Urban missionary to deliver Andrews lecture

An ordained Pentecostal minister, former gang member, Harvard graduate and urban missionary will deliver the annual Bertha May Bell Andrews Memorial Lecture at Bates at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5  in the Benjamin Mays Center. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, pastor of the Azusa Christian Community in the Four Corners area of Dorchester, Mass., one of Boston’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods, will discuss Beyond Nationalism of Fools: Toward A New Agenda For Intellectuals.

Rivers will also lead a chapel service, open to the public, at 4 p.m. Feb. 4  in the College Chapel.

“Our goal is empowerment,” he said of the Azusa Christian Community, a group of approximately 30 middle-class individuals dedicated to revitalization and outreach in their community. “But the power we are fighting for does not derive its strength from the state and the institution of government. It emerges from the collective energies of ordinary folk . . . The truth of the matter is this: The solutions have to be worked out in the streets. Those who are able must devote themselves to the hard work of establishing a true sense of community in neighborhoods devastated by the harshness of urban poverty.”

A fixture at Bates since 1975, the Andrews Lecture is a memorial to Bertha May Bell Andrews, who served on the Bates faculty from 1913 to 1917 and established the women’s physical education program at the college. The lectureship was established by her son, Dr. Carl B. Andrews ’40.

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