Oct. 10, 2011
For Immediate Release
|Dr. Joe Owens, vice chair of the CU Board of Trustees and senior pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., began the 2011 “Dialogue on Race” at CU’s chapel service. (Campbellsville University Photo by Ashley Wilson)
By Tori Banks, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “Appreciate, accept, acknowledge and value who we are because we can do more together than we could apart,” said Joseph Owens, vice chair of the CU Board of Trustees and senior pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Lexington Ky.
Owens spoke at Campbellsville University’s “Dialogue on Race” chapel service.
Owens began by explaining that he was a student himself at CU 39 years ago. CU is where Owens met his wife, Elizabeth, and more importantly is where Owens accepted Christ and gave his life to the Lord.
“My heart has been wrapped in this campus ever since,” said Owens.
Owens utilized his own life story and the life changing experiences he had as a student at CU to explain the importance of creating an atmosphere of acceptance for all individuals, no matter what their race may be.
“I grew up a poor, African American lazy academically individual,” said Owens. He explained that despite these characteristics, he was never treated any differently than any other student at CU.
Owens described CU as more of a mosaic salad bowl where each student maintained their own unique identity, even though they were all in the same bowl.
According to Owens, the atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance at CU changed his life forever. If it weren’t for his experiences as a student at CU, Owens very well may have never accepted Christ into his life or received his call into the ministry.
“Don’t mar that atmosphere by failing to be open and tolerant,” he said. “Share the love of Jesus Christ despite race and ethnicity.
“Don’t let anyone devalue you, decrease your value or make you feel less than the person God has made you, but don’t do that to anyone else.”
This simple statement served as reminder to the congregation that we should all treat one another in the same manner and with the same respect that we want to be treated ourselves, and that we should strive daily to create an environment of love and acceptance for all.
It was this attitude that helped to change Owens’s life and make him into the man of God that he is today.
Dialogue on Race is a series of discussions for the campus and community in which facilitators lead groups in conversations about racism and the need for reconciliation. Dialogue on Race began in late 1998 under the leadership of Dr. Mary Wilgus, dean of CU’s College of Arts and Sciences, and John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations at CU.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 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.