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MLK Day speaker is ‘a Kansan you should know’

January 9th, 2019

Sherdeill H. Breathett Sr.

Sherdeill H. Breathett Sr., a bi-vocational pastor from Wichita, will speak Monday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

The program is free and open to the public.

Breathett, an Illinois native and a graduate (and football alumnus) of the University of Oklahoma, came to Wichita thinking he wouldn’t be there for long – but almost 30 years later, he still is.

He is lead pastor of ROCK Christian Fellowship, a church founded in 2017, and medical administrator for the Division of Corrections of the Sedgwick County government.

Breathett was the keynote speaker at the Kansas State Capitol for the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration., the online presence for Ingram’s Media and Ingram’s magazine, the leading business publication for Kansas and Missouri, named Breathett one of “50 Kansans you should know” for 2018.

When Sherdeill Breathett talks, you simply have to listen,” the sketch says. “His is the kind of voice you expect you’d hear on Judgment Day. But then he laughs, and you can feel that smile, and you know you’re talking to a friend.”

Breathett’s “passion for preaching,” the sketch continues, doesn’t only encompass the gospel – it also extends to “our need to educate our youth, give them a moral compass and help them succeed.”

Breathett and his wife, Genise, have been married for more than 30 years and are the parents of five and grandparents of seven.

The Breathetts counsel couples through their program “Marriage for Keeps.” As a pastor, Breathett has officiated at scores of weddings and baptisms – but he also helps with rent, mortgage and utility payments when times are hard, because “how you treat your fellow citizens is paramount.”

Breathett is deeply invested in the community. He has served as board chair for Mennonite Housing, president of Real Men, Real Heroes Inc., and as a member of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Citizens Advisory Council.

The community has recognized Breathett’s involvement. He received the Wichita Business Journal Leader in Diversity Award in 2016 and the Clergy of the Year award from the Wichita chapter of the NAACP in 2015.

Breathett is a graduate of Northeast Oklahoma Community College with an A.A. in journalism and of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, with a B.A. in journalism. He has a mini-master’s degree in public administration (certificate) from Wichita State University.

He is a certified “business retention professional” and a member of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones and of the International Economic Development Coalition, with 16 years’ experience as an economic developer.

Bethel College is the only Kansas private college listed in Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section for 2018-19. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.