The Charles B. Copher Annual Faculty Lecture Series, originally named The Annual Faculty Lecture Series, was initiated at the suggestion of the office of The Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center (JITC) in March 1979. It formed part of the Twentieth Anniversary Celebration of the founding of The ITC. This lecture series is now named in honor of Dr. Charles B. Copher, who for many years served ITC in the dual capacity of Professor of Biblical Studies (Old Testament) and Languages and Academic Dean. The series enables faculty to be on the cutting-edge of their respective disciplines. The presentation occurs during the ITC Charter Week and is subsequently published by the JITC.
Dr. Copher is widely published in religious journals and periodicals. The Christian Advocate, for example, has carried no less than sixty-three of his works. Among the publications in which his writing appear are:The Christian Advocate (Central Additional), The Foundation, The Journal of Bible and Religion, Theological Education,and the JITC. In addition, he is the author of many student books, study guides, published sermons, and worship services. Two popular publications are:”The Black Presence in the Old Testament” in Stony the Road We Trod edited by Cain Hope Felder, 1991 and Black Biblical Studies: An Anthology of Charles E. Copher, Black Light Fellowship, Chicago Illinois, 1993.
The Copher Lecturer for the 2010-2011 Academic Year is Dr. Willie F. Goodman, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and Chaplain of ITC.
The C. D. Hubert Lecture Series, sponsored by the Morehouse School of Religion, is held each year in conjunction with the Founders’ Day activities of the seminary. The Series is named for Charles DuBois Hubert, an illustrious son of Morehouse College. He returned to his alma mater as an instructor of Church History and served as acting president of Morehouse College from 1937 to 1940, at which time Benjamin E. Mays became president. Dr. Hubert was the director of Morehouse School of Religion from 1924 until his death in 1944. The Charles D. Hubert Lecture Series seeks to serve Christian workers by promoting intellectual and spiritual guidance through study, discussion, and fellowship.
Named in honor of the late Bishop B. Julian Smith of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the Lectures are held annually during the Phillips School of Theology Founders’ Day celebration and pastors’ conference. Prior to being elected the twenty-third bishop of the CME Church, Bishop Smith distinguished himself as General Secretary of the Department of Christian Education of the CME Church. He was also instrumental in helping to establish The ITC and served as chair of the Board of Trustees of Phillips School of Theology and the ITC Board of Trustees. Bishop Smith was devoted to promoting a trained mind and heart for the parish.
Shortly after the death of Bishop Wilbur P. Thirkield, the alumni and friends of Gammon Theological Seminary announced the provision in his will for the establishment of the “Thirkield Lectureship on Preaching, Social Services and Interracial Goodwill.” Members of Bishop Thirkield’s family, through his eldest son (Gilbert Haven Thirkield), made the necessary funds available for the Lectures to begin in 1937-1938. The first Lecture, delivered by President Arlo Ayres Brown of Drew University, was “The Christian Ministry: The Preacher, The Teacher, The Community Builder and The World Citizen.”
In 1924 Bishop Robert E. Jones garnered enough funds from Gammon alumni and friends to establish the Alumni lectureship from the interest earned. Named in honor of Bishop Jones, the Alumni Lectureship and the Thirkield Lectureship in Preaching were combined in 1947. The Thirkield-Jones Lectures are held annually during the Gammon Founders’ Day celebration. Henry McNeal Turner Lectures The Henry McNeal Turner Lectures began under the sponsorship of Bishop Richard R. Wright, Jr., ca. 1951, while he was the Episcopal leader of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Georgia and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Morris Brown College. At that time Turner Seminary was a part of the College.
The Lectures are presented each year as a part of Turner Theological Seminary’s Founders’ Day Convocation. Bishop Turner, for whom the lectures are named, was elected the twelfth bishop of the AME Church in 1880. An extraordinary man, he became the first Black person appointed as chaplain in the United States Army, a bishop, and a Georgia legislator. He was one of the sponsors of the Liberian Expedition in 1878. As a church expansionist, Bishop Turner organized more than 100 congregations in Georgia and established the AME Church in Africa.
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