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36th Annual Purcell Bible Conference and Sprinkle Lectures Hosted by Barton College at Greenville Convention Center

WILSON, N.C. — April 19, 2016 — Barton College and the Barton College Center for Religious Studies will host the 36th annual E.G. Purcell, Jr., Bible Conference and the Thedford G. and Woodrow W. Sprinkle Lectures at the 168th Regional Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina to be held at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville.

The Sprinkle Lecture will take place on Friday, April 22, at the Ministers and Mates Luncheon, an event for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) ministers and spouses. The lecturer is the Reverend Dr. Ronald J. Allen, Professor of Preaching and Gospels and Letters at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Ind. The title of his lecture is “Biblical Models for Long-Term Strategies for Preaching.” Dr. Allen will also preach at the Friday evening worship in the Convention Center. The Reverend Dr. Christopher Rollston, Associate Professor of Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. , will deliver the Purcell Lecture on Saturday, April 23, at 1:45 p.m., also in the Greenville Convention Center. The title of his lecture is “Women Prophets in the Bible: Shattering the Glass Ceilings of Old.”

Dr. Allen received a Ph.D. degree from Drew University (1977), a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York (1974), and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Phillips University (1971). He is the author of more than 40 books and more than 100 articles and chapters in books. A recent book, ‘Sermon Treks: Pathways to Creative Preaching” (Abingdon, 2014), examines the numerous ways to prepare sermons from the Revised Common Lectionary, preaching continuously through the Bible, various sermon series, and individual selection of a topic or a text. He and Clark M. Williamson authored a three-volume commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary that identified anti-Jewish tendencies in the Common Lectionary and suggests corrections for these.

Dr. Rollston earned his Master of Arts degree (1996) and his Ph.D. (1999) at The Johns Hopkins University (Department of Near Eastern Studies) in ancient Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures. As a scholar in ancient epigraphy, Dr. Rollston works in more than a dozen ancient and modern languages. During the fall 2013, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to be a Research Scholar at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (Jerusalem). In spring 2014, he was a Visiting Professor of Northwest Semitic Literature at Tel Aviv University. And, in the spring and summer of 2002, Dr. Rollston was a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Scholar at the American Center of Oriental Research (Amman). He has excavated in Syria (Umm el-Marra) and in Israel (Megiddo). He has authored many journal articles, and his book titled Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age (Society of Biblical Literature, 2010) was selected by the American Schools of Oriental Research as the recipient of the prestigious “Frank Moore Cross Prize for Northwest Semitic Epigraphy.”

The Purcell Bible Conference was established in 1984 with an endowment given by family, colleagues, friends, students and parishioners to honor the life and ministry of the late professor emeritus Eugene G. Purcell Jr. Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, a graduate of Barton College, Yale Divinity School and Duke University, established the Thedford G. and Woodrow W. Sprinkle Lectures in 1981. The lectures were named in honor of his father, Thedford G. Sprinkle and his uncle, Woodrow W. Sprinkle.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Rodney A. Werline, Leman and Marie Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies at Barton College, at (252) 399-6447 or rawerline@barton.edu.