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Senator Booker To Speak At Ridgewood MLK Celebration

United States Sen. Cory Booker Photo Credit:
The Rev. Joseph Ellwanger, Pastor Emeritus of Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee Photo Credit: Cross Lutheran Church

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — United States Sen. Cory Booker will deliver remarks at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Ridgewood United Methodist Church on Monday, Jan. 18.

The senator is addressing the theme, “We Shall Not Be Silent,” as The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee of Ridgewood and Glen Rock hosts its 34th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King.

The community is invited to attend this free program. Booker and The Rev. Joseph Ellwanger, Pastor Emeritus of Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, will be guest speakers during an interfaith worship service beginning at 10 a.m. Ellwanger is best known as a civil rights activist who marched alongside King.

The morning service will be followed by an 11:30 a.m. outdoor rally, 12 p.m. community lunch, and 1 p.m. screening of the documentary “I Shall Not be Silent.” The film highlights the work of Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a key figure in the American civil rights movement.

The program also includes Ridgewood and Glen Rock student speakers and musical performances by the Indian Hills Chamber Choir and Men of Umoja chorus.

Ridgewood United Methodist Church is located at 100 Dayton St. in Ridgewood.

Ellwanger, a white pastor, led an African American congregation for nine years at St. Paul Lutheran in Birmingham. He went on to serve as pastor of Cross Lutheran from 1967 to 2001. He was active in the civil rights movement and shares his experiences in his book, “Strength for the Struggle,” copies of which will be available for purchase at the event.

The annual Ridgewood/Glen Rock Martin Luther King Jr. celebration began in 1983 in an effort to unite area residents, regardless of faith or ethnic background, in worship and action as they work towards peace and justice for all.

More than 20 religious groups, the Ridgewood and Glen Rock boards of education, local government, and civic organizations participate in and support the event each year.

Click here for more information; contact Alice Newton at 201-951-9903; Roann Rubin at 201-704-4650; or email

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