME Zion Church in Asheville.

 He writes, “I have spent a lifetime of ministerial skills helping to improve society while reinforcing the work of the Lord.”

Rev. Purcell teaches, trains and supervises clergy, nurses, medical support staff, social workers and volunteers at facilities in Black Mountain and Asheville. He is a lecturer on the subject of diversity and empathy within ministry and is a guest columnist for the Asheville Citizen Times. Earlier this year, he was a keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King walk in Dandridge.

Rev. Purcell’s past includes serving as an Administrator within the Blue Ridge Conference of the Piedmont Episcopal District and overseeing two half-way houses for men and women in transition. He has been a resource to his community offering educational programming, workshops and consultation to promote small businesses in Western North Carolina. He is a leader in interfaith, civic, and educational events.

However, Rev. Purcell is not only found in directive capacities. He is a “hands on” counselor to individuals and their families, in both church and hospital settings. All of his skills are present and available to someone who needs a hand up. He conducts regular visitations to homes, hospitals and prisons to provide comfort and support, especially for seniors and elderly.

Rev. Purcell received his Master of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC. His business degree in Administration and Marketing Management is from North Carolina Central University. He is married to Andrea who is herself, a leader in church and community. We welcome them both to this event.