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Former Artesia pastor to give keynote speech

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ARTESIA ­— Artesia’s Keeping The Dream Alive organization will be hosting their 17th annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance Monday at 10 a.m.

Linger Stearns, president of the organization, said people from across the region are invited to attend the ceremony which will take place at the Artesia Community Center located at 612 North 8th Street.

She said the theme of this year’s ceremony is “MLK 50 Forward:Together We Win With Love for Humanity!”

The guest speaker will be Dr. Keith Wilks. He is the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Portales.

He was born and raised in Los Angeles and he has degrees from the Phillips School of Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

In addition to being a pastor in Portales, he also served as pastor of the Thompson Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Artesia.

Dr. Wilks has also been a pastor in other states as well and has also served as a hospital and hospice chaplain.

Along with being a pastor and a chaplain, Wilks has also written a book titled: “Addiction and the Pulpit: Living a Double Life.”

Dr. Wilks and his Joshua Ministries’ Research team of Wanda Pettus, administrative assistant and Christy Wooldridge, assistant researcher are the recipients of a 2018 Louisville Institute Pastoral Study grant.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.