Louisville's mayor declares April 25, 2003 "Louisville Seminary's 150th Anniversary Day" as Seminary culminates its anniversary celebration with worship and music.
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will culminate a yearlong celebration of its 150th anniversary with a community-wide worship service and an evening concert by The Louisville Orchestra on April 25, 2003. In commemoration of this historic event, April 25, 2003 has been proclaimed "Louisville Seminary's 150th Anniversary Day" by newly-elected Metro-Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, who, in 1987, served as a partner in promoting the City of Louisville as the new home for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
In 1853, twenty-three students and three professors gathered at Danville, Ky., to begin the community that has become Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The school was established by the Northern Presbyterians as “a seminary of the first class” located in the West. Southern Presbyterians founded a rival seminary in Louisville, in 1893. Then, under the leadership of Dr. Charles Hemphill, the seminaries in Danville and Louisville were united in spite of strong feelings of antipathy between the two denominations, spawned by the War Between the States.
The present Seminary represents an unprecedented result of cooperation among Presbyterians in the face of regional tensions and competition. Since 1901, these branches of the Presbyterian Church combined to support Louisville Seminary, the longest and best example of a unified Presbyterian witness to the American people and a symbol of their cooperative and united effort.
Beginning in September 22, 2002, Louisville Seminary commenced a celebration of 150 years of service to the church and community. In the fall, a new hymn
was commissioned for the Church, entitled There Is a Dream that Thrills God’s Heart.
Written by Thomas Troeger, the text was set to the indigenous tune, BRAY, and the hymn received its debut at a Hymn Festival supported by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and the Louisville Chapter of the American Organ Guild.
Alumnus Rick Nutt published a 150th anniversary history
, Many Lamps, One Light
(Eerdmans 2002), which was a featured topic at the 2003 Festival of Theology in March. This lecture series also welcomed Craig Dykstra from Lilly Endowment Inc., who explored the future of the ministry as sustained by “holy friendships,” and award-winning children’s book author Katherine Paterson, who answered the question, “What shall we tell the children?”
Throughout the 150th academic year, the Seminary has offered conferences and seminars on topics such as the power of music in the African American Church; teaching a devotional life to children; nurturing a life of faith among teens; and how the church can better care for older adults. Also offered were Bible studies for the laity; an educational study trip to Turkey, Greece, and Rome to retrace the journeys of Paul; a seminar on the architecture and art of the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel sponsored by the Speed Art Museum; and a concert by the Stillman College Choir.
These events have been planned with the community in mind, each offered in gratitude for the historical relationships that have sustained Louisville Seminary since its Danville, Ky., beginnings. “The history of Louisville Seminary is closely interwoven with both the growth of the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination and its predecessors,” says Cathy Dawson, Vice President for Seminary Relations, who has led the 150th celebration planning with alumna and committee chair Elizabeth Clay. “And with the evolving of the community of Metro Louisville,” she added. “It has been a joy to celebrate Louisville Seminary’s rich heritage with so many members of our extended family.”
In that spirit Louisville Seminary invites the community to join in a time of worship and witness to the purpose of Louisville Seminary – equipping men and women to continue the mission of Jesus Christ and building up the body of Christ.
At the community worship service, which begins at 10 a.m. in Caldwell Chapel, Acting President Milton J Coalter
will deliver the anniversary sermon, Trimming Our Lamps for God’s Child of Light.
The concert choir and brass ensemble from Centre College in Danville, Ky., will join the Seminary Choir in leading the music.
Later that evening The Louisville Orchestra will offer a concert in the chapel at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature music by Grieg, Barber, and Mozart. Free tickets are required and may be requested by calling 502.895.3411, ext. 460, or 800.264.1839, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org