The 2015 Spring Lowell Lecture hosted by BU's School of Theology featured a conversation with two alumni who had participated in marches in Alabama after the events of Bloody Sunday that took place on March 7, 1965.

Joining the two alumni was Reverend Dr. Pamela Lightsey, who traveled to Ferguson, Missouri in the fall of 2014 to witness the new wave of civil protests that took place after the killing of Michael Brown. She shared video footage from her participation as clergy marching in with the protesters.

Following the discussion, the Seminary Singers Concert features Mark Miller, Minister of Music at Church Christ in Summit and faculty at Drew Theological and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale.

+ BIO: Dr. Don Messer

Donald E. Messer (born 1941) is an American United Methodist theologian and author, and former college and seminary president. He is known for his work to combat world hunger and HIV/AIDS.

Messer earned a Ph.D. from Boston University in social ethics. He was president of Dakota Wesleyan University from 1971 to 1981, and president of Iliff School of Theology from 1981 to 2000. He was named both President Emeritus and the Henry White Warren Professor Emeritus of Practical Theology at The Iliff School of Theology. As of 2013, Messer is the Executive Director of the Center for the Church and Global AIDS.

At the 5th International Conference on AIDS India in Chennai in 2005, he was honored by The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his humanitarian work. Among other awards received over the years, Messer was named one of America's "Ten Outstanding Young Men" in 1975 by the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees).

+ BIO: Reverend Dr. William Bobby McClain

Dr. William Bobby McClain (STH ’62, STH ’77) earned his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, at Clark College, Atlanta. He conceived of and chaired the committee which produced the hymnbook, Songs of Zion, which sold more than 2.5 million copies and changed the composition of Christian hymnals of every denomination. He most recently co-chaired the committee for the sequel to Songs of Zion: Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation.

Professor McClain met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama, where Dr. King was pastoring and McClain was a teen-aged preacher in his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama. After completing his seminary degree at Boston University, where King had previously received his doctorate, Reverend McClain returned to Alabama in 1962 to work with King and the civil rights movement and to serve as pastor of Haven Chapel Methodist Church in Anniston, Alabama, where he remained until returning to graduate school at Boston University in the fall of 1964.

From 1968 to 1978, Dr. McClain, an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, served as senior pastor of the historic Union United Methodist Church in Boston. During that same period he taught at Boston College, Harvard University, Northeastern University and Emerson College. From 2001-2003 Dr. McClain served as the Senior Pastor of Philadelphia’s Tindley Temple United Methodist Church where the great Charles Albert Tindley served as pastor and wrote many of his famous and beloved Gospel songs.

+ BIO: Walter E. Fluker

Walter Earl Fluker is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership, the editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project and the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership (MLK-IDEAL) at Boston University School of Theology. He was founding executive director of the Leadership Center and the Coca-Cola Professor of Leadership Studies at Morehouse College. The founder of VisionQuest International and Walter Earl Fluker and Associates, he is a featured consultant, speaker, lecturer and workshop leader at foundations, businesses, corporations, colleges, universities, governmental and religious institutions, nationally and globally.

Boston University School of Theology
African American Culture Series
Civil Rights Movement Series