I am pleased to report that a graduate of Morehouse College of Atlanta has been named the new preacher at the famed Memorial Church at Harvard University.
Dr. Jonathan Walton holds a PhD from Princeton University in the sociology of religion. He is widely published in the field of African American religion and is a tenured professor at Harvard University.
Dean Lawrence Carter, dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College must be very proud. The King Chapel has been a prominent partner in the work of the Academy of Preachers. Much of the success of our National Festivals derives from the participation of students and graduates of Morehouse College, including current Harvard Divinity student Willie Francois III, AoP ’10.
“To be considered for this position was an honor,” Walton said. “To be selected is both exciting and humbling. I will do my utmost to continue the church’s tradition of intellectually challenging and spiritually nourishing preaching, its outreach to students of all faiths, and its impact well beyond Harvard Yard.”
Preaching in Memorial Church is both parish preaching, as it is the public worship of a local congregation, and public preaching, as it reaches the Harvard and Boston community that is preparing for leadership in all parts of the world.
Harvard Divinity School, like Morehouse College, is a Founding Partner with of the Academy of Preachers. I fully expect Dr. Walton to become active with the AoP and give assistance to us as we lay the groundwork for a Festival of Young Preachers in the Boston/New England area.
Walton succeeds Rev. Peter Gomes, who died last year and who served as mentor, friend and pastor to former AoP staff associate Taylor Guthrie Hartman, AoP ’10, while she was a student a Harvard Divinity student. Read her memorial piece here.