The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, PhD, left and Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin

NASHVILLE, TN — In celebration of February as Black History Month, American Baptist College, in partnership with Regions Bank and the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, will host an event on Friday, February 23, 2018, beginning at 4 p.m.

Keynote speaker will be The Reverend Raphael G. Warnock, PhD, senior pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Ebenezer was the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Warnock will speak on the event theme, Where Do We Go from Here: Community? Or Chaos?

The theme re-examines the question of how much progress has been made over the past five decades and encourages a fresh analysis of the struggle for hope and change based upon the title of Dr. King’s fourth and final book, (published in 1967), Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” The event also recognizes the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin, a renowned MLK scholar, will offer reflections on how attendees can respond to Dr. Warnock’s message, as it relates to Dr. King’s legacy, his voice, and his love of community.

Both presentations will take place in the Lecture Hall of the Seigenthaler First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Avenue South, Nashville. A reception in the Rotunda will follow the program. This event is free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is encouraged on Eventbrite or by telephoning (615) 687-6901. For more information, please contact

Free parking is available at the Scarritt-Bennett Center off of 18th Avenue, South.

About the Speakers

Dr. Raphael G. Warnock has served as the senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, since 2005. The son of two Pentecostal pastors, he became the fifth and the youngest person ever called to the senior pastorate of Ebenezer Baptist Church, founded in 1886. Under Rev. Warnock’s leadership, more than 4,000 new members have joined Ebenezer, while also enriching the church’s legacy of social activism. Rev. Warnock graduated from Morehouse College cum laude in 1991, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York, graduating with honors and distinctions. His graduate studies continued at Union, receiving a Master of Philosophy degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in systematic theology. His activism was honored in 2016 as his footprints were placed on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. He is the author

of “The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety, and Public Witness (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity).”

Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin is an emeritus religious studies professor at Vanderbilt University. A native of Camden, Alabama, he participated in student marches and demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement. After hearing Dr. King speak in Camden on voting rights in 1966, he sensed a calling to further Dr. King’s global Civil Rights impact.

American Baptist College is a private historically black college where, since 1924, students have received a world class Christian education and preparation for servant leadership, ministry, and social justice influence. ABC offers undergraduate degree programs to a vibrant community of learners at its Nashville, Tennessee, campus. Educating today’s scholars, the majority of whom are first-generation students, means preparing them to provide global leadership in a demanding 21st century environment. During the 1960’s, courageous students from American Baptist College led the emergent Civil Rights Movement that would change forever the entire Western Hemisphere. The College’s historic campus has been designated as a national historic site.

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