For more than twenty years, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has recognized some of its graduates for representing the exemplary qualities of a Louisville Seminary education, manifested in service to the Church and in a variety of ministries throughout the world. During the 2008 Alum Reunion, held in March, six individuals, who were confirmed by the Louisville Seminary Alum Association, were recognized for their vision, accomplishments, and leadership in their respective callings.
Rev. Edwin W. Albright (MDiv ’65), the son of a Louisville Seminary graduate, is the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a call he has served since 1998.
Born in Gainesville, Fla., Albright was raised in the southern states of Louisiana, Texas, and Tennessee. He graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis. In 1965, he earned his Master of Divinity degree at Louisville Seminary and received the Alum Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior, which honors the graduate who excels in all facets of his or her education and potential for ministry.
Following his ordination, he served his first call as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Perry, Fla., and then as associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Fla., from 1968 through 1972.
He returned to theological studies, earning his Doctor of Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary in 1975. He was elected Associate Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of St. Augustine and served nine years before his appointment as Executive Presbyter, which he held through 1997. Albright continues to serve the church as Executive Presbyter in Greater Atlanta.
Rev. John T. Bare (BD ’56) is from Jefferson, N.C. In 1950, he became a candidate for the ministry under the care of Winston-Salem Presbytery, working in a yoked Home Mission Field assignment with Jefferson, Low Gap, and Big Ridge Presbyterian Churches, in Ashe County, N.C. He enrolled at Louisville Seminary in 1953, and as part of his field experience served in a yoked parish in Harrison County, Ind., and then in Greene County, Tenn.
Bare graduated from the Seminary in 1956 and accepted his first call as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, Ky. Eight years later, he felt called to a tentmaker’s ministry and purchased 800 acres, “on credit,” he said, to earn most of his livelihood as a bivocational farmer and pastor.
For 44 years, Bare served a series of supply, part-time, and interim pastorates, leading 14 Kentucky congregations over four decades, including churches in the cities of Bardstown, Grayson, Louisville, Perryville, Springfield and Lebanon. His ministry was dedicated to the fight for human rights and social justice. He stood by his convictions with an openness to listen to the views of others.
Rev. Bare died on March 21, 2008, two and a half weeks after accepting the Distinguished Alum Award on the campus of Louisville Seminary. At a memorial service held at First Presbyterian Church in Bardstown, Ky., Jennie Boyd remarked how surprised her father was when he was chosen a year earlier to receive the award.
“’Why am I getting something for doing what you’re supposed to do,’ my father said. He never expected recognition. He never thought he influenced anything. The Distinguished Alum Award meant so much,” she said.
Dr. Jennings F. Bryant Jr. (MDiv ’71), from Fort Benning, Ga., has held a distinguished ministry in communications and media research and in teaching undergraduate and graduate telecommunications education as Professor of Communication and Reagan Chair of Broadcasting in the Department of
Telecommunication and Film at the University of Alabama, where he has served since 1987.
His professional journey, which began at Davidson College, led to Louisville Seminary, which provided him an indispensable lens for his work in the effects of media, and subsequently Indiana University in 1974, where he earned his Ph.D. in mass communications.
Bryant is a prolific author of articles, scholarly published chapters, and more than 200 papers, which he has presented at national and international professional associations. He has also written and edited books on the emotional impact of television and the media on children, the family, and society, including Children’s Understanding of Television (1983) and Television and the American Family (1990 and 2001) and the fundamental communications textbooks Introduction to Media Communication (now in its fifth edition) and Mass Media Research: Advances Through Meta-Analysis (2007), to name only a few.
From 1989 through 2004, Bryant served as Director of the Institute for Communication Research, working with Federal and State Agencies, foundations, and corporate clients to address a wide range of communications issues and problems through cutting edge research methodologies and technologies. In a vocation that has spanned more than 34 years, Bryant’s professional career has included a fellowship with the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), the producers of Sesame Street and The Electric Company; ownership of two companies, which have produced specialty television programs; and consultation services for more than 50 major media companies.
Rev. Dr. J. Mark Goodman-Morris (MDiv ’76; DMin ’85) and Rev. Cheryl R. Goodman-Morris (MDiv '77) were one of the first clergy couples to graduate from Louisville Seminary in 1977. Having come from Pennsylvania and Texas, respectively, it was at Louisville Seminary that they received grounding in pastoral ministry and specialized training in spiritual formation, mission, and worship and the arts, which has become the heart of their life and work.
From 1977 to 1979, the Goodman-Morrises served as associate pastors at Claremont Presbyterian Church in California, a progressive congregation that welcomed a clergy couple. In 1979, they were called as associate pastors to the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana, Calif., where they served eight years.
“Santa Ana was a vibrant, loving community that helped us discover our gifts and learn to ‘fly,’” they said. Mark developed a ministry to the poorest of the city’s residents, opening a food and clothing closet that served more than 6,000 persons each month. Cheryl began a theater arts ministry called the Main Street Players, which has enjoyed a 27-year run, touching the lives of thousands of audience members and hundreds of actors and producing plays and musicals for the church and extended community.
Since 1987, the couple has served the energetic 350-member Valley Presbyterian Church of Portola Valley, Calif. Mark is pastor and head of staff, and Cheryl is pastor for worship, arts, and education. As part of their ministry, they have developed RISEN, a spiritual formation program that has more than 60 people engaged in spiritual direction on an ongoing basis.
Cheryl is also the artistic director of the Portola Valley Theater Conservatory, a non-profit outreach ministry of the church that offers weekly theater arts classes to 160 children, extends other classes in inner city schools, and produces inter-generational plays and musicals for the whole community. The proceeds raised from productions go to support local charities.
Together, they are best known for providing creative worship and drama leadership for four Presbyterian Youth Trienniums, the 2000 Youth Millennium, and numerous conferences and events. Their drama troupes, Simple Gifts and Goose Chase, Ink, are intentional configurations of artists and dancers “who have been transformed by God’s amazing grace. This is something Louisville Seminary modeled for us, and we have nothing but gratitude. It all comes down to creating hospitality—creating for others what God has created for us,” they said.
Dr. Maqsood P. Kamil (MA ‘92; DMin ‘94) is a minister, professor, and denominational leader in the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan, the second largest church in Pakistan. He is the first international graduate to receive the Distinguished Alum honor from Louisville Seminary.
Originally from a small village in Pakistan, he attended the University of Punjab (India) and received his B.A. in 1985. Four years later, he earned his M.Div. degree from Gujranwala Theological Seminary in Pakistan. Kamil came to Louisville Seminary to earn the Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree in preparation for a ministry as Professor of Systematic Theology & Homiletics at the Gujranwala Theological Seminary. His D.Min. project was “Doing Theology in Pakistani Context: Preparing Pastors for Parish Ministries.”
Kamil said he was dedicated by his parents at birth to be a servant of the Lord. His church and denominational leadership led him from a pastorate at Swift Memorial Presbyterian Church in Gujranwala to the position of Executive Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan, which he has held since 1999. He has served as an Ecumenical Advisory Delegate to the General Assembly (2004) of the Presbyterian Church (USA), as an observer at the Reformed Ecumenical Council, and as an international peacemaker with the Presbyterian denomination. One of the important aspects of his vocational identity has been the role he has played with international mediation in his own church and throughout the world. Reconciliation among Christians and Muslims has been a driving passion for him.
Since his seminary studies, Kamil has maintained a passion for preparing pastors for parish ministries and believes that continued support from Christians in the United States will help prepare more leaders, so desperately needed in religiously dangerous Pakistan.
The Distinguished Alum Awards were established in 1986. To view the list of all 89 recipients, visit www.lpts.edu/Alumni.