MACON, Ga. — Nationally noted church-state commentator, J. Brent Walker, the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty, will make two presentations relating to “Church and State in the 2006 Elections,” at Mercer University on Thursday, Sept. 7, beginning at 9:15 a.m. The event, sponsored by Mercer’s Center for Baptist Studies and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia, will take place in the Religious Life Center on Mercer’s Macon campus.
Walker will make two presentations, each followed by discussion periods. The presentations will examine the ethical and legal dimensions of the upcoming congressional elections as related to the intersection of church and state. The first, “The Use and Abuse of Religion: The Ethical Issues,” will begin at 9:25 a.m. and the second, “Improper Electioneering by Churches: The Legal Issues,” at 10:50 a.m. The program will conclude at noon.
“Brent Walker is one of nation’ leading authorities church and state issues and his insights will be particularly invaluable as we move into this intense campaign period ahead of November’s elections,” said Dr. Walter Shurden, executive director of Center for Baptist Studies. “Mr. Walker has spent much of his life defending the Constitution from infringements on the separation of church and state and we look forward to learning from his experiences.”
Walker is both a member of the Supreme Court Bar and an ordained minister. He has been published widely and routinely provides commentary on church-state issues in the national media. He was a partner in the law firm of Carlton, Fields in Tampa, Fla. Walker left the firm in 1986 to enter Southern Seminary, Louisville, Ky., where he earned a master of divinity degree in 1989 and was named the most outstanding graduate. He pastored the Richland Baptist Church in Falmouth, Ky., and routinely speaks in churches and at denominational gatherings. Having taught 10 years as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, he has, since 2003, served as an adjunct professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in Richmond, Va.
A native of Charleston, W.Va., Walker earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Florida and holds a J.D. degree from Stetson University College of Law.
The Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty is based in Washington, D.C. The 70-year-old religious liberty organization is dedicated to defending and extending religious liberty for all. It serves 14 Baptist bodies and works with a wide range of religious groups, but is the only religious agency devoted solely to religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education, the University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.