Larry Murphy (A)Opening Plenary | Have You Got Good Religion?

Speaker: Dr. Larry Murphy, Emeritus Professor of the History of Christianity, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

An opening plenary will be held on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Dr. Larry Murphy, professor emeritus of the history of Christianity, will deliver the keynote address entitled, “Have You Got Good Religion?” This keynote will help set the stage for the ten Evanston Stations to follow throughout the month of February. A time for questions and answer will follow after the presentation.


(all events in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful unless otherwise indicated)

4:00 p.m.       Worship
Preacher: Dr. Lallene J. Rector, President of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Music: Garrett-Evangelical Gospel Choir, Evanston Community Ensemble

5:00 p.m.        Community Meal (Cross Towner Room)

6:00 p.m.        Opening Plenary


Dr. Larry Murphy joined the faculty in 1974, the year that Garrett Theological Seminary and Evangelical Theological Seminary merged. At the time of his arrival, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience was in its infancy. During his tenure, Murphy provided leadership and vision for the Center while solidifying himself as an insightful and inspiring teacher of the history of modern Christianity.

Murphy is not only a passionate teacher, but also an active scholar of Christianity in the United States. In addition to his numerous articles, his books include: African American Faith in America and, most recently, Sojourner Truth: A Biography. His works as an editor include Down by the Riverside: Readings in African American Religion and The Encyclopedia of African American Religions (with J. Gordon Melton and Gary L. Ward).

Outside of Garrett-Evangelical, Murphy has engaged in public history projects that center on African American religious life and religiosity in Chicago. These include television miniseries: “This Far By Faith” produced by Blackside, Inc. and “Where Everyday Is Sunday” produced by Inspired Partnerships. Murphy is ordained and a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was, for more than 30 years, the minister of education at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Evanston.

Upon retiring from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Murphy and his spouse, Jean, opened YoFresh Yogurt Cáfe, located at 635 Chicago Ave., #7, Evanston, Illinois.

nabors_0Closing Plenary

February 28, 2018 | 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Second Baptist Church
1717 Benson Avenue, Evanston, Illinois

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors, Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church of Evanston

A closing worship and plenary will be held at Second Baptist Church in Evanston on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors, senior pastor at Second Baptist Church, will preside at the service. The plenary will culminate in a celebration of music led by Kelly Tiebout and La’Quentin Jenkins of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and feature a community mass choir consisting of local Black churches and Northwestern and Garrett-Evangelical students, local community ensembles, and featured guest soloists.


Reverend Dr. Michael C. R. Nabors is senior pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Illinois. He was called to the church in December of 2014 after serving New Calvary Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan for sixteen years. He also served as Assistant Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church of Trenton, New Jersey and as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Princeton, New Jersey.

Most recently, Dr. Nabors has also served as Director of the Master of Divinity and Student Life Programs at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit where he is professor of Homiletics and African American Religious History. He also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio; Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan for the past ten years. His primary academic interest is in helping students practice homiletical preparation for preaching in the changing world of the 21st century. He has used Samuel Proctor’s “Hegelian dialectic”, Paul Scott Wilson’s “Four Pages of the Sermon”, and William Buechner’s literary genre as a foundation for his preaching courses. His primary church interest is in building bridges to erase the gap between community and university, the African American religious experience and the academy.

Dr. Nabors earned his undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He earned the Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He completed his Doctor of Ministry degree as a Samuel DeWitt Proctor Fellow at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He was a Fellow in the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program of Lilly Endowment, Inc., as well as a Fellow in the Pastor-Theologian Program led by the Institute of Theological Study.

Dr. Nabors has received over 100 community, church and ministry awards for leadership and service in New Jersey and Michigan. Before leaving Princeton, New Jersey, the Mayor and City Council commemorated his leadership by naming October 12th as “Dr. Michael Nabors Day.” He has been president of the Princeton and Trenton, New Jersey branches of the NAACP, the Michigan Progressive Baptist Convention, and Chairman of the Board for Detroit East, Inc., and Gateway Community Health.

Dr. Nabors is married to Sydni Nabors and is the proud father of six children: three who are adults; Spencer Alexandria, 17; Pierce Alexander, 11; and Parker Anne, 6