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Chicago pastor to speak at Dialogue on Race chapel Oct. 15

                                                                                                                                                                 Oct. 7, 2014
For Immediate Release

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY. – Dr. Dr. Stephen J. Thurston, pastor of the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Ill., is scheduled to speak at Campbellsville University’s Randsell Chapel located at 401 N. Hoskins Ave., Campbellsville, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, as part of CU’s Dialogue on Race series.

Everyone is invited to chapel.

Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, said Thurston is a “renowned and much sought after revivalist. His ministry has impacted lives of people as far away as Africa, the Holy Land and the Caribbean. We are honored to have him with us during our Dialogue on Race emphasis on campus.”

Chowning said the Dialogue on Race is an intentional process that involves community and campus leaders with Campbellsville University students, faculty, staff and coaches in a conversation on issues of race, ethnicity, economic status and language that have historically separated us.

Dialogue on Race began in the fall 1999 semester during the month of October and resulted from the input of a group of African-American pastors and leaders from around Kentucky who were working with Campbellsville University’s Office of Church Relations to increase diversity and racial reconciliation at CU and among the churches of Kentucky.

The CU Dialogue on Race actually preceded by a year a national emphasis put in place by then United States President Bill Clinton.

Chowning said, “This annual conversation has continued each fall semester with literally hundreds of students in various classes and organizations across the campus being involved with leadership from a variety of CU faculty and staff along with a group of leaders from Greater Campbellsville United.”

Dr. Beverly Ennis, associate professor of education, is in charge of the event this year after Dr. Mary Wilgus’ retirement.

Ennis has been on the diversity committee at CU for several years and a member of Greater Campbellsville United. She has also served as the chairperson of the diversity standard for the School of Education’s recent National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accreditation.

Ennis said she has a “strong personal conviction that we must try to understand each other through better communication.

“World access through technology and the capability of global travel have certainly made our need for understanding a necessity.”

She has hosted Dialogue on Race speakers in her classes for several years.

“Through this interchange, my students have gained valuable knowledge of cultural differences,” she said. She is working on this year’s schedule.

Dr. Stephen Thurston
Dr. Stephen Thurston

Thurston served as the president of the National Baptist Convention of America Inc. for more than a decade.
He has a bachelor of arts degree in religion, and his post-graduate studies have included coursework at Wheaton Christian College in Wheaton, Ill.

He preached his initial sermon on Easter Sunday 1971. On Easter Sunday in 1974, he was ordained and appointed as assistant pastor of New Covenant. On Easter Sunday in 1975, he was appointed co-pastor. Upon the death of his father in 1979, he became pastor of New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church.

He has served as third vice president of the National Baptist Convention of America Inc., president of the Illinois National Baptist State Convention, chairman of finance for the Chicago Baptist Institute and member of the Broadcast Ministers Alliance of Chicago and Vicinity.

His testimony remains “God Has Done Great Things.”

Chapel is designed to provide opportunities for corporate worship and exposure through a variety of informative speakers and presentations.

All chapels are open to the public free of charge and are televised live on WLCU (Comcast Cable channel 10).
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is