The official grand opening of the Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action will occur during Summit on Sept. 18.
The Center was founded earlier this year by Dr. Jerry Taylor, Associate Professor of Bible to honor the legacy of Carl Spain.
Located in BSB room 111, the Carl Spain Center “heavily emphasizes spiritual formation by utilizing prayer, solitude, biblical meditation and silence as methods to address racism that is often ‘spiritualized’ in the hearts of Christians,” said Taylor.
“The goal of the Center is to serve as a bridge in the conversation between racial groups on the ACU campus and beyond,” said Taylor. “The Center was created to honor the legacy of Carl Spain by conducting research on the historical and contemporary role of race and racism in the church and its Christian institutions.”
Spain was a white professor in theology studies when he spoke during the 1960 Bible Lectureship, now called Summit. He spoke of the whites-only admissions policies of Christian colleges and scolded the university for denying admission to black students in an address entitled “Modern Challenges to Christian Morals”.
“The timing of his message came just weeks after an African-American student was denied admission to study preaching at ACC on the basis of his race,” said Taylor. “As a result of his lecture, Spain was ostracized by many in the church, and his preaching career was left permanently tarnished by those who opposed him.”
The long-term vision of the Center is “to conduct and encourage academic research on the subject of race and racism and how we as Christian can respond to it through the use of the spiritual disciplines,” Taylor said.
The official grand opening of the Carl Spain Center will occur at a luncheon on Sept. 18.