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Columbus minister, music headline local Martin Luther King commemoration

FPS staff report

Dr. Ervin Smith of Columbus, an emeritus professor of Christian Ethics at Methesco, a Methodist Seminary, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King community service Jan. 20 in Carrollton.

The First Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of N. Lisbon and 2nd St. in Carrollton, will host the event beginning at 7 p.m.

Smith, who grew up in Georgia, experienced segregation firsthand. During previous speaking engagements, Dr. Smith shared that he couldn’t go into the main library, restaurants, get the same medical treatment, or drink out of the same drinking fountains as whites, solely because of being black.

Eventually, the scholar authored his own books including: “The Ethics of Martin Luther King Jr.,” and “Black Theology: Toward an Inclusive Church,” among others. Segregation affected his choice of a college. He said he couldn’t go to the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech because of the color of his skin.

He obtained his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Illinois and moved to Delaware, OH, in 1971. He has served as a pastor in Georgia, California and New Jersey as well as Ohio. From May 2001 through June 2010, he served as pastor at Shepherd St. Paul UMC at Columbus, He has served on numerous boards and agencies within his Annual Conference as well as several committees related to ethics in the community, including the Columbus Bar Association Ethics Committee. He has also served on committees related to poverty and world peace including the Bishop’s Call for Peace.

Light refreshments will be served following the presentation.

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