Chris Krehmeyer Receives MLK Drum Major Award from Christian Hospital

“If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness … We all have the drum major instinct.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., Christian Hospital is giving its highest honor to Chris Krehmeyer, President and CEO of Beyond Housing.

Krehmeyer is one of four 2021 Drum Major Award recipients, recognized as one of the “unsung heroes who have given their time, talents, treasure, and service in the name of justice, equity, and equality.”

He said that although his name is on the award, Beyond Housing as an organization deserves more credit than he does as an individual. “Beyond Housing brings consistency and leadership to our work of strengthening families and transforming communities to create a more equitable and prosperous St. Louis,” Krehmeyer said. “We stay in communities for the long haul.”

Beyond Housing’s holistic approach acknowledges that people’s problems don’t exist in silos—their housing and employment needs are intertwined with education, health, transportation, personal finance and more. The healthcare system has long recognized this, Krehmeyer said, and he’s encouraged to see more organizations in other fields coming to understand it as well.

“Dr. King’s speech has a lot of relevance to me for this notion of being a drum major for things that are meaningful for improving people’s lives,” Krehmeyer said. “Awards are nice, and I’m grateful, but it’s the work itself that motivates me.”

The other 2021 Drum Major Award honorees include community activist Martha Jane Stewart; President of the Centene Charitable Foundation Keith Williamson; and Elizabeth Perkins, Campus President Florissant Valley, St. Louis Community College.

They will receive the awards at 12PM on Friday, Jan. 15, during a virtual Martin Luther King Day celebration titled “Embracing the Dream.”

Guests will enjoy great music from local singer-songwriter Brian Owens and a courageous conversation related to rising above the challenges of race, injustice, and exclusion, including commentary from Bryant McBride and Willie O’Ree.

To register to attend, please visit

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