McMickle Urges Us to Commit To Serve

                                                          Jan. 29, 2010
For Immediate Release



By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Dr. Marvin McMickle urged the audience at a Campbellsville University Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Day Service to “commit to serve this present age” in our own time and influence.

Dr. Marvin McMickle     McMickle, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and professor of homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary, said Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations ask all of us to find problems and issues and focus on them now as in the days when Martin Luther King Jr. was alive and presenting his sermons to the people in churches and on city streets.

McMickle, who has served as a visiting scholar at Yale University, said society’s acceptance of racism, poverty and war have brought us to the place we are today.

“Fifty percent of what goes wrong in your life, you can blame on someone else,” he said, “but the other 50 percent is wholly, totally and completely with you.

“We have got to stop pointing fingers at one another and begin to accept personal responsibility. We need a vision broad enough to be inclusive of everybody,” he said.

He quoted an old saying: “Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.”

McMickle, who was born in Chicago and has authored 11 books, used Luke 4 as the text for his sermon talking about when Jesus returned to Galilee and taught and spread the news of the Lord.

Jesus walked through the crowd and proclaimed that he was the Messiah. Jesus claimed who he was and the people said when the Messiah comes everything will be in order and life will be great. Jesus shifted from who he was to what he wanted – from his identity to his mission, McMickle said.

Jesus began to identify the love of God. “God doesn’t just love our country today,” McMickle said. “He loves all nations, all countries.

“Jesus served the present age, and now the spotlight is on us, and we are called to fulfill and do thy master’s work in this present age,” he said.

McMickle said Jesus’ voice and Martin Luther King in his 13 years of ministry are saying that the love of God is “not limited to boundaries you have fixed, not any one sector or any one nation. The Lord has got the whole world in his hands.”

Martin Luther King met with resistance in his work, McMickle said, but “Remember the Civil Rights Movement did not die when Martin Luther King died,” he said. He urged those attending to remember those who came before King including Adam Clayton Powell, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth who all shaped America.

“Without them, there would be no America worth celebrating,” he said.

He said we need to be pushed and prodded and challenged to be more inclusive of those who we see as children of God.

He said Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations have mostly become exclusive black events. He said the Bible doesn’t say that God created just white people.

He said we all need to acknowledge the past but not necessarily freeze King in our memory in 1963 when he delivered his “I have a dream” address.

He said King became a critic of the American economic system and of war and poverty in his later years.

“The point of Martin Luther King Jr. Day is for us to realize the work they undertook in the 1950s and 1960s remains now and beyond.”

“This is not the same country in which I was born and raised,” he said. “Times have changed, and I’m glad for the change.”

He said the measure of our commitment is not coming one night to a Martin Luther King service but to the commitment of the issues of our time and place.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, complimented Greater Campbellsville United, who co-sponsored the event with CU, on their “incredible series of events and work being done.”

He called the relationship with the city and GCU “remarkable” stressing that the relationship keens the lines of communication open through all people.

Carter talked of the tragedy in Haiti. “Our hearts are heavy when we think of those who are suffering in Haiti.”

The University of Louisville Black Diamond Choir provided vocal and instrumental music before McMickle’s address.


Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges 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.



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