African-American Alumni Day/Gardner C. Taylor Lecture Series

Duke Divinity School

September 23, 2014 to September 24, 2014

Overview

Join us for the Duke Divinity School African-American Alumni Day and our annual Gardner C. Taylor Lecture Series with guest lecturer and preacher Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, pastor of the internationally renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York, N.Y., and president of the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Old Westbury.

Alumni Day

The Divinity School reunion will be an opportunity for networking, community building, and celebrating the mission and vision of the Office of Black Church Studies under the directorship of Rev. Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman. This year’s theme is “My Soul Looks Back: Memory, Ministry, and Mission.”

The events will begin Tuesday morning with a “State of the Black Church Address” by Bishop Clarence Laney, M.Div. ’04, senior pastor of Monument of Faith Church, Durham, N.C. This address will focus on the historical, present, and future direction of the Office of Black Church Studies and the legacy of African-American church leaders and theologians.

Tuesday evening will feature a dinner for alumni, students, faculty, and staff at the Hilton Durham. Come enjoy food, fellowship, and a joyful time as the Spirit moves us from memory to hope. Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, M.Div. ’79, senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga., will offer an inspirational message. During the dinner, we will honor select alumni and memorialize those who have passed from labor to reward.

Gardner C. Taylor Lecture Series

At the same time as the reunion, the Divinity School will also host the annual Gardner C. Taylor Lecture Series with speaker Rev. Dr. Butts. Dr. Butts will deliver a sermon and a lecture on Tuesday, and a sermon on Wednesday.

Since 1975, the Gardner C. Taylor Lecture Series has brought outstanding black preachers to Duke University. The lectures are named in honor of the Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, pastor emeritus of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Registration is required for all events.

Speakers

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, is pastor of the internationally-renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church in the city of New York, and president of the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Old Westbury. Under Dr. Butts’ leadership, the Abyssinian Baptist Church is committed to the expansion and maintenance of the Christian mission. The Reverend was one of the founders, and is currently chairman, of Abyssinian Development Corporation, a comprehensive community-based non-profit organization responsible for over $600 million in housing and commercial development in Harlem. He was also instrumental in establishing the Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change, a state-of-the-art public intermediate and high school in Harlem, and is the visionary behind Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School, which opened in September 2005. Dr. Butts has been invited to preach in distinguished pulpits throughout New York, the U.S., and internationally. He has traveled to Africa, China, Cuba, Europe, the Middle East, the Netherlands, South America, and the Caribbean Islands.

Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale

Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, M.Div. ’79, is the founding and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga., which has a vision to impact and transform the present world into the Kingdom of God through housing, healthcare, and education initiatives. Dr. Hale is respected locally, nationally, and internationally for her leadership, integrity, and compassion. In 2004, Dr. Hale established a mentoring program known as Elah Pastoral Ministries, Inc. to assist in the spiritual as well as practical development of pastors and para-church leaders. In September 2005, she convened her first Women in Ministry Conference, a premiere national conference with a focused mission to develop, coach, and mentor Christian women in ministry. Dr. Hale is a contributing writer for many books and publications including Power in the Pulpit II: How America’s Most Effective Black Preachers Prepare Their Sermons and the preaching resource series, Feasting on the Gospels. In January 2010, she authored her first book, I’m A Piece of Work: Sisters Shaped by God. Dr. Hale has been in ministry for 35 years.

Bishop Clarence Laney

A native of Selma, N.C., Bishop Clarence Laney, Jr., M.Div. ’04, is senior pastor of Monument of Faith Church in Durham N.C., a progressive liturgical Pentecostal church with a strong commitment to social justice and community outreach. Since he was appointed pastor in 1996, the church has experienced significant growth in membership and finances, and more than 20 new ministries have been developed. Under Bishop Laney's leadership, education—both spiritual and academic—has become the cornerstone of the church’s ministry. Bishop Laney has preached and taught throughout the U.S., Canada, and Sierra Leone in West Africa. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Bishop Laney serves as Bishop of the North Carolina State Office for The Church of God of Prophecy (NC COGOP) Region #3, providing oversight for nine districts and 40 denominational churches. Bishop Laney is also a member of the NC COGOP State Ministerial Review Board and State Convention Committee. In addition to his M.Div. from Duke, Laney holds a B.A. in broadcast journalism from St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C., and is a 2007 graduate of the Harvard Divinity School Leadership Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Currently he is pursuing a D.Min. at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Schedule

Registration is required for all events.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

  • 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
    Registration and check-in, continental breakfast reception, and gathering with current students and alumni (Alumni Memorial Common Room)
  • 9:00 –10:15a.m.
    “State of the Black Church Address”: Bishop Clarence Laney (Alumni Memorial Common Room)
  • 10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
  • Divinity School tours
  • 11:25 a.m.
    Worship, Rev.  Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III  preaching (Goodson Chapel)
  • 12:30 p.m.
    Gardner C. Taylor Community lunch (Alumni Memorial Common Room)
  • 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. 
    Gardner C. Taylor Lecture: Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III  (Goodson Chapel)
  • 4:00 – 5:30  p.m.
    Free time
  • 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    Alumni Dinner for Duke Divinity African-American alumni: Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, preacher (Hilton Durham)

Wednesday, Sept. 24

  • 11:25 a.m.
    Worship, Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III  preaching (Goodson Chapel)

     

Hotels

All participants are responsible for making their own hotel accommodations. We have arranged for special rates at the Hilton Durham to assist you. In order to receive these special rates, be sure to refer to “Duke Divinity School – Alumni Day” when you call to reserve your room.

  • Hilton Durham near Duke University: $109/single nightly rate, plus applicable taxes. Call (800) 445-8667 and refer to the African American Alumni Dinner Room Block or Group Code: AAAD by Aug. 23.

An additional list of properties is provided for your information:

Additional hotel information may be found at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Meals

Registration for Alumni Day events includes all Tuesday meals.

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the Gardner C. Taylor Lecture series will meet for a community lunch. Registration is available for the lunch only for  $5 (plus tax) per person. Advance registration and payment is required.

Tuesday evening will feature a dinner for alumni, students, faculty, and staff at the Hilton Durham. Come enjoy food, fellowship, and a joyful time as the Spirit moves us from memory to hope. Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, M.Div. ‘79, founding and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga., will offer an inspirational message. During the dinner, we will honor select alumni, both living and those who have passed.

Travel

Parking

Pre-arranged parking will be available on campus for the event for an additional charge. Advance registration and payment is required.

Air Transportation

The nearest airport is the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), a 20-minute drive to Duke University. Many area hotels offer shuttle service to and from the hotel. Super Shuttle Service is available from RDU airport to Duke University and the surrounding area. You can make a credit card reservation online prior to your arrival to Duke. There will also be taxi cabs waiting outside each terminal of the airport.

Rail Transportation

The Durham Train Station offers Amtrak service to and from Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington D.C., and New York City and points in between. Make reservations in advance online or by phone.

Ground Transportation

Directions to Duke University

Register

The cost to attend the Alumni Day is $65 per person and includes access to alumni-specific programming, all meals on Tuesday, and light refreshments throughout the day. Worship and Gardner C. Taylor Lecture events are free, but we ask for you to register so that we can anticipate your presence and make the proper arrangements in advance.

Register

Duke Divinity Faculty, Staff, and Students
Discount registration is available. Contact Tara Batemon at tbatemon@div.duke.edu or (919) 660-3461.

Questions

Contact Tara Batemon at tbatemon@div.duke.edu or (919) 660-3461 with questions or concerns.