American Baptist College (ABC) announces its 2020 official Presidential Lecture Series featuring Jon Meacham, discussing Congressman John Lewis; Dr. Riggins Earl, discussing Rev. C. T. Vivian and ABC President Forrest Harris, serving as the facilitator, guiding the discussion of these two giants’ legacies at ABC and beyond.


“It is a privilege to have these scholars and historians to speak on these two great men. Their expertise is unparalleled and will provide a wealth of information about these Civil Rights activists, who attended American Baptist College,” said Dr. Forrest Harris, President of ABC.


John Meacham explained, “I am thrilled to be a part of American Baptist College in this role. Congressman Lewis was an extraordinary human being who cherished his education at ABC, and his years on ‘the Holy Hill’ served as the foundation for his civil rights activities and his service in the Congress,” said Meacham.


The Civil Rights Movement of the 60s propelled these men to the public eye because of their unending fight for justice. They were joined by other ABC students who shared the belief of social justice for all. Inspired by their work at ABC and the Nashville community, they expanded their mission into other cities and states; working with well-known names across the country and eventually becoming a well-known name themselves.

Riggins Earl stated, “I look forward to presenting on such a strong disciple of voicing people’s rights. Rev. Vivian was a bold agent of social change and continued to preach and teach throughout his life that giving voice to the people was essential for making a change in the world.”

The lives of these Civil Rights icons, Congressman John Lewis and the Reverend C. T. Vivian, recipients of the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom are an invaluable resource to explore the Christian and social justice ethic morality that shaped their leadership. On July 17, 2020, they both died, leaving leadership legacies of moral vision and exemplars of the Christian love-ethic and commitment to the method of non-violence for social change.

President Harris stated, “These lectures on Congressman John Lewis and Rev. C. T. Vivian are necessary for historical perspective. The presentations focus on the relevance of Congressman Lewis and Reverend Vivian to the current times and forecast what we might expect in the future of social activism,” he added.

Dates –Fee Schedule –Times

All Lectures will be delivered virtually on Zoom.

ABC President Forrest E. Harris, Sr., will be the facilitator for all sessions.

October 19…Mr. Jon Meacham on Congressman John Lewis, 6 p.m.

October 26…Dr. Riggins Earl on Rev. C. T. Vivian, 6 p.m.

November 16…Mr. Meacham, and Dr. Earl will discuss both civil rights giants, 7 p.m.

$50.00 per lecture: All three lectures, $125.00.

ABC alumni and Lilly Grant participants are eligible for a 50% discount.

Once attendees register on Eventbrite, they will receive Zoom information for the class. For more information, contact Phyllis Qualls at