EDWARDSVILLE - Mt. Joy Missionary Baptist Church hosts the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, Monday, January 20, 2020, 10:00 Am., at Mt. Joy Missionary Baptist Church, 327 Olive Street, Edwardsville, IL. The Keynote speaker for this year’s program is Ms. Deserea Howard a 2019 SIUE Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee and head coach of the Alton High School Girls Basketball Team. The program is free and open to the public. For more information about the program please call 618.656.7219.

Ms. Howard, a Chicago native and graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School archived academic and athletic success while a Student-Athlete competing in track and field at the University of Illinois Champaign and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville receiving All America Awards; winning two NCAA Division II National titles; three Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Athlete of the Year awards, and amassing over 19 other GLVC distinctions and titles. In 2008, Deserea won the Division II Outdoor National title in the 400-meter hurdles and was the anchor of the SIUE’s 1,600-Meter Relay team which won the indoor national championship. Ms. Howard is SIUE's record holder in the indoor 200-meter hurdles and the outdoor 400-meter hurdles.

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After receiving her Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois Champaign, she returned to SIUE and received her Master's degree in Kinesiology in 2013. In October of last year, Ms. Howard was named Head Coach of the Alton High School Girls Basketball team where she is also the Assistant Coach for the School’s Girls Track Team.

Ms. Howard is married to Donte Howard and they are the parents of two daughters, Dionne and Dawsyn and they reside in Troy, IL. “We are happy one of our outstanding young members is highlighting this year MLK’s community program; Deserea is a role model for all of us,” said Steve Jackson, Pastor of Mt. Joy Missionary Baptist Church.

Mt. Joy has been a part of the Greater Edwardsville religious community since 1869 and welcomes this unique opportunity to share our rich history and living heritage.

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