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King University News :: Bishop Eugene Sutton to Speak at King University January 20

The Right Reverend Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop and former canon pastor of Washington National Cathedral, will speak on Jan. 20, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, at King University’s Memorial Chapel at 9:15 a.m. and at Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church in Abingdon, Va., at 7 p.m. as part of the Buechner (Beek-ner) Institute’s 2013-14 Lecture Series. The series is co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier. 

The Buechner lecture, “A Challenge to the Mythology of Violence” will focus on the increasing number of hostile outbreaks. “Every year, 15,000 Americans are victims of homicide, and several hundreds of thousands more suffer from intentional acts of violence that require medical attention,” said Sutton. “There is an enormous cost for such a level of violence in our society, not only economically, but also in terms of the emotional and psychological pain that devastated individuals and families must bear.” Sutton will address the looming question, “Is there hope for the future in a world overwhelmed by an epidemic of violence?” Bishop Sutton will also draw upon lessons from the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement in America, along with insights from ancient spiritual wisdom and the ethics of Jesus.

“Eugene Sutton has read his Buechner along with his Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute at King University.  “He will help us think about their thoughts on violence and reconciliation.”

Sutton accepted the call to serve as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland in June of 2008. In addition to previously serving as the canon pastor at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Sutton was the director of the Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage. While in the nation’s capital, he founded Contemplative Outreach of Metropolitan Washington (COMW), an ecumenical network of churches and individuals committed to centering prayer and renewing the contemplative dimension of the gospel for daily living. He also served as a college chaplain, parish priest, and as professor of homiletics and liturgy at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tenn. 

A graduate of Hope College, he earned his Master of Divinity degree from Western Theological Seminary and completed graduate studies at Princeton Theological Seminary in Theology and Communications in Preaching. He has led national conferences and seminars on preaching, prayer and personal spirituality, and worship. An author of several articles on preaching and spirituality, he is a contributor to the book “The Diversity of Centering Prayer.”

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton will present “A Challenge to the Mythology of Violence” at 9:15 a.m. at King University’s Memorial Chapel and at 7 p.m. at Sinking Spring’s Presbyterian Church on Monday, Jan.20.  The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King University, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community University, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.