Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr. to keynote Bethany College Baccalaureate

BETHANY, W.Va. —The Reverend Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., Regional Minister and President of the Pennsylvania Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will be the featured speaker for the annual Bethany College Baccalaureate Service to be held Friday, May 17 at 6 p.m. in Commencement Hall.

The Service is a part of Commencement Weekend at Bethany College. Commencement is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 in the Tilock Amphitheater in the Pennington Quadrangle.

“It will be an honor to welcome Rev. Sullivan, a highly respected leader in the Church, to Bethany to speak to the class of 2013,” said Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. “With our strong ties to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), dating back to our founding, it is most fitting to have a national leader in the church join us for this blessed event.”

Prior to his ministry as Regional Minister and President, which began on October 1, 2011, Dr. Sullivan was Senior Pastor of Fifth Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Cleveland, Ohio. As Regional Minister and President, Dr. Sullivan provides pastoral care to the unique relationship between pastors and congregations, while serving as the Region’s lead administrator and representative in denominational, ecumenical, interfaith, and civic arenas.

During his 30-year ministerial career, Dr. Sullivan has been Pastor for the Interim of Mercer Island United Methodist Church, Mercer, Island, Wash.; Regional Minister and President of the Northwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Senior Pastor of United Christian Church, Detroit, Mich.; Associate for African American Educational Ministries for the Disciples' Indianapolis-based Division of Homeland Ministries (now Disciples Home Missions); Pastor of Second Christian Church, Jefferson City, Mo.; Associate Regional Minister (part-time) of the Disciples' Mid-America Region, Jefferson City, Mo.; and Pastor of Hill Street Christian Church, Louisville, Ky.

Dr. Sullivan is known for his preaching and lecturing on congregational transformation, spirituality, social-justice, evangelism, anti-racism, and interracial partnerships. Some of his writings have appeared in books such as Out of Mighty Waters: Sermons of African American Disciples (Chalice Press, 1994) and Black Religion after the Million Man March (Orbis Books, 1998). Dr. Sullivan is the author of an article titled, “What Black Churches Can Teach White Churches,” published in the July/August 2006 issue of DisciplesWorld Magazine. In 2006, Dr. Sullivan delivered an address, “Overcoming Chaotic Compartmentalism: Building New Communities of Diversity with Integrity Among Progressives,” during the national Sacred Activism Conference held in Seattle. This event featured speakers such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Rabbi Michael Lerner.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interpersonal Communication from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; a Master of Divinity degree from Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Ky.; and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Economic and Social Justice from United Theological Seminary (UTS), Dayton, Ohio. At UTS, Dr. Sullivan was a Samuel DeWitt Proctor/Otis Moss, Jr. Doctoral Fellow. He has completed church-sponsored anti-racism/pro-reconciliation training and is certified in both non-violent conflict resolution and group facilitation. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Dr. Sullivan was a Ph.D. student at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash.

Dr. Sullivan is married to the Rev. Sèkinah Hamlin of Greensboro, N.C., the Interim Pastor of Oak Hills Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Butler, Pa. They have two daughters.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.