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"William T. Blue: A Lonely Spokesman for Black Saints" with Bill Russell and Gwendolyn Hawks-Blue
This lecture will explore the life and legacy of William Taft Blue, a leading African-American minister of the Reorganization during the 20th century. William “Bill” Blue was ordained a priest in 1947 and later named pastor of the Belmont Street Mission in Pensacola, Florida, a position he held for twenty-one years. While enduring church segregation and racism in the southern United States, Bill transformed his pain into an affirmative testimony of faith and perseverance. In the late 1960s, Bill and his wife Carrie relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, where he continued to work towards a world without racism and discrimination until his passing in 2007.

May 27, 2021 07:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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William D. Russell
William D. Russell has written widely on religion and politics, with a special interest in issues of prejudice and discrimination. He served for 41 years at Graceland University as a professor of history, government, and religion on the Lamoni campus. Bill was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, including being a co-founder of the Independence, Missouri chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). He graduated from Graceland in 1960 and later received a M.Div. degree from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City and a J.D. from the University of Iowa. Along the way he accumulated 75 credit hours in history. He is an elder in the Lamoni Community of Christ and has served on World Church committees on racism, peace and justice, and human rights.
Gwendolyn Hawks-Blue
Gwendolyn Hawks-Blue, a High Priest in the Community of Christ, is a member of the Standing High Council and Co-chair of the World Church Diversity and Inclusion Team. Gwendolyn earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Kansas and an MA in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, MO. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Gwendolyn moved from Florida to Kansas City. She worked for over twenty-five years in the field of social services. Her last fifteen years of employment were spent as an independent contractor teaching business skills seminars across the USA and internationally. Gwendolyn has been a board member of several community organizations and was on the Board of Trustees for Park University. Currently she serves as a Board Member of the Drumm Farm Center for Children and is the Secretary of the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group. Gwendolyn has three children and enjoys being “Nana” to her two grandchildren.