The Future of a Denomination

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Jan. 13, 2010

Baylor Concludes Celebration of 400th Anniversary of Baptist Faith with a Look at the Next 400 Years

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Baylor University will conclude its year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Baptist faith with a two-night examination of what the next 400 years might hold.

"The Future of a Denomination: Baptists in the Next 400 Years" will be held Sunday and Monday, Jan. 17 and 18, in Waco Hall on the Baylor University campus. Each evening's program will begin at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Dr. Martin Marty will re-visit and update the themes found in his seminal article, "Baptistification Takes Over," published by Christian Century magazine in 1983. Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught chiefly in the Divinity School for 35 years. The university established the Martin Marty Center to promote public religion endeavors. Marty is the recipient of numerous honors, including the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, the Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the University of Chicago Alumni Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal of the Association of Theological Schools. Author of more than 50 books and 5,000 articles in his lifetime, Marty also was a writer and columnist for Christian Century from 1956 to 2008.

On Monday, a diverse panel will join Marty to respond to his address. The panel includes:

Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, an international Christian missions agency founded in 1897 that helps churches extend their witness worldwide, and the Executive Director of Lott Carey International, a global relief and development agency that helps improve the quality of life in marginalized communities around the world. An ordained Baptist minister who has been a pastor, university professor, and seminary professor, Goatley is the editor of Black Religion, Black Theology: Selected Writings of J. Deotis Roberts and author of Were You There?: Godforsakenness in Slave Religion and A Divine Assignment: The Missiology of Wendell Clay Somerville. Goatley is a member of the National Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Board of Directors of the Save Darfur Coalition; and is President of the North American Baptist Fellowship.

Dr. Nora O. Lozano, Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Baptist University of the Américas. Her academic interests are centered in the areas of systematic, Hispanic, Latin American and women's theologies. Lozano is co-founder and co-director of the Latina Leadership Institute, devoted to the discovery, development, nurturance and empowerment of women leaders from a Latina perspective to be transformational agents in church and community settings. She is also a member of the Theological Study and Reflection group of the Baptist World Alliance, as well as a member of a worldwide delegation of 10 Baptist theologians, representing the BWA Study and Research Division, that holds yearly theological conversations with the Catholic Church, the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in order to better understand each other and promote collaboration in issues of social justice and religious freedom.

Dr. Nigel Goring Wright, Principal (President) of Spurgeon's College London since 2000. He is an ordained minister of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and has pastored churches in the North of England, from which he comes. He is a graduate in modern languages and theology and holds research degrees from the University of Glasgow and King's College London. The author of around 20 books, Wright is a former President of the Baptist Union and is widely engaged nationally and internationally as a preacher, speaker and lecturer. He is listed in Who's Who and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2009 on his 60th birthday he was presented by colleagues with a Festschrift entitled Challenging to Change: Dialogues with a Radical Baptist Theologian. Wright is widely regarded as an interpreter of radical protestant understandings of church, state and society.

Baylor Interim President and Dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary Dr. David Garland will introduce the speakers and participate in their discussions. Dr. Barry Harvey, professor of theology in the Great Texts Program of Baylor's Honors College, will moderate the Sunday evening program. Dr. Barry Hankins, professor of history and church-state studies with Baylor's Department of History and the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, will moderate the Monday evening program. Admission is free to both events.

Contact: Jill Scoggins, Assistant Vice President for Media Communications, (254) 710-1964

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