Thirty + Years of Martin Luther King Celebrations at First Baptist Church

In 1982, when the organization “The Council for Civil Rights of New Hampshire” was looking for a place to host a tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., First Baptist of Nashua was the only church in the state that offered to open its doors to host the event. Ever since, for the past 35 plus years, First Baptist Church has proudly held this annual celebration, spreading a message of hope and inspiration to our New Hampshire communities.

New Hampshire was one of the last states to officially declare Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. The First Baptist Church celebration was especially joyous January 18, 1999, the year that the state officially declared Martin Luther King Civil Rights Day a holiday.

The event has hosted many wonderful keynote speakers over the years, including

  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • The Rev. Dr. Eddie O’Neil
  • US Attorney Wayne Budd
  • The Rev. Dr. Regina Shearer
  • Dr. Wanda Mitchell 
  • The Rev. Dr. Paul Gillespie 
  • Valerie Cunningham, noted New Hampshire African-American historian
  • The Rev. Liz Walker, pastor and former Boston TV news anchor
  • The Rev. Dr. Charles Willie
First Baptist Church is grateful for those who continue to be a part of the message of hope that is at the core of this annual celebration. Together, we make the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. an inspiration to us today and a beacon into our future.

New Fellowship Baptist Church Gospel ChoirNH Gay Men's Chorus performing at the 2016 MLK Celebration