D.C.’s New Archbishop and One of Its Historic African American Churches

On Thursday, the Vatican announced the appointment of the first African American as archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory. For the past fourteen years he has been archbishop of Atlanta. In its report on Gregory's appointment, the Washington Post noted that while nationally African Americans only make up 3% of the Roman Catholic Church, in the …

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St. Rose Church, Hastings, MI — Church of the Week

Samford University Library posts an historic photo of an Alabama Baptist Church every Sunday as a "church spotlight." I'm going to start to do the same from churches far and wide in my collection. This week is St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Hastings, Michigan. I wondered in there one Saturday in June 2006. It …

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Transfiguration in Lent or before Lent?

Two weeks ago I was listening to With Heart and Voice early on Sunday morning. The host, Peter DuBois, stated matter-of-factly that the celebration of the Transfiguration was that day and focused much of this program on music for it. DuBois, in addition to being a concert organist, is director of music at Rochester, New …

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Upcoming Transitions for Birmingham Bishoprics

Three Christian bishops based in Birmingham, Alabama, are nearing the end of their tenure. Last month, Kee Sloan, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama announced his intention to retire at the end of 2020. His successor will be elected by the diocese earlier that year. Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, who serves the North Alabama Conference …

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Metro D.C.’s Other Peace Cross

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association concerning the forty-foot tall the Peace Cross at a traffic junction in Bladensburg, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland, 2009.Ben Jacobson (Kranar Drogin) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D The cross is a memorial to American solders who died in World War I. It …

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Samford’s Gate: Baptists and the Bible

When introducing students to Judaism, one text I always discuss is the Shema, the passage of the Torah that is the centerpiece of Jewish daily prayer. It begins at Deuteronomy 6:4 with the words "Shema yisrael," or in English, "Hear O Israel." It then continues The Lord is our God, the Lord is One. You shall …

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Slavery, “Servants,” and Samford

In the middle of Samford University's campus, at the head of Centennial Walk, just below Davis Library, a black stone marker is set in the pavement. It reads: In MemoriamHarryThis marker honors the memory of Harry, college janitor and servant of President Talbird. At midnight, October 15, 1854, he sustained fatal injuries as he roused …

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Baptists and Catholics (almost) Together in Birmingham

This June Baptists and Roman Catholics will hold major conventions at at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), separately. There are two national meetings of Baptists and a diocesan meeting of Catholics. While the meetings are not at the same time, it will be unusual to have a trio of major religious meetings in the …

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President’s Wall – A Fence with an Open Gate

Walking along Highland Avenue in Birmingham, Alabama, yesterday I saw this sign. It is located in front of the parking lot of Temple Beth-el. The "wall" is actually a brick and iron fence installed as part of an effort to beautify the synagogue's street front. There are no gates on the driveways that lead across into …

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