Provided by Johns Island Presbyterian Church
For 300 years, Johns Island Presbyterian Church has welcomed residents of the sea islands with open arms. Its beautifully handcrafted doors have stood open for 15 generations of weddings, funerals, holidays and Sunday services, and now, as they approach their tercentennial anniversary, Johns Island Presbyterian is offering island residents a chance to learn a little about the church’s illustrious past.
From Thursday, May 20 through Saturday, May 22, Dr. Erskine Clark, noted Southern Presbyterian Church History Scholar, will present daily lectures on the history and impact of one of America’s oldest churches.
On Thurday, May 20, at 7 p.m., Join Dr. Clarke for a presentation entitled “A Sea Island Meeting House: Calvinism with a Lowcountry Accent” with a reception afterward.
On Friday, enjoy an evening lecture focusing on “A Meeting House with Slave Balconies: The Johns Island Presbyterian Church and Its African American Members” with a reception to follow.
Finally, on Saturday, Dr. Clarke will present a 10 a.m. lecture entitled “A Lowcountry Meeting House with Windows to the World: The Johns Island Presbyterian Church and Early Missionary Effects in West Africa” with a luncheon following.
All lectures are free and open to the public. The Saturday luncheon is $12.50 and reservations are required.
Dr. Erskine Clarke is Professor Emeritus of American Religious History at Columbia Theological Seminary. He has lectured or served as a consultant at a number of places including Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.; McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago; United Theological College of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica; University of Debercen, Debercen, Hungary; Nanjing Theological Seminary, Nanjing, China; and University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa. During the last three years he has lectured at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge; University of London; Yale University; and University of Virginia. He is publisher and editor of Journal for Preachers, a quarterly journal of homiletics. He has been a visiting fellow, Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge, and has been elected a Life Member of Clare Hall.
Dr. Clarke’s primary scholarly interest has focused on religion and slavery in the American South. His publications include Wrestlin’ Jacob, A Portrait of Religion in the Old South (1979), for which he received Author of the Year Award from the old Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists; The Seminary Presidency in Protestant Theological Seminaries (1995); Our Southern Zion: Calvinism in the South Carolina Lowcountry 1690 – 1990 (1996), for which he received the Francis Makemie Award from the Presbyterian Historical Society. He is also editor of Exilic Preaching: Testimony of Christian Exiles in an increasingly Hostile Culture (1998).
Dr. Clarke’s most recent and important work is Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic (2005), for which he received the 2006 Bell Prize from Georgia Historical Society for best book on Georgia history; the Bancroft Prize given by Columbia University; a Mary Lawton Hodges prize from University of South Carolina; and an “Award for excellence in Documenting Georgia’s History” from the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board.
Dr. Clarke is married to the former Nancy Legare Warren of Summerville, SC.
For more information or to make reservations, call the church at 559-9380 Ext. 15. Reservations for the Saturday luncheon are recommended by Friday, May 14.