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Jan. 28, 2008

For Immediate Release

The memorial service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King came to a close with all of the ministers in the chapel invited to the stage, hands joined, leading the congregation singing the anthem “We Shall Overcome.” (Campbellsville University photo by Linda Waggener)

REV. GERALD JOINER DELIVERS ANNUAL CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY MARTIN LUTHER KING MEMORIAL SERVICE

By Linda Waggener, assistant director of university communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – The Rev. Gerald Joiner, Campbellsville University alumnus and member of the CU Church Relations Council, said, in an address last week, that he believes Dr. Martin Luther King would not be satisfied with the overall statistics today which show far too many young black men in prisons and far too many teen pregnancies among young black women.

Joiner, a 1975 graduate of CU, delivered the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Worship Service in the Ransdell Chapel Jan. 23.

As he shared the dream of the great leader and all he had lived, worked and died for, Joiner said he believed that if King were alive he would call on parents, educators and leaders to stand up and say that “enough is enough” and demand better education, good grades, more accountability and wholesome entertainment for our youth.

Joiner said that the groundbreaking works of King, as well as the dedication of his mentors at CU, had allowed him to accomplish what he has.

He commended CU on its efforts in diversity, especially the minority scholarship program and its partnership works with the General Association of Baptists in Ky., and with Simmons College of Kentucky.

“Because of the faith of this great institution and mentors like Al Hardy, I’ve been able to reach heights I’d never have dreamed of,” Joiner said. “As a 6’7” African-American teen from the Beecher projects of Louisville, I never thought I’d be here today with all the experiences I’ve been able to enjoy.”

While Joiner may be pastor of the historic Zion Missionary Baptist Church in downtown Louisville and a successful world-traveled corporate executive, still when he comes home to Campbellsville University, he remains “Mr. Campbellsville,” that star basketball player who met and married his wife of 32 years, Laverne Taylor Joiner, at CU.

He and Hardy, dean of academic support at CU, shared a moment after the service reliving the emotional visit when Hardy and the late Lou Cunningham traveled to his home in Louisville to bring him to CU. It was Joiner’s first trip ever south of Elizabethtown, his first viewing of the tobacco plant which he’d thought was the “tallest cabbage plant he’d ever seen.”

Joiner said, “It’s good to come home to my university,” and shared that he is a student again, currently enrolled in the master’s of theology program at CU’s Louisville Campus.

The Gospel Explosion Choir, a group of about 40 persons from Taylor, Adair and Green counties, provided special music throughout the service.

In his welcome address, Dr. Michael V. Carter, president, said, “May this university look across our world and not see different peoples, but see God’s creations, no matter where they come from, no matter the heritage or culture.”

The opening and closing prayers were delivered by the Rev. Corrie Shull, pastor of the First Baptist Church, and the Rev. Michael Caldwell, pastor of Pleasant Union Baptist Church, respectively.

Comments and introduction of the speaker were given by the Rev. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president.

The memorial service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King came to a close with all of the ministers in the chapel invited to the stage, hands joined, leading the congregation singing the anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

For more information, contact the Office of Church and External Relations at CU at (270) 789-5520 or e-mail Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, at jechowning@campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 29 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.