Billy Graham the Focus of Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Lecture on October 27

WILSON, N.C. Barton College is pleased to welcome Dr. Grant Wacker, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Christian History, Duke University Divinity School, as the featured speaker for the 2015 Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Series/Heritage Lecture. The event will be held in Hardy Alumni Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Dr. Wacker’s lecture is titled “Billy Graham and American Culture.” This program is open to the public free of charge, and the community is invited to attend.

A specialist in American Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism, Dr. Wacker is the author or co-author of seven books, including the award-winning “Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture” (2001, Harvard University Press) and “America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation” (2014, Harvard University Press). A New York Times review summarized Dr. Wacker’s book on Billy Graham as “an academic project in the best sense … a disciplined, admirably fair-minded effort to understand and explain how 20th-century American culture produced a figure like Billy Graham, and how Graham in turn helped to shape that same culture.”

He received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University (1972) and earned a Ph.D. in religion at Harvard University (1978).

Established in 1991, the Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Series brings to campus each fall semester distinguished performers and lecturers who focus on topics of practical Christian significance for the general public relating to contemporary issues. This lecture series was named in honor of Dr. Allan R. Sharp, professor emeritus of religion and philosophy, at the time of his retirement. The late Dr. Sharp served on the Barton College faculty from 1953-1991.

This year’s Sharp Lecture is co-sponsored by the Barton College Center for Religious Studies and Barton College’s Heritage Committee, which is supported in part by a grant from BB&T. The Heritage Committee was created by the college in 2003 to promote the study of history at Barton and in the Wilson community.

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