Open House at the new Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty

Written by Don Byrd

On Monday, March 27 and Tuesday, March 28, Baptist Joint Committee General Counsel Holly Hollman will present the 12th annual Shurden Lectures at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. Monday’s 10 am lecture is for students. Tuesday’s 7 pm lecture is open to the public.

The Shurden Lectures were endowed by Walter B. (“Buddy”) and Kay W. Shurden. In a recent interview, Walter Shurden explains why the lecture series is so important to him, why the BJC is the right steward of this gift, and why he is so excited that Holly Hollman is delivering this year’s lectures.

Here is an excerpt:

This year, BJC General Counsel Holly Hollman is delivering the lectures. What does she bring to the table?
Holly exudes a contagious passion for religious liberty. She excites because she is excited about freedom issues. She knows the difference between religious freedom for a few and religious freedom for all. A lawyer with nuanced insights into the complicated issues of religious liberty and the separation of religion and government, she is also a Baptist marinated in the tradition of Roger Williams, John Clarke, Isaac Backus, John Leland, James Dunn and Brent Walker. Kay and I have wanted Holly Hollman to present the Shurden Lectures for several years, and we are delighted that she will do so in 2017.

Why did you decide to create these lectures in partnership with the Baptist Joint Committee?

The BJC, one year older than I am, has a track record. All of its life the BJC has proclaimed that one of the ways we love God is to “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” All of my life the BJC has been preaching that freedom of conscience is God’s will for creation. The BJC is not simply a Baptist thing; the BJC is a human thing. It does not matter whether you are Baptist or Buddhist, Methodist or Muslim, Assembly of God or atheist, the BJC is a guardian of God-given freedoms for ALL of our children and grandchildren.

For more, see the BJC’s resource page on the Shurden Lectures. There you can learn more about this year’s event, and watch videos of previous speakers.