July 21, 2010
For Immediate Release
Dr. Keith Spears, left, vice president for regional and professional education at Campbellsville University, and Dr. Eric Johnson, moderator for the Central District Baptist Association, discuss the new partnership between CU and the association. (Photo by Gwen Blackburn)
By Christina Miller, office assistant
Campbellsville University established a partnership with the Central District Baptist Association in Louisville July 13, which will strengthen CU’s relations within the Louisville community.
The Central District Baptist Association consists of 146 churches in the Louisville metro area and is the largest district association of Missionary Baptist Churches affiliated with the General Association of Baptists of Kentucky. Dr. Eric A. Johnson, adjunct professor of theology at Campbellsville University’s Louisville Center and pastor of Greater Galilee Church, serves as moderator of the association.
“The purpose of district is to stimulate Christian development and fellowship, strengthening of leadership within the district churches and to provide resources for various persons, leaders and pastors to serve this present age,” Johnson said.
Johnson was interested in increasing the impact of the Catalyst Conference, which kicked off his first term as moderator, and Campbellsville University saw it as “an opportunity to reflect its commitment to be part of the community in Louisville,” Dr. Keith Spears, vice president for regional and professional education, said.
Spears spoke at the conference about the importance of higher education, and how the Central District can work to get themselves and their next generation of pastors educated via Campbellsville University. “Current pastors can come to our Louisville Education Center, and young people to the main campus,” he said.
The Rev. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at Campbellsville University, said “Campbellsville University is very grateful for the opportunity to be partnering with the Central District Baptist Association. We have a number of distinguished alumni who are pastoring CDBA churches and many other friends and supporters among the members and leaders of the churches of the association. The leadership conference is the continuation and expansion of our close working relationship with Dr. Eric Johnson and other leaders of the group.”
Spears said the conference was “one of the most exhilarating experiences that I, a speech professor, could have; it was very uplifting personally, and it was an exciting time to renew with churches in the metro market.”
Johnson said, “We were grateful for the new partnership with CU that made that catalyst piece possible, it’s really going to bring a kind of seriousness to higher Christian education. This also provides access to higher Christian education for people that didn’t know about CU.
“We are excited to be in partnership with CU and we look forward to the conference next year. This year was sort of the embryonic stage; next year we hope bring in more people and do greater things with CU.”
The Rev. Matthew Smyzer, CU trustee member and immediate past chair of the Church Relations Council and pastor of Beargrass Missionary Baptist Church, is the superintendent of missions for Central District Baptist Association. He and Dr. Johnnie Clark, also a CU trustee member, were recognized at the conference.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 44 undergraduate programs, 16 master’s degrees and four postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.