Week of November 14

Catherine Foster

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Sunday, November 25, First Presbyterian Church has the unique and exciting opportunity to welcome the Reverend Doctor Anthony Campolo. Dr. Campolo is an internationally celebrated speaker, author, sociologist, pastor, social activist and passionate follower of Jesus. First Presbyterian Church will be blessed to have Dr. Campolo in the pulpit at all three services. Additionally, he will join young adults for a special dinner in the Enrichment Center following the 5:30 service. While I was studying religion at Davidson College, I had the poignant experience of witnessing Dr. Campolo and his wife Peggy preach to a standing-room-only congregation in one of our local churches. What deeply impressed me about Dr. Campolo was his ability to communicate the gospel in such a clear, capable and convicting manner. He is not afraid to broach some of our nation’s most sensitive religious and social issues while simultaneously modeling respectful dialogue and Christian reconciliation. Though I did not agree with everything that Dr. Campolo espoused, I left the Davidson church that evening feeling intellectually challenged, spiritually recharged and generally more receptive to conversations with Christians whose positions differ from my own. Since then, I have jumped at the opportunity to hear Dr. Campolo on radio and TV, and I have consistently found his remarks to be relevant, insightful and faithful.

Dr. Campolo is an ordained American Baptist minister and prolific Evangelical Christian. Yet, Dr. Campolo refuses to be confined to any one denominational or sectarian platform. He has employed his fierce intellect and passionate love of Christ to serve as a major proponent for progressive thought and reform in the Evangelical Christian community. His sermons call Christians to respond to God’s boundless love by combining personal discipleship, evangelism and social justice.

Dr. Campolo is a graduate of Eastern College and earned a Ph.D. from Temple University. For ten years, he served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has pastored churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is presently recognized as an associate pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.

As part of his life’s work, Dr. Campolo is founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE). For over thirty years, the EAPE has developed and nurtured elementary and secondary schools, universities, adult and child literacy centers, tutoring programs, orphanages, AIDS hospices, urban youth ministries, summer camps, and long-term Christian service programs across the United States and Canada, in parts of Africa, in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The EAPE embodies Dr. Campolo’s unique understanding of the gospel that combines personal discipleship and social justice. A prolific speaker and writer, Dr. Campolo has authored 39 books. His latest release is Red Letter Revolution, which he co-authored with Shane Claiborne, the leading figure on the Christian New Monasticism Movement. Other recent titles include: Choose Love Not Power; Connecting Like Jesus coauthored with Mary Albert Darling; Stories That Feed Your Soul; Red Letter Christians, A Citizen’s Guide to Faith and Politics; The God of Intimacy and Action co-authored with Mary Albert Darling; Letters to a Young Evangelical; Adventures in Missing the Point co-authored with Brian McLaren and The Survival Guide for Christians on Campus co-authored with Will Willimon. Dr. Campolo speaks about 350 different times each year around the world. His diverse audiences include churches, colleges, youth groups and the business community. He has guest starred on television programs including the Colbert Report, Nightline, Crossfire, Larry King Live, CNN News and MSNBC news. He co-hosted his own television series, Hashing It Out, on the Odyssey Network, presently hosts Across The Pond, a weekly program on the Premier Christian Radio Network in England and also co-hosts Red Letter Christianity on JCTV.

Dr. Campolo and his wife, Peggy, live in the Philadelphia area and have two grown children and four grandchildren. Sunday, November 25, would be an excellent Sunday to invite a friend to experience this internationally renowned preacher at First Presbyterian Church.

You may not agree with everything he says, but I can guarantee you that you will leave church challenged, entertained and inspired. His books will be on sale in the FPC bookstore, Bookmarks on November 18 and 25, and December 2.

To learn more about Dr. Campolo, visit TonyCampolo.org and his blog RedLetterChristians.org.

Grace & Peace,

Catherine Foster, Associate Pastor

Catherine Foster

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