Jan. 24, 2014
For Immediate Release
The Rev. Matt Smyzer, a member of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, spoke at the annual worship service in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 22 in Ransdell Chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Ye Wei “Vicky”)
By Candice Boone, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — The Rev. Matt Smyzer, a member of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, challenged listeners with whether they really knew the depth of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went through and what he overcame as Smyzer led CU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Worship Celebration Jan. 22 at Ransdell Chapel.
Smyzer, who pastors Beargrass Missionary Baptist Church and serves as superintendent of missions for Central District Association of Baptists and executive director of the Baptist Fellowship Center of Louisville, reminded the audience of the way the country was at the time of Martin Luther King’s work.
He said the United States was “a country where hatred prevailed and the laws that were written to protect a person from such treatment, gained its repartition and became known for promoting this type of treatment.” He said the country was at a time “when the black community was tired of being treated as less than human.”
Smyzer told listeners how much easier it would have been for King to revert to human nature and simply fight back, but King never did. He never became so low as to resort to the same violence force of which he was a victim.
When looking at King’s obstacles and his coinciding actions one must wonder how he managed to stay nonviolent, Smyzer asked.
Smyzer answered, “I have concluded that the two things that Dr. King had that pole-vaulted him to a platform that pressed this nation to peak at its own pilgrimage was God and an education.”
He said the importance of a strong spiritual life and a good education showed that “Martin Luther King Jr. knew that if he was to make a difference in these United States, he had to fight on a spiritual level. And he knew he would have to use the wisdom that only comes from God to apply to his education in order to defeat a giant that seamed invincible.”
Smyzer said, “And what I love about Campbellsville University is, she permits her students to acquire these two elements God and an education.”
Smyzer earned his master of theology degree from CU-Louisville. He is also pastor of Beargrass Missionary Baptist Church, superintendent of missions for the Central District Baptist Association and executive director of Baptist Fellowship in Louisville. He and his wife, Joann, have two daughters.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.