By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Dr. Emmanuel L. McCall, pastor of the Fellowship Group Baptist Church in East Point, Ga., and former moderator of the Cooperative
Baptist Fellowship, challenged Campbellsville University’s guests to move from hatred to love at a worship service in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recently in Ransdell Chapel.
The Rev. Ronnie Turner, pastor of New Zion Baptist Church, led in the opening prayer. The closing prayer was given by the Rev. Delmetria Cayson-Combs, pastor of Fannie Chapel CME Church. The Zion District Choir performed.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, welcomed those attended and asked the attendees to remember the sacrifices that have been made as we remember the life of Martin Luther King.
“We should remember the larger issues of what unites us and social justice,” he said. “Hatred paralyzes life, hatred darkens life, love illuminates life. Service illuminates, and we must work together in Christ.”
The Rev. John Chowning, vice president of church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, introduced McCall and praised him for coming from Georgia to Campbellsville with his busy schedule.
McCall, an adjunct faculty member with the McAfee School of Theology, said he knew Martin Luther King for 11 years in Louisville.
“Dr. King’s dream was to have peopled challenged. If God did not give you a dream there is something absent from your life,” McCall.
“Everybody ought to have a vision and dream, and God has given that to you,” he said.
“Those were interesting years when a national and international celebrity walked among men as brothers,” he said. McCall said King was “humble in spirit.”
“I valued my time with King and his family,” he said. “What was the genius of this man was his ability, without intention, to be a role model for what a modern day prophet should be like.”
In our current society, McCall asked what happened to prophetic voices like King’s. “Being prophetic can be dangerous, it can get you killed.”
He said some of King’s lasting contributions is to teach us to be a model of what it means to be a prophet.
“A prophet bows to no one except God,” he said. “Today’s prophet must be one who can look at the times and analysis the times and pray before God and ask God what is the word to give to people,” McCall said. “Sometimes it isn’t pleasant.”
He said God is trying to “love this world and bring it back to himself with ethical and moral responsibilities that go with it.”
He said being prophetic also means being moral and ethical. “How I live my life does affect you,” he said.
“Dr. King did not set out to be anybody’s role model but God used him to set us free,” he said.
He said King took the best of the tradition he learned from preachers at Ebenezer Church and molded them together.
“We need the prophetic voice of God,” McCall said. “The prophetic voice, not only of the pulpit, but from the pew, calls us back to love God and to love each other.”
The Rev. James Washington led in closing song, “We Shall Overcome,” as those in attendance held hands and sang.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.