On March 26-27, Central Seminary will host the Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State. The lectures, which are held annually by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC), will feature the Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins, Mayor of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and former CEO of American Baptist Home Mission Societies.
Central Seminary included William Jewell College as a co-sponsor of the lectures. The events will be held at 7:30 p. m., Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at William Jewell in Liberty, Missouri, and Central Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas, respectively. The lectures are free and open to the public.
In a recent interview, the Rev. Dr. Wright-Riggins discussed his plans for the lectures:
I am excited to have been invited to be this year’s Shurden Lecturer. I am anxious to help stir the pot of historic Baptist ideas and ideals that contribute to soulful religion and a sane and steady state. The Shurden Lectures have historically energized us to champion and preserve these commitments, and I want to play my role in making sure that my children and grandchildren enjoy religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
My hope is that we emerge from the lectures with a commitment to “stay woke” or super-vigilant to the growing threats to religious liberty and the separation of church and state. We are at a critical moment in the life of our republic where the courts, the commander-in-chief, and clergy themselves pose threats to religious liberty and the separation of church and state. We need to respond to this moment with an ongoing movement where the BJC serves as our drum major.
Central Seminary and William Jewell look forward to hosting Wright-Riggins and representatives of the Baptist Joint Committee. Mark your calendars and make plans now to attend the lectures in both venues. For more about the work of the BJC and this lecture series, including a podcast interview with Wright-Riggins and Central President the Rev. Dr. Molly T. Marshall, visit www.BJConline.org/ShurdenLectures.