Fry Brown to speak tonight

by Hanna Russmann & Clint HutchcroftStaff Writers

Dr. Teresa Fry Brown will present “Prophetic Voices Crying in the Wilderness” at Simpson College’s 30th Annual Matthew Simpson Lecture tonight in Great Hall at 7 p.m.

Fry Brown, associate professor of homiletics and director of black church studies, teaches at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Janet Everhart, assistant professor of religion, organized this year’s lecture and arranged for Fry Brown to speak.

“This particular lecture is a chance to hear an African-American preacher and teacher of preachers talk about her work on African-American women preaching, which I think is a great opportunity for Simpson students,” Everhart said. “We don’t have access to that kind of scholar on our campus.”

Students across campus are looking forward to hearing Fry Brown present her lecture.

“I’m eager to hear, for the first time, how feminism has impacted the scholarship of theology,” freshman Ted Heying said.

For some students, hearing scholars discuss equality issues is important.

“Classes and lectures based on the subject of equality, in any field of study, need to be taken by all students before graduation,” senior Eric D’Hooge said. “When you take in this knowledge, you learn the past, present and future of issues that deal with inequality beyond the exhilarating discussion of the classroom.”

Fry Brown currently has articles in the “Abingdon Women’s Preaching Annual” and “Those Preaching Women Vol. 3.”

She holds a doctorate of philosophy in religious and theological studies from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver and has studied at the University of Denver.

She earned her Master of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Miss.

Fry Brown has traveled across the United States, speaking at hundreds of campuses and preaching in thousands of churches.

She has written a bountiful list of literary works, such as “Avoiding Asphyxiation: A Womanist Perspective on Interpersonal and Interpersonal Transformation.”

There is also a vast collection of online lectures and sermons available on YouTube’s “Working Preacher” channel, the Great Lecture Library at Chautauqua Institution Web site and a written sermon on the Chicago Sunday Evening Club Web site.

The Matthew Simpson lecture was founded in 1980 by Theological Professors Roger Betsworth and Bruce Haddox, along with Mel Henderson, the then dean of Academic Affairs.

Originally allocated with a $500 budget, Betsworth, Haddox and Henderson began a continuing tradition at Simpson. Each lecture is composed of a major scholar and religious thinker who propagates socio-ethics in the studies of theology.

“It was started by (Betsworth and Haddox) who thought it was important to be able to bring sort of leading thinkers of religion, biblical studies, and theology to campus just to expose the community,” Everhart said.

This year’s lecture marks a significant milestone, three decades of theologians inspiring and exposing students to religious concepts and ideas.