Story by Helene Carter
Augusta, GA….Each year, Augusta Technical College, Georgia Regents University and Paine College come together to celebrate the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through this celebration, the institutions encourage the community to reflect upon the teachings of Dr. King and his work for peace and equal rights for all people throughout the world.
This year, Paine College will host the event on the campus in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel located on Druid Park Avenue, in Augusta, Georgia. The celebration will occur Friday, January 17th at 12 noon. World renowned theologian, Bishop Woodie W. White, will serve as the keynote speaker. Bishop White is the Bishop in Residence at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, located in Atlanta, Georgia. The event is free and open to the public.
About Bishop Woodie White
Born in New York City's Harlem neighborhood in the 1930's, Bishop White emerged as one of the most respected religious leaders in America. Of particular note, Bishop White earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Paine College in 1958. After graduation from Boston University School of Theology in 1961, he served as a pastor in Worcester, Massachusetts and Detroit, Michigan at the height of the Civil Rights movement. In the early 1960s he was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi and fined a thousand dollars for trying to worship at Saint Luke's Methodist Church (an all-white congregation), where almost three decades later he was invited to be a guest preacher. Bishop White served for 15 years as General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, and in 1996-97, he was appointed President of the Council of Bishops for the United Methodist Church. The North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church elected him Bishop in 1984 and assigned him to the Illinois Area, which he served 1984-1992. In 1992 Bishop White was assigned to the Indiana Area, from which he retired in September 2004.
In addition to professional honors, Bishop White served on a four-person task force to examine racism and race relations in Australia and New Zealand for the Committee to Combat Racism of the World Council of Churches. He participated in preaching missions in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. He has served as part-time faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary and at Howard University School of Religion. He has written extensively for denominational and ecumenical periodicals, and is coauthor of Racial Transition in the Church, Confessions of a Prairie Pilgrim, and Conversations of the Heart. Bishop White is also nationally known for his annual "Birthday Letter to Dr. King," in which he writes a personal letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about the progress of racial equality in the United States. Paine College has a historical tradition of open access and a commitment to social justice. Through this joint celebration, the institutions encourage the community to embrace a climate that is open and accepting of differences.
For more information about this event, please contact Helene Carter at 706.821.8323, 706.414.7490 (mobile), or via email: Hcarter@paine.edu.