Oct. 2, 2009
For Immediate Release
Dr. Lincoln Bingham, senior pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church at Shively Heights, Louisville, Ky., receives the Campbellsville University Leadership Award from Dr. Michael V. Carter, right, president of Campbellsville University, and Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs at CU. (Campbellsville University Photo by Munkh-Amgalan)
CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY GIVES LEADERSHIP AWARD TO DR. LINCOLN BINGHAM OF LOUISVILLE
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University awarded Dr. Lincoln Bingham, senior pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church at Shively Heights in Louisville, the Campbellsville University Leadership Award Sept. 30.
The presentation of a plaque was made by Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees; Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs; and John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president of CU, at a luncheon in his honor.
Two other African-Americans, Dr. Betty Griffin, chief executive officer of The Griffin Group, and Delquan Dorsey Sr., executive director of the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment, were awarded the Campbellsville University African-American Community Leadership Award.
The actual medallion to Bingham was presented at chapel earlier in the day when Bingham spoke to students, faculty and staff. Campbellsville University President Michael V. Carter made that presentation.
A plaque was given to Bingham at the luncheon attended by African-American leaders in the Campbellsville community and surrounding areas.
Chowning, who serves as chair of the CU diversity committee, said, “Today we celebrate diversity on the campus of Campbellsville University, where special leadership efforts to bring together all people are acknowledged and rewarded.”
The Campbellsville University Leadership Award has its roots in the pioneering spirit that brought higher education and its succeeding growth to Kentucky, Chowning said.
The medallion award, a special recognition in Kentucky, is cast bronze and is the seal of Campbellsville University, proclaiming the universal attributes of fellowship, leadership and scholarship.
Following the university’s legacy of more than a century of commitment to Christian principles in higher education, the Campbellsville University Leadership Award is ceremoniously shared in appreciation and admiration of consummate leadership in Kentucky’s spiritual, health, education, cultural, economic and community development.
Bingham, in accepting his award, said, “The doors that Campbellsville University has opened to me have been a blessing.” He described having grown up in poverty and anonymity, listening to the stories of his grandparents, both slaves, and developing a simmering attitude that he wanted to get even with somebody.
“Then I came to know Jesus Christ and the poverty and the anonymity were removed,” Bingham said. “The words of Longfellow say it best, ‘We can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time.’”
His footprints have in the recent past been at his St. Paul Baptist Church where he said he was guided to take on the poorest zip code and the highest crime rate area of Jefferson County, Ky. In the turnaround, he said they have come to a position of strength, both numerically and financially, as they are growing their diverse congregation.
Bingham said, “I am so thankful that Campbellsville University is a model for diversity. We want our church to do likewise.”
Chowning singled out several leaders at the luncheon for their devotion to helping grow diversity on campus over the Dialogue on Race program.
Dialogue on Race was started 10 years ago with the intent to acquaint different races with each other. Dr. Mary Wilgus, dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, said she is always interested when different classes think racism has been dealt with, and then the students are always surprised when facilitators ask questions in the sessions on campus.
“Racism is real,” she said, “and societal issues are more than black and white.” She said the Dialogue on Race focuses on helping students be more careful in the way they express themselves and the way they treat others.
Bingham spoke of race at the university’s chapel earlier in the day.
“There is only one race—and that is the human race,” he said.
He spoke of the need to change and the need to love all people, regardless of ethnicity.
“Out of one blood, God created all ethnicities,” Bingham said. “We have to first know who God is. Everybody ought to know that God is real. Jesus paid the way for all of us to have access into the membership into the kingdom of God.”
He said, “Prejudices are still prevalent. Discrimination is still prevalent.”
“We need to learn to live together and love one another. God does not have any superior race over another.”
“All of us have to be intentional about this. Repent means to change—we must be intentional about change.”
“There will come a time when we all must come before the judge.”
Bingham has been a voice and witness in Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the reconciling power of the Gospel for nearly 40 years. He has pastored West End Baptist Church and the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church for 36 years and has proclaimed the love of Jesus and has led both congregations into creative and exciting ministries to their communities, Chowning said.
Chowning said Bingham, as superintendent of missions for the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, not only worked to strengthen the educational and missions arms of the General Association, but he worked and built bridges between the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky and the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
During his tenure as superintendent of Missions for Central District Baptist Association and director of the Baptist Fellowship Center, Bingham began to move both groups into innovative programs of social ministry and empowerment for residents of Parkland and West Louisville.
Chowning said Bingham, while doing all of these activities, has been a consultant, both volunteer and paid with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, helping the KBC learn how to work with African-American Baptists to reach all people with the reconciling love of God.
His latest project grows out of the Tony Evans and Billy Graham meetings in Louisville. Working with Dr. Les Hollon, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, formerly of St. Matthews Baptist Church of Louisville, Bingham has given guidance and inspiration to a citywide reconciliation ministry.
Bingham has held positions as moderator of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, Black Church Development Consultant and Kentucky Baptist Convention/Missionary Associate – Black Church Planting Unit, Southern Baptist Convention.
Bingham is chairperson of the Greater Louisville Christian Reconciliation Ministries Inc., which was incorporated in the year 2000.
He is also a writer for the American Baptist newspaper and a member of the steering committee of Reconciliation Networks of Our World, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.
Bingham and his wife, Lillian, have two children: Ava Bingham Reynolds, who is a member of the CU Board of Trustees and a 1975 graduate of Campbellsville College and who received her master of theology degree in 2006 from CU; and a son, Michael Bingham, who serves as associate minister and musician at St. Paul and who is founder and director of Calvary Mentoring Program for ex-offenders who suffer from drugs and alcohol, located in Georgetown, Ky.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in the south. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.