Christian Brothers University (CBU) announces a series of events in January to observe the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On Wednesday, January 15, the University will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest at 6:30 p.m. in Spain Auditorium (located in Buckman Hall). Featuring 5th and 6th graders from various Jubilee Schools in the Catholic Diocese, students will be judged on creativity, content and how well the speech reflects their chosen theme. Each student will receive an award with special recognition for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.
CBU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service will be conducted on Thursday, January 16, at 1:00 p.m. in Spain Auditorium. The award-winning speech from the previous evening Oratorical Contest will be presented, as will special musical selections from CBU’s newly formed “Divine Voices Gospel Choir.” The speaker for the service will Reverend J. Lawrence Turner, Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, who will address the theme of “Called to Serve.”
Rev. Turner has served at Mississippi Boulevard Church since January 13, 2013. For seven years prior to coming to Mississippi Boulevard, his pastoral assignment was the Community Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
A native of Nashville, Rev. Turner is a 2003 magna cum laude graduate of Fisk University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy. He was a 2001 United Negro College Fund/Andrew Mellon Undergraduate Fellow and a 2002 Fellow of the Fund for Theological Education. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School and was awarded the prestigious H.H. Tweedy Prize for exceptional promise for pastoral leadership. Currently, Turner is pursuing the Doctor of Ministry degree in Transformative Leadership at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY.
Understanding the need for excellence in leadership in today’s society, Rev. Turner has demonstrated his gifts and talents in various positions including President of the Yale Divinity School Student Council; Vice President of the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention; Secretary for the Board of Directors of the National Action Network; and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority for New Haven.
CBU will conclude its observances on Thursday, January 30, at 1:00 p.m. in Spain Auditorium with the “Let’s Talk About Race Panel Discussion.” Talking about racial and ethnic diversity can be a divisive conversation, but it doesn’t have to be. A diverse panel of CBU students, led by facilitator Dr. Kelly James, Assistant Professor of Behavior Sciences, will talk about their lives and we will share insights and dispel some myths.
All events are free and open to the public.