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Starks Scholarship Dinner reflects seminary’s speaking-truth-to-power commitment

“Speaking Truth to Power Through Character, Integrity and Humility” was the theme as Memphis Theological Seminary presented the 32nd annual Rev. Dr. Henry Logan Starks Scholarship Endowment Dinner at First Baptist Church-Broad (Feb. 28).

The keynote address as delivered by Dr. Neichelle R. Guidry, Dean of Sisters Chapel at Spelman College and creator and curator of She preaches. MTS Interim President Rev. Susan D. Parker, Ph.D, noted that Guidry had been selected as one of the best preachers in the country by Time Magazine.

Each year, the event honors Dr. Starks, one of the first six African-American students to enroll in the MTS in 1964. Later, Starks, who pastored St. James AME for 24 years, was the first African American to teach at the seminary.

Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. was the master of ceremony, guiding a program that featured Starks’ daughter, the Rev. Dr. Almella Starks Umoja, sharing, “A Daughter’s Perspective on Legacy.” She is a 1997 MTS graduate.

Dianne Love, director of the Henry Logan Startks Scholarship Endowment, gave “reflections on the road traveled.”

2019 Awards

  • Elaine Blanchard, Starks Distinguished Service Award
  • Franketta Guinn, D. Min, Outstanding African American Alumnae
  • Sanders Anderson, M.D., President’s Humanitarian Award
  • Emily Yellin, Legacy Award
  • Perry Little, D. Min, Outstanding African American Alumnus

The Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher, senior pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church, was honored as the 2019 Starks Fellow.

The evening also featured musical performances by Linnie E. Yarbrough Sr. (owner, MusicbyLinnie) and the Onyx Ensemble


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