Dr. James Forbes to Deliver Mercer University’s Harry Vaughan Smith Lectures Feb. 19-20


MACON – A nationally acclaimed preacher and scholar who has spent the past three months ministering on the front lines of the recovery efforts in New York City following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, will present a series of lectures at Mercer University in February.

The Rev. James A. Forbes Jr., D.Min., senior pastor of the Riverside Church in New York City, will speak on “The Spiritual Renewal of the Nation,” Feb. 19-20 for the 2002 Harry Vaughan Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor of Christianity lecture series at Mercer. The three lectures in the series are as follows: “The Case for Prophetic Patriotism,” 10:50 a.m., Feb. 19; “The Recruitment of Human Race Activists,” 7:30 p.m., Feb. 19; and “Spiritual Courage for Justice, Peace, and Compassion,” 10 a.m., Feb. 20.

The free lectures, sponsored by Mercer’s Department of Christianity, are open to the public and will be in the Religious Life Center on Mercer’s Macon campus.

Since 1989, Forbes has served as senior minister at the Riverside Church, a 2,400-member interdenominational church built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927. Riverside is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches and the United Church of Christ.

Prior to serving the Riverside Church, Forbes was professor of preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. A well-known preacher and lecturer in the United States and abroad, Forbes has been named one of the nation’s leading preachers by Newsweek and Ebony magazines and Baylor University.

Forbes earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Howard University, master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and doctor of ministry degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. He also earned a clinical pastoral education certificate from the Medical College of Virginia and has received 12 honorary degrees.

The Harry Vaughan Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor of Christianity lecture series was established in 1990 by Smith, a 1924 Mercer graduate and former pastor, and his family. Founded in 1833 in Penfield, Ga., Mercer is the only independent university of its size in the country to offer programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, pharmacy, law, theology and nursing. With more than 7,300 students on campuses in Macon and Atlanta, Mercer is one of the largest Baptist-affiliated institutions in the world. Led by President R. Kirby Godsey, Mercer has been ranked among the leading colleges and universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report for 12 consecutive years.