Minister to lead annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day service

The Rev. Kirk Byron Jones, a specialist in the social theologies of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Walter Rauschenbusch, and someone well-known for his work with the Commission on Justice and Liberation of the National Council of Churches, will be the guest preacher for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day service at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, in the Bates College Chapel, College Street.

The event also features music by Cultured Voices and the Bates Community Gospel Ensemble. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Currently assistant professor of Christian social ethics at Andover Newton Theological School and senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Randolph, Mass., Jones is a native of New Orleans and has been preaching since the age of 12, when he delivered his first sermon at the Mount Hermon Baptist Church in his hometown.

His ministries have extended out into the larger community. Most notably, he was a co-founder and first chairman of Church Against Narcotics (CAN), a Chester-based community action organization that successfully developed educational and recreational responses to the drug culture.

Jones’ courses at Andover Newton focus on the social role of the church and the practice of pastoral ministry. He expands his teaching ministry by serving as a guest preacher and lecturer at churches and schools across the country. His writing has appeared in The Christian Century, The Christian Ministry and Pulpit Digest. He also is co-executive editor of the Judson Press quarterly, The African American Pulpit.

Jones received his doctorate in philosophy from Drew University, a doctorate in ministry from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and his master’s in divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. He was founding pastor of Beacon Light Baptist Church in New Orleans and has served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, Pa., and Ebenezer Baptist Church in Boston.

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