Purcell Bible Conference and Sprinkle Lectures Scheduled for March 6-8

WILSON, N.C. — The 2011 E.G. Purcell, Jr., Bible Conference and the Thedford G. and Woodrow W. Sprinkle Lectures are scheduled for March 6-8 at Barton College. Dr. Loren T. Stuckenbruck, Richard Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, will be the guest lecturer for the Purcell Bible Conference on Sunday, March 6, in Hardy Alumni Hall.  The Reverend Amy Gopp, Executive Director for Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will be the featured speaker for the Sprinkle Lectures scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, March 7-8, also in Hardy Alumni Hall.

All lecture sessions are open to the public free of charge, and the community is invited to attend. A buffet luncheon and discussion with the Reverend Gopp will follow at Noon on Tuesday.  Those planning to attend the luncheon may pay at the door. The programs are sponsored by the Department of Religion and Philosophy.

For additional information about these events, please contact Dr. Rodney A. Werline, Marie and Leman Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies, at 399-6447 or email: rawerline@barton.edu.

The Purcell Bible Conference

The Purcell Bible Conference will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon in Hardy Alumni Hall with Dr. Stuckenbruck’s lecture “The Exorcisms of Jesus: Putting Evil Into Perspective.”  Following the lecture, there will be a brief reception, and he will speak again at the 5 p.m. vesper service.  Dr. Stuckenbruck’s sermon is titled “Resurrection and Reality.”

Dr. Stuckenbruck earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Milligan College in Tennessee. Continuing his studies, he completed a Master of Divinity degree and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, in 1986 and 1993 respectively. Among several prestigious grants and awards, Dr. Stuckenbruck was named a Fulbright Scholar at Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen from 1986-1988; and in 1988, he received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship. Prior to his current appointment at Princeton, Dr. Stuckenbruck served as the B. F. Westcott Professor in Biblical Studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom from 2003-2009. In addition to these teaching posts, he has also held respected teaching positions in Germany, Israel, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Stuckenbruck has served as editor for several prominent journals in the study of early Judaism and early Christianity, including Zeitschrift f. die neutesstamentliche Wissenschaft, Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, Journal of Biblical Literature, New Testament Studies, and Dead Sea Discoveries. He has established himself as one of the leading scholars in the area of early Judaism and early Christianity and has authored or co-authored several books, one of which is a recent commentary on 1 Enoch 91-108 (de Gruyter, 2007), as well as numerous articles and essays. Dr. Stuckenbruck is ordained in the Independent Christian Churches and also participates in the work of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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. During his career, he has served Methodist churches in Burlington, Fair Bluff, and Ahoskie, as well Riverside Christian Church and Lanie’s Chapel Christian Church.

The purpose of these lectures has been to provide the public with the finest in recent biblical scholarship each year.  From its inception, these lectures have been planned with the laity of the church in mind.

The Sprinkle Lectures

The Sprinkle Lectures will begin with the Reverend Gopp’s first lecture: “The Sermon: A Journey to the Unexpected” on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Hardy Alumni Hall.  “The Sermon: A Journey with the Unlikely” will be the topic of her second lecture, which will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8.

An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Reverend Amy Gopp earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., in 1994, a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution at Antioch University in 1998, and a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 2005. In 1995, she began a four-year commission as a missionary with Mennonite Central Committee and Global Ministries to the war-ravaged former Yugoslavia, where she worked as a peace activist for refugee concerns and promoted interfaith dialogue. The Reverend Gopp later served as the Intern Coordinator for the Disciples Peace Fellowship of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As a graduate student at Union Theological Seminary, she worked with outreach ministries at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and as a United Nations liaison for Wider Church Ministries. The Reverend Gopp joined the staff of Week of Compassion in 2005 as Associate Director, and she was appointed Executive Director in 2008.

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.  Dr. Sprinkle, who graduated from Barton College in 1974, has served as associate minister to Thomas Chapel Church of Christ, New Haven, Conn., and as minister to First Christian Church of Greensboro, Wendell Christian Church and Pleasant Union Christian Church in Newton Grove.  He served on the faculty of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Barton from 1983-1990.  Sprinkle presently serves as director of field education /supervised ministry and lecturer in practical theology at Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.


Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.