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Randal Jelks will speak on being an African American Presbyterian

by Louisville Seminary | Mar 29, 2009
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will welcome Dr. Randal Jelks as the guest speaker for a special evening lecture, April 2, sponsored by the Cultural Diversity Committee and Lifelong Learning. Dr. Jelks, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Associate Professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas, will present his address, “The Waters of Babylon: To Be an African American Presbyterian,” at 7 p.m. in Hundley Hall, Gardencourt. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Jelks is a graduate of South Shore High School (Chicago), the University of Michigan (BA in history), McCormick Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity), and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in History). Before joining the faculty of the University of Kansas, Professor Jelks taught at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

He was the 2006-2007 Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the National Humanities Center in Research Park Triangle, North Carolina, and in 2008, he was the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas in American Studies.

Jelks has published both scholarly and journalistic articles. His research and writing interests are in the area of African American Religious, Urban, and Civil Rights History. Jelks’ recently published “Obama, Wright, and Trinity” for the Social Science Research Council blog, The Immanent Frame. He also has published an award winning book, entitled African Americans in the Furniture City: The Civil Rights Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan (The University of Illinois Press, 2006). His forthcoming book on Martin Luther King Jr.’s mentor, titled Benjamin Elijah Mays, a Religious Rebel in the Jim Crow South: An Intellectual Biography, will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2009.

In addition to his Thursday evening lecture, Jelks will teach the Martin Luther King Jr. class at 3 p.m., earlier that afternoon. All Louisville Seminary students are invited to attend.

For more information about this event, please contact students Gail Monsma (gmonsma@lpts.edu) or Kerri Allen (kallen@lpts.edu), who are coordinating Dr. Jelks’ visit to Louisville Seminary.

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