The Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School will hold a worship service and an afternoon lecture as part of the 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series. The series will include a morning worship service from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Goodson Chapel and an afternoon lecture from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Westbrook 0016. All events are open to the public. 

This year's speaker is Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, the founding and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia.

This year, the Office of Black Church Studies is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. To donate to OBCS, click here:

  • Guest Speaker

    Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale is the founding and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Dr. Hale has been in ministry for 43 years. She established ELAH Pastoral Ministries, Inc., a mentorship program that assists in the development of pastors and para-church leaders in 2004, and convened her first Women in Ministry Conference in 2005. In 2010, she authored her first book, I’m A Piece of Work: Sisters Shaped by God.

    Dr. Hale presently serves as the Chairperson of the IC3 Conference Board, the President for the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference, a member of the Board of Visitors of the Divinity School at Duke University, a member of the Board of Trustees at Hollins University, a member of the UNCF NFEI Advisory Council, and a member of the Welcome.US Council. Dr. Hale is an active lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

    Dr. Hale is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hollins College, a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary. Dr. Hale is a contributing writer for many books and publications and the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions.

  • Schedule

    The schedule of events for the 2023 Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series:

    • 11:45 a.m.: Worship service with Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale preaching in Goodson Chapel
    • 3:30 p.m.:  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lecture with Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale in Westbrook 0016