Owens, CU trustee, speaks about ‘the road to reconciliation’ at Campbellsville University’s Black History Month chapel service

Owens, CU trustee, speaks about ‘the road to reconciliation’ at Campbellsville University’s Black History Month chapel service
Dr. Joseph L. Owens speaks at Campbellsville University’s chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Whitley Howlett)

By Scarlett Birge, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “The road to reconciliation is a way to release resentment,” Dr. Joseph L. Owens, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of Lexington, Ky., Campbellsville University trustee and graduate, said at Campbellsville University’s chapel service recently.

Owens spoke at the chapel service recognizing and celebrating Black History Month.  “Black history continues to be a part of what happens,” Owens said while telling of the importance of recognizing the past and learning from it. He said, “There is hope, and there is help if you want to do great things in this world.”

Owens outlined the guidelines of the path that leads to the road of reconciliation. “If you are going to move forward, you have to find a way to release resentment,” he said while reading about Joseph in Genesis 45:4-5.

“Joseph helps us to understand that the forward movement is not to ignore history, but to find a way to release the resentment,” he said.

Owens spoke about his life growing up during the civil rights movement and the transition he had to make as schools became integrated. “I grew up with some degree of resentment and bitterness,” he said.

On the journey of releasing bitterness, Owens said, “You have to learn to recognize when God is at work.” He spoke about how coming to college at Campbellsville University in 1972 changed his life when he unexpectedly found his faith. “I couldn’t continue to be bitter,” he said.

Owens spoke about working in the cafeteria while he was a student and one of his coworkers sharing the Lord with him.

“I didn’t know that God was going to use a little white lady to witness to me and share Jesus with me,” he said. Owens spoke of his love and appreciation for his alma mater as it “historically” shaped him into who he is.

“If you think that you came here by accident or by coincidence, I’m here to tell you that when God has you on a road to reconciliation where he’s trying to fix what was broken, pay attention.”

“Recognize when God is moving and working even in the midst of the pain,” Owens said.

He said restoring relationships after releasing resentment is one of the things that Black History Month helps to do. Referencing Joseph, Owens said the past cannot be ignored and it must be talked about in order to move forward.

“African American history points to the facts that God is waiting to fix the brokenness in our lives but you’re going to have to release the bitterness, recognize when God is working and get the relationships restored,” Owens said about why he has to continue to share his story and celebrate his history.

“God can use you to make a difference,” he said.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,900 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.