Civil rights Activist, Bernard Lafayette will keynote the American Baptist College (ABC) Presidential Scholarship Gala. The event is a recognition for the 95th Anniversary of ABC and the 20th anniversary of the presidency of Dr. Forrest Harris, who became president in 1999.

The scholarship gala takes place on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the program will be at 7 p. m. at the Nashville Downtown Renaissance Hotel, 211 Commerce Street, Nashville. For ticket and sponsorship information, visit or Eventbrite.

Founded in 1924 as the American Baptist Theological Seminary, ABC at that time was associated with the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention, at the same location in North Nashville, 1800 Baptist World Center Drive.

“We are proud of the tradition of American Baptist College and appreciate former ABC president and student, Dr. Bernard Lafayette to share in this milestone occasion with us,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Don Darius Butler.

Through the years, the College has weathered major storms and many triumphs, including financial challenges; the Civil Rights era of the 60’s; and morphing into a HBCU institution, offering both bachelor and associate degrees.

“I am proud to speak at this momentous occasion, where the College is celebrating 95 years and the 20th year anniversary of Dr. Forrest Harris.”

“It is a special honor for American Baptist College to have survived for 95 years and to have touched the lives of so many people, directly as students and the greater community by the work done at ABC,” said Dr. Harris

Dr. Lafayette was very active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s. He participated in the Woolworth Sit-ins, along with marches and other activities to secure full respectability of African Americans in America.

Gloria McKissack, a Tennessee State University student who was active in the 60’s Movement, reflects on Dr. Lafayette. “Bernard endured the jabs and jeers like the rest of us because he was willing to suffer through the pain, as well as give his life for the cause.”

The work of Civil Rights activists, such a Dr. Lafayette, Congressman John Lewis, Dr. C. T. Vivian, and others, are a critical part of the 95 year history of ABC. “I know its foundation is strong as we move forward together to help our students become strong leaders and citizens of the world,” said Chairman Butler.

As part of ABC’s history, research has revealed Dr. Harris is the longest serving college or university president in Tennessee, and ranks 5th among HBCU presidents nationally. “We are proud to recognize Dr. Harris’ commitment and dedication to this institution– this is truly a milestone year for ABC, said Student Government Association President, Doncor Archie.

Dr. Bobby Jones, producer and host of the Dr. Bobby Jones Presents program, seen on the Impact Network, is the emcee of the stellar event.

Tickets are $115.00 in honor of the 95th anniversary of the college and the 20th years of the presidency of Dr. Harris. For information about the ABC activities and other information, please call Andre’ Trice at 615.687.6939, at or Phyllis Qualls at 615.687.6921, at