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King University News :: Registration Open for Second Annual BuechnerFest

BuechnerFest to be held at Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, NC

The Buechner (Beek-ner) Institute at King University will be hosting the second annual BuechnerFest at Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, N.C., May 30 through June 2, 2013.  BuechnerFest will feature three days of enjoying and discussing the work and career of the award-winning writer and Presbyterian minister Frederick Buechner.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Buechner and his work in a beautiful setting and with a group of like-minded folks,” said Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute and chair of the English department at King University.  “We are really excited about the possibilities of this event and grateful for the remarkable guests who will be involved.”

The symposium offers something for both long-time readers of Buechner and people who may have never read Buechner but are interested in conversations that center on contemporary issues related to faith and culture.

The daily schedule of BuechnerFest will feature presentations, discussions, and opportunities for enjoying the local fare.  “We have put together a kind of thoughtful vacation for those who would enjoy reading, talking, and celebrating a few days of challenge and relaxation,” said Brown.

Time will be devoted to an overview of Buechner’s major works including everything from “Godric,” and “Sacred Journey,” to some overlooked texts such as “The Final Beast.”

The conference will be led by the Buechner Institute’s National Advisory Board and other friends of Fred.  The conference will kick off at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 with Marilyn McEntyre, poet and professor of English at U.C. Berkeley.  A fellow of Westmont’s Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts, McEntyre has received several awards for outstanding teaching.  Marilyn is a member of the Buechner Institute National Advisory Board.

Other leading presenters will include several members of the Buechner Institute National Advisory Board including Dale Brown, Joel Cunningham, Tom Gulotta, Jennifer Holberg, Thomas G. Long, and Jeff Monroe.  Also presenting is Anthony S. Abbott.

  • Anthony S. Abbott - serves as professor emeritus of English at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C.  He is the author of two novels and six books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize nominated “The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat.”
  • Dale Brown – He is the founding director of the Buechner Institute and the chairperson of the Department of English at King University in Bristol, Tenn.  For twenty years, Brown was a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and there directed the Festival of Faith Writing.
  • Joel Cunningham, professor of mathematics and vice-chancellor and president emeritus at Sewanee: The University of the South.  His service as Sewanee’s president from 2000 to 2010 furthered the University’s long tradition of outstanding teaching and scholarship in its College of Arts and Sciences and its School of Theology.
  • Tom Gulotta is an award-winning music producer, graphic designer, filmmaker, writer, photographer and media consultant.  For the past six years he has been recording Frederick Buechner reading some of his books in his homes in Vermont and Florida.
  • Jennifer Holberg is a professor of English and faculty leader of the Faculty Senate for Calvin College as well as chair of the Buechner Institute National Advisory Board.  She is also the founding co-editor of the journal, Pedagogy: Critical approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture, published by Duke University Press.
  • Thomas G. Long is the Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University and the Coordinator of the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology.  A Presbyterian minister, he has served churches in Georgia and New Jersey. He has taught preaching for over thirty-five years — at Erskine Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, and, since 2000, at Candler.  Long has served as the president of the Academy of Homiletics and as senior homiletics editor of the New Interpreter’s Bible. He has been editor of Theology Today, is currently an associate editor of Journal for Preachers, and serves as an editor-at-large at The Christian Century.
  • Jeff Munroe is vice president of Advancement and Communications at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and Western Theological Seminary and an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America.  He served on the staff of Young Life for 29 years, most recently as director of that ministry in Western Europe.

For registration information and event itinerary for BuechnerFest, visit or visit  For additional information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156.  


King University is a Presbyterian, master’s-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors and pre-professional degrees and concentration in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, digital media, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. For more information visit, call 800.362.0014, or email