2014 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State Will Be Held at Baylor April 1 and 2

March 31, 2014

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WACO, Texas (March 31, 2014) — The 2014 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State will be held at Baylor University on April 1 and 2, with this year’s speaker to be Michael I. Meyerson, professor and author of Endowed by Our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America.

In 2004, the Shurdens of Macon, Ga., made a gift to the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty to establish the annual lectureship on religious liberty and separation of church and state. The lectures, designed to enhance the ministry and programs of the Baptist Joint Committee, are held at Mercer University every three years and at another seminary, college or university the other years.

The lectures are free and open to the public. The schedule will be:

APRIL 1, 2014

11 a.m.: Baptist Joint Committee Executive Director J. Brent Walker will preach in the worship service at the Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Theological Seminary, 1100 S. Third St.

3:30 p.m.: Lecture 1: "The False Divide: Religious Support for Separation of Church and State" in Room 172 of the Draper Academic Building, 1420 S. Seventh St. Lecture host will be the department of religion at Baylor.

APRIL 2, 2014

2:15 p.m.: Lecture 2: "Freedom of Religion: The Framers' Extraordinary Compromise" in Room 122 of the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, 1114 S. University Parks Drive. Lecture host will be Baylor Law School.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT THE SHURDENS

A nationally noted church historian, Dr. Walter B. Shurden is the founder of the Center for Baptist Studies and, until his retirement in 2007, was the Callaway Professor of Christianity at Mercer. He is now Minister at Large at Mercer University. Dr. Kay W. Shurden, a retired professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Mercer University School of Medicine, is a noted author and maintains a practice in counseling and supervision.

ABOUT MICHAEL I. MEYERSON

A professor of law and Piper & Marbury Faculty Fellow at the University of Baltimore, Michael I. Meyerson specializes in constitutional law and legal history. An accomplished writer, he is the author of three books, including Endowed by Our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America, and numerous law review articles and book chapters.

ABOUT THE BAPTIST JOINT COMMITTEE AND J. BRENT WALKER

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is a 78-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based religious liberty organization that works to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, bringing a uniquely Baptist witness to the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government. It serves 15 Baptist bodies and works with a wide range of religious groups, but it is the only religious agency devoted solely to religious liberty and the separation of church and state. Executive Director J. Brent Walker is both an ordained minister and a member of the Supreme Court bar, and he routinely provides commentary on church-state issues in the national media.

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