Jan. 14, 2013
-- Vermont Academy will present the Rev. Bill Gregory as a guest speaker on Martin Luther King Day, January 21, at 10:45 a.m. in the Choukas Theater in Horowitz Hall. Dr. Erin Cohn, Vermont Academy History Department Chair, will moderate the program, in which Rev. Gregory will recount stories from his experience as a civil rights activist and his participation with Dr. King in the march from Selma to Montgomery.
Born and raised to young adulthood in California, Rev. Gregory graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in social ethics. He went into business in order to finance a marriage and children, but after a few years realized it was not his calling, and he took a few years to clarify it -- teaching, coaching or ministry? He chose ministry and enrolled as a student at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA. He was sent by the school, along with a faculty member, to walk with King and the many joining the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demonstrate for voting rights for all citizens. His doctorate at seminary focused on attitude change, from exclusive to inclusive and he took groups of young people on outings throughout the west to meet and work with people they would not ordinarily meet-- a ministry to the gay community in San Francisco, farm workers in Delano, urban ministry in Watts, and a chaplaincy to showgirls in Las Vegas. Social justice and spiritual life were the two most prominent aspects of his ministry. Now retired and living in Maine, he has served churches and communities in Claremont, CA, Lincoln, MA, Berkeley, CA and Portland, ME.
The talk will be preceded by video footage of the Selma-Montgomery march, after which Dr. Cohn will engage Rev. Gregory in a conversation about his experiences with civil rights and social justice. This conversation will be followed by a question and answer period. The event is free and open to the public. Horowitz Hall is handicapped accessible. For more information, call 802-869-6298.