The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, director of religion at the historic Chautauqua Institution and the first ordained woman to serve as general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, will present two lectures in Lynchburg on April 7 and 8.
Campbell will give the 23rd Annual John Mills Turner Jr. Lecture on Life and Faith at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 3109 Rivermont Avenue. Her topic is “Living the Ecumental Life of Faith.”
On Monday, April 8, Campbell will deliver the Jennie Cutler Shumate Lecture on Christian Ministry at 7:30 p.m. at Snidow Chapel, University of Lynchburg. She will speak on“Christian Ministry in an Interfaith World.”
Prior to her time at the National Council of Churches in Christ USA, Campbell served as director of the U.S. Office of the World Council of Churches. During those years her commitment to peace with justice, crafted during her life changing work with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was deepened in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking about Campbell, referred to her as “a woman of courage and compassion.” He pointed out that she was the only woman in the clergy procession of more than 200 for his installation as Archbishop of South Africa, commenting, “Her voice helped to bring an end to the evil of apartheid.”
Campbell is an activist who believes that in a democracy citizens must act on their conscience. During her time as general secretary to the NCC, Campbell, in concert with Paul Gorman, Carl Sagan, Dean James Morton, and Albert Gore, was a founder of what is today the National Religious Partnership on the Environment, and continues to serve as chair of the board.
Campbell’s continuing commitment to world peace is reflected in her work with the Charter for Compassion. She also serves as chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women. She has served on the Board of the Global Health Council, and as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils on Faith and Values. In 2010 she was awarded the Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award, and authored a book, Living Into Hope: A Call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This. Campbell is the mother of three grown children and grandmother to eight.