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News Release

January 27, 2004

Contact:

Elaine C. Ray, News Service: (650) 723-7162, elaineray@stanford.edu

Panel to explore the role of the black church

Clergy from a variety of Christian denominations will explore the role of the black church in the struggle for equality at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Kresge Auditorium. The program, titled "The Black Church: Social Change or Status Quo...," is free and open to the public. It is the final event of this year's campuswide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

The panel, moderated by the Rev. Scotty McLennan, dean for religious life at Stanford, will include the Rev. James Lawson, a friend of King's and retired United Methodist minister and former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; the Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, founder and pastor of Baltimore's Empowerment Temple, one of the nation's fastest-growing African Methodist Episcopal congregations, and a former national director of the Youth and College Division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Brother Bob Wayne Bell, a 2003 Stanford graduate who is currently a student at Harvard Divinity School; and Bishop Ernestine Reems, the first female bishop with Monument of Faith, International Assembly.

Reems, who grew up in the Church of God in Christ, left that denomination because it bars women from becoming pastors. An active leader in Christian outreach ministry in Oakland, Reems has established a prison ministry, as well as programs for the homeless and hungry.

The program also will feature the Stanford Gospel Choir.

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