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Alton B. Pollard III Brings Spirit of Ecumenism to Louisville Seminary

Jun 11, 2018

Pollard EcumenismLast Thursday, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III as its tenth president. Pollard spent the morning with seminary trustees who formally voted on his appointment. Throughout the afternoon, Pollard met with seminary faculty, students and staff and participated in a welcome service at Louisville Seminary’s Caldwell Chapel.

Louisville Seminary’s Presidential Search Committee, which was comprised of seminary faculty, students, trustees, senior administrators and alums, were especially impressed by Pollard’s ecumenical background.

In accordance with the seminary’s by-laws, Pollard will transfer his membership to a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in Louisville. Pollard was ordained by an independent Baptist congregation and is presently a member at Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. He has previously served as associate minister at Trinity Tabernacle Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, and at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has also pastored A.M.E. churches in Tennessee and Baptist churches in Massachusetts and North Carolina. In addition, he was supply minister at Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

“Dr. Pollard will bring all of the gifts from his diverse ecumenical background with him to our seminary,” said Mary Gene Boteler, a Louisville seminary alum and trustee who served on the Presidential Search Committee. “He is excited about walking this next season with a people called ‘Presbyterian.’ Those of us who have spent time with him are grateful to God for this spirit-led calling of Dr. Pollard to Louisville Seminary.”

Rev. Emily Miller, a Louisville Seminary alum and the seminary’s director of recruitment and admissions added: “Presbyterian theology, to me, is inherently ecumenical. Our current and future students have a lot to be excited about with Dr. Pollard as our new president.”

Next week, Pollard will attend the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which will take place in St. Louis, Missouri. There, he will meet with the leadership of the Committee on Theological Education as well as PCUSA leadership. Louisville Seminary will also host a reception and a luncheon at General Assembly, where Pollard will have more opportunities to meet seminary and church constituencies.

“As Louisville Seminary’s president, I will build upon the seminary’s historic tradition and current momentum, imparting the story and advancing a trajectory for innovation consistent with the institutional ethos ‘to cultivate relationships inside and beyond the seminary’ and fulfilling the vision of ‘building bridges’ in a complex interreligious society and world,” said Pollard, who serves on the Board of Directors for In Trust Center for Theological Schools and the Advisory Committee for the Luce Fund for Theological Education.

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