By Ariel C. Emberton, staff writer/photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. J. Dwayne Howell, professor emeritus of Old Testament and Hebrew at Campbellsville University and pastor of the Rolling Fork Baptist Church in Gleanings, Ky., has co-edited the book “Preaching in/and the Borderlands.”
According to Howell, “Preaching in/and the Borderlands” seeks to aid the church and its response to immigration. The essays in the book are written by scholars, ministers and others who help to address theological, historical, legal and practical issues about immigration facing the church today.
Charles L. Aaron, coordinator of the intern program of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was another co-editor for the book.
Howell also authored one of the essays in the book, “Immigration and the Biblical Migrant Narrative.” The essay emphasizes that many of the stories in the Old Testament are stories about immigration of Israel. Using the stories of Abraham and the exodus, Howell emphasizes that in the same way God cared for them as they migrated, they are to, in turn, care for others who are immigrants.
This is the second book Howell has edited for Pickwick Press, the first being “Preaching and the Personal” published in 2013.
“My interest in immigration rights began while teaching a class at Campbellsville University in 2003. We were studying Leviticus, and I came to Lev. 19:34: ‘The foreigner residing in your land must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.’ The passage is in direct parallel with Lev. 19:18, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Howell said he began to study the Old Testament passages dealing with immigrants and found care for the immigrant was a common theme throughout the Old Testament. “Since that time I have had the opportunity to write and present on the role of the church in addressing immigration several times including the Symposium on Religion at Oxford University.”
The book also includes a chapter on making practical application for how the church can speak to immigration issues though sermons and stories of churches that have chosen to minister to immigrations in their community.
Howell serves as adjunct professor at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. and the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky in Georgetown, Ky. He returned to his seminary pastorate, the Rolling Fork Baptist Church, in 2001 and has served there over 25 years through his two pastorates.
He is married to Dr. Susan Howell, professor of psychology at Campbellsville University. They have two children, Katelyn and Patrick.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.