Dean Of Duke University Chapel To Speak On African-American Spirituals Wednesday

Friday, February 22, 2013
The Reverend Dr. Luke Powery
The Reverend Dr. Luke Powery

The Reverend Dr. Luke Powery will present "I’m Gonna Sing! The Faith and Music of the Unknown Black Bards" on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Lee University Chapel as part of the 2012-2013 Arts and Cultures Series. 

This second event in the Arts and Culture Series is presented in conjunction with Lee University’s Humanities Coalition, the Department of History, Political Science, and Humanities, and the Faculty Diversity Committee.

Dr. Powery’s lecture will be an interactive combination of spoken and sung word focusing on the historical context, spiritual themes, and musical influence of African American spirituals.

The evening will open with a performance by Lee music faculty Dr. Andrea Dismukes and Dr. John Wykoff.  The duo will perform Dr. Wykoff’s new arrangement of the spiritual “Give Me Jesus.”

Dr. Powery will also speak in the Conn Center on Thursday at 10:40 a.m., Lee’s regularly scheduled chapel service.

Dr. Powery is the dean of Duke Chapel and an associate professor of the practice of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. He received his ThD from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his BA in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University. 

His teaching and research interests are located at the intersection of preaching, worship, pneumatology, performance studies, and culture, particularly expressions of the African diaspora. He is the author of “Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching” and “Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope.” 

In 2008, The African American Pulpit named Dr. Powery as one of "20 to Watch," an honor given to 20 outstanding black ministers under the age of 40 who are helping to shape the future direction of the church.

The Arts & Culture Series is intended to facilitate a conversation between artists, thinkers, and students about the complex relationship between art and faith. 

Lee University faculty, students, and members of the community are encouraged to attend both services.

For more information, contact the Department of History, Political Science, and Humanities at 614-8137 or email

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