Wednesday, March 31, 2010

UTI Public Lecture Series: Professor Eric Williams on Bishop OT Jones, Jr.

The first lecture of LTSP's Urban Theological Institute (UTI) Public Lecture Series will be "As the Spirit of the Lord Gives Utterance - Bishop OT Jones, Jr. as Revisionist Pentecostal Theologian" by Professor Eric Williams, 2009 Faculty Fellow at Western Theological Seminary, Holland, MI. The lecture is scheduled for Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 10 am in Benbow Hall on the Mt. Airy, campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. The lecture is co-sponsored by the UTI and The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Jurisdiction, The Church of God in Christ, and is free and open to the public.

Bishop Ozro Thurston "O.T." Jones, Jr., was a bishop and member of the governing board of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), and senior pastor of Holy Temple Church of God in Christ at 60th and Callowhill Streets, Philadelphia, until he retired in 2000. He was born in Arkansas and moved with his family to West Philadelphia when he was a boy. His father, Orzo Thurston Jones, Sr., also a COGIC bishop, in 1941 appointed O.T. Jones, Jr., as leader of approximately 800 young people at the Holy Temple church, where he organized youth groups. Following his undergraduate and graduate education, including a doctoral degree, at Temple University, O.T. Jones, Jr., became a missionary in Liberia and in 1953 was ordained in the church and named pastor of Memorial Church of God in Christ in Bryn Mawr. He was called to serve at Holy Temple after his father's death in 1972.

About the lecturer: Professor Eric Williams is the 2009 Faculty Fellow at Western Theological Seminary, where he teaches in the areas of theology and homiletics. An ordained minister of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), Williams holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the McCormick Theological Seminary, the Master of Divinity degree from The Divinity School, Duke University and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Institute of Religion at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

Professor Williams' studies and ministry have taken him to the continents of Africa, South America, Europe, extensively throughout the continental United States and to several Islands of the Caribbean. His research and writing interests include urban ministry and evangelism, preaching as theological discourse, Black sacred rhetoric, contemporary theologies of the Holy Spirit, religion and cultural criticism and African-American political theologies.

In addition to his formal theological studies, Williams has served congregations within the states of Illinois, New York, Connecticut and North Carolina as well as in the United Kingdom. Williams desires to work bi-vocationally as a parish minister and Christian theologian within the academy. (source: Western Theological Seminary)

More information on UTI and the lecture can be found on the seminary Web site at

(biographical information on Bishop O.T. Jones, Jr., from the Church of God in Christ and the Philadelphia Inquirer)

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