By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University will feature Dr. Gerald Smith as its Martin Luther King chapel speaker at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, in Ransdell Chapel, 401 N. Hoskins Avenue, Campbellsville.
Smith, a native of Lexington, Ky., serves as professor of African American and Africana Studies History at the University of Kentucky.
“We are genuinely excited to have Dr. Gerald Smith return to the Ransdell Chapel,” Jamie Lawrence, executive director of ministry and church outreach at Campbellsville University, said. “His wealth of knowledge of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is inspiring and insightful.”
Smith is the author, editor or co-author of four books. His fifth book, titled “Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State: (Re)-visiting My Old Kentucky Home,” is due for release Feb. 21, 2023.
His biography also notes Smith has published more than forty articles, essays and book reviews in historical journals and encyclopedias.
Smith has served on numerous boards and committees throughout the years. He is the former chair of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission. He now serves on the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation Board, the Mary Todd Lincoln House Board of Directors and as an advisory member of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.
In June 2020, Linda Gorton, mayor of Lexington, Ky., appointed Smith as co-chair of the city’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality, which submitted its final report Oct. 23, 2020.
From 1997 to 2005, Smith served as director of the African American Studies and Research Program at the University of Kentucky.
Since 2011, Smith has served as pastor of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, after a stint as pastor of Farristown Baptist Church in nearby Berea, Kentucky.
Smith is a former holder of the Theodore A. Hallam Professorship and the Martin Luther King Center Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Kentucky.
He received the Racial Reconciliation Award and The Kente Cloth Award from Campbellsville University in 2015 and 2017, respectively. During the 13th annual Black History Month Celebration at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Smith was named a recipient of the 2016 Living Legacy Award by the Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus.
In March 2000, Smith was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Ga. He is a two-time recipient of the Evelyn Black Award from the University of Kentucky Black Student Union (2005, 2017).
Smith is married to the former Teresa Turner, and they have two daughters.
The public is invited to all chapels this semester.
Chapels are televised on WLCU (Comcast Cable channel 10 and digital channel 15), streamed on Campbellsville University’s Facebook page and can be found at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA4XbLolySSd7ntgt9WpXIGTjPtH2dOrB.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.