news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Library Hosts Discussion Inspired by PBS Series on the Black Church

stain glass depicting black people outside of church

Panelists Include Alumni who are Pastors and Divinity School Professor

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Inspired by the recent PBS series, “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song,” the John R. Dover Memorial Library is hosting a panel discussion on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. in Stewart Hall of Tucker Student Center at Gardner-Webb University. Panelists include alumni and a GWU Professor Dr. Steve Harmon.

Like the PBS series, the discussion will focus on faith, community and worship in the black church. Written, produced and hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the two-part series traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America and its role as the site of African American survival and grace.

Panelists are:

  • Dr. Lamont Littlejohn, servant pastor/teacher of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Shelby. He has Bachelor of Arts, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from GWU. Additionally, he has served as the Second and Fourth Vice Moderator of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Association. Littlejohn is an adjunct professor at GWU and serves on the GWU Board of Trustees. He is also the chairman of the Board of Trustees for Cleveland Community College (becoming the first African American to hold this position).
  • Dr. Kimberly Moore, senior pastor of Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Gastonia, N.C. Moore is a graduate of Lander University in Greenwood, S.C., where she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is a graduate of Gardner-Webb School of Divinity, where she received her Master of Divinity degree in Pastoral Studies and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Ministries. Moore is the first female to serve as a senior pastor in the Gaston County Baptist Association. She is the founder and CEO of Kimberly Moore Ministries, which is a non-profit, outreach ministry offering empowerment classes, women’s ministries, mentoring sessions, and conferences.
  • Rev. Chris Gash, lead pastor, New Ellis Baptist Church. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gardner-Webb, where he was a member of the men’s basketball team. After graduating, Gash entered public service. He returned to Gardner-Webb to receive his Master of Divinity in 2009. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry in Religious Education from Gardner-Webb and expects to graduate in 2022.
  • Rev. Wade Wallace has served as senior pastor at Green Bethel Baptist Church since 1995. He received his Associate Degree in Pastoral Studies at Southern Biscayne College in 1974 and his Bachelor’s Degree at Gardner-Webb in Religious Education in 1981. He later entered and completed an intensified Study in Church Development in 1981 at the Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He was ordained by the Mecklenburg General Association on May, 27, 1976.
  • Harmon, professor of Historical Theology in the GWU School of Divinity. He previously served on the faculties of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., and Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, N.C. His newest book is “Baptists, Catholics, and the Whole Church: Partners in the Pilgrimage to Unity.”

The event is free for students, community and church members, but registration is requested. Click here.

Refreshments will be provided.

Attendees are encouraged to watch the PBS series prior to attending the event. The DVDs can be checked out from the library or the series can be streamed by clicking this link.

Funding for this event is provided by Libraries Transforming Communities, a grant from the American Library Association. Dover Library received the grant in April. Grants were presented to 517 libraries in 48 states. On the list of seven North Carolina recipients, Gardner-Webb was the only university library.

Library Dean Dr. Pam Dennis said the grant is also helping to begin digitizing the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Association records. With roots extending back to Shiloh Baptist Church in 1867, the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Association was originally founded in Cleveland County, N.C., in 1889 to support the growth and formation of African American churches and schools in the Foothills of North and South Carolina. “Exactly half of those African-American churches are pastored by current or former students from our divinity programs,” Dennis noted. “We will be working with the individual churches mostly in Cleveland and Rutherford counties to help them celebrate 100-year anniversaries.”

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704-406-4270 or email [email protected] with your request.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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