Featured image for post: Barton College’s Sprinkle and Purcell Lectures Scheduled for March 20

Barton College’s Sprinkle and Purcell Lectures Scheduled for March 20

WILSON, N.C. — March 10, 2023 — Barton College is pleased to present the annual Thedford G. and Woodrow W. Sprinkle Lecture and the E. G. Purcell, Jr. Bible Conference Lecture on Monday, March 20. The spring lectures will be held in Howard Chapel on the Barton campus, and the community is invited to attend.

The Sprinkle Lecture, beginning at 2 p.m., will feature the Reverend J.O. Williams, Sr., retired associate regional minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina.  His lecture will focus on “A History of the Assembly Churches and the Disciples of Christ in North Carolina.”

Now retired, Williams continues to be an influential ministerial leader in the Christian Church (DOC) in North Carolina. During his multi-decade tenure as associate regional minister in the North Carolina region, he oversaw regional support and stewardship of race relations and reconciliation efforts, as well as expanded development of the regional Christian Men’s Fellowship and Christian Youth Fellowship programs. Williams also served as pastor for eight congregations in North Carolina during his long-tenured ministerial career. Additional leadership positions included past acting regional minister for the Christian Church (DOC) in North Carolina, past secretary of the Goldsboro-Raleigh District Assembly Church of Christ (DOC), past president of the Piedmont District Convention, Christian Church (DOC), life member of Christmount Christian Assembly (retreat center) in Black Mountain, and past chair of the Church Extension Board of Directors, among others. Williams also is a past member of various regional and national committees associated with the Christian Church (DOC) in the United States. Williams is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a past member of the Barton College Board of Trustees.

At 3:30 p.m., the E.G. Purcell, Jr. Bible Conference will feature Dr. Rodney S. Sadler, Jr., associate professor of Bible and director of the Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Charlotte campus. Sadler’s lecture is titled “Shalom as Balance: Race as Systemic Injustice.”

In addition to serving as director of the Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Sadler’s teaching experience includes courses in biblical languages, Old and New Testament interpretation, Wisdom Literature in the Bible, the History and Religion of Ancient Israel, and African American Biblical Interpretation. His first authored book, “Can A Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible, was published in 2005. He frequently lectures within the church and community on Race in the Bible, African American Biblical Interpretation, the Image of Jesus, Biblical Archaeology, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was the managing editor of the “African American Devotional Bible.” Sadler served as a visiting lecturer and interim co-director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School in Durham, and he was an associate minister in Durham. He also contributes to the anti-racism training available for ministers in the Christian Church (DOC).

The Thedford G. and Woodrow W. Sprinkle Lectures were established in 1981 by Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, a graduate of Barton College, Yale Divinity School and Duke University. The lectures were named in honor of his father, Thedford G. Sprinkle and his uncle, Woodrow W. Sprinkle.

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 Eugene G. Purcell Jr. A graduate of Duke University and Duke Divinity School, Purcell joined the faculty of Barton College in 1957 and served 27 years in the Department of Religion and Philosophy.

For additional information about these events, please contact Dr. Rodney A. Werline, Dean of Howard Chapel and the Marie and Leman Barnhill Chair in Religious Studies at Barton College, at rawerline@barton.edu.